The ocean s role in the carbon cycle in relation to increased atmospheric co 2
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The Ocean’s Role in the Carbon Cycle in Relation to Increased Atmospheric CO 2. Paul Loikith. CO 2 and the Ocean. The ocean is both a source and sink for carbon dioxide With increasing CO 2 concentrations, there is more dissolved inorganic carbon in the ocean

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The Ocean’s Role in the Carbon Cycle in Relation to Increased Atmospheric CO 2

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The Ocean’s Role in the Carbon Cycle in Relation to Increased Atmospheric CO2

Paul Loikith


CO2 and the Ocean

  • The ocean is both a source and sink for carbon dioxide

  • With increasing CO2 concentrations, there is more dissolved inorganic carbon in the ocean

  • Ocean becomes more acidic with increasing dissolved carbon dioxide


CO2 and the Ocean

  • Before industrial era, ocean controlled CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere

  • DIC concentrations are 50 times higher in the oceans than the atmosphere

  • Rates of absorption are highest in cold/saline water with overturning


CO2 and pH

IPCC Working Group I (2007)


Increasing DIC

  • 118 +- 19 GtC increase between pre-industrial times and 1994 of DIC in oceans

  • Ocean is a sink for approx. 30-50% of atmospheric anthropogenic CO2


Consequences of Global Warming on CO2 and Oceans

  • Stratified oceans have decreased intake of CO2

  • Warming world, less DIC uptake in oceans

  • Decreasing pH of oceans

  • Changing densities of Southern Oceans – less uptake

  • Changes in overturning and THC – changes in uptake


Conclusions

  • Increasing atmospheric CO2 will lead to increasing concentrations in ocean

  • Lower pH will result, biological consequences

  • Changes in ocean circulations could decrease rate of intake of carbon, even more in atmosphere (positive feedback)


Sources

  • Caldeira, K., P. B. Duffy, 2000: The Role of the Southern Ocean in Uptake and Storage of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide. Science, 287, 620-622.

  • Falkowski, P., et al., 2000: The Global Carbon Cycle: The Test of Our Knowledge of Earth as a System. Science, 290, 291-296.

  • IPCC Report. Working Group 1. Chapter 5 2007.


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