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Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms

Record type: Article

Today's surface ocean is saturated with respect to calcium carbonate, but increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are reducing ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations, and thus the level of calcium carbonate saturation. Experimental evidence suggests that if these trends continue, key marine organisms—such as corals and some plankton—will have difficulty maintaining their external calcium carbonate skeletons. Here we use 13 models of the ocean–carbon cycle to assess calcium carbonate saturation under the IS92a 'business-as-usual' scenario for future emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. In our projections, Southern Ocean surface waters will begin to become undersaturated with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of calcium carbonate, by the year 2050. By 2100, this undersaturation could extend throughout the entire Southern Ocean and into the subarctic Pacific Ocean. When live pteropods were exposed to our predicted level of undersaturation during a two-day shipboard experiment, their aragonite shells showed notable dissolution. Our findings indicate that conditions detrimental to high-latitude ecosystems could develop within decades, not centuries as suggested previously.

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Citation

Orr, J.C., Fabry, V.J., Aumont, O., Bopp, L., Doney, S.C., Feely, R.A., Gnanadesikan, A., Gruber, N., Ishida, A., Joos, F., Key, R.M., Lindsay, K., Maier-Reimer, E., Matear, R., Monfray, P., Mouchet, A., Najjar, R.G., Plattner, G.K., Rodgers, K.B., Sabine, C.L., Sarmiento, J.L., Schlitzer, R., Slater, R.D., Totterdell, I.J., Weirig, M.F., Yamanaka, Y. and Yool, A. (2005) Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms Nature, 437, (7059), pp. 681-686. (doi:10.1038/nature04095).

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Published date: 2005

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24168
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24168
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 03a239b3-9a1d-49c9-8697-14d717127ade

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Date deposited: 23 Mar 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:14

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Contributors

Author: J.C. Orr
Author: V.J. Fabry
Author: O. Aumont
Author: L. Bopp
Author: S.C. Doney
Author: R.A. Feely
Author: A. Gnanadesikan
Author: N. Gruber
Author: A. Ishida
Author: F. Joos
Author: R.M. Key
Author: K. Lindsay
Author: E. Maier-Reimer
Author: R. Matear
Author: P. Monfray
Author: A. Mouchet
Author: R.G. Najjar
Author: G.K. Plattner
Author: K.B. Rodgers
Author: C.L. Sabine
Author: J.L. Sarmiento
Author: R. Schlitzer
Author: R.D. Slater
Author: I.J. Totterdell
Author: M.F. Weirig
Author: Y. Yamanaka
Author: A. Yool

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