The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The cost of reducing the North Atlantic Ocean biological carbon pump

The cost of reducing the North Atlantic Ocean biological carbon pump
The cost of reducing the North Atlantic Ocean biological carbon pump
To predict the impacts of climate change it is essential to understand how anthropogenic change alters the balance between atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial reservoirs of carbon. It has been estimated that natural atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are almost 200 ppm lower than they would be without the transport of organic material produced in the surface ocean to depth, an ecosystem service driven by mechanisms collectively referred to as the biological carbon pump. Here we quantify potential reductions in carbon sequestration fluxes in the North Atlantic Ocean through the biological carbon pump over the twenty-first century, using two independent biogeochemical models, driven by low and high IPCC AR5 carbon emission scenarios. The carbon flux at 1000 m (the depth at which it is assumed that carbon is sequestered) in the North Atlantic was estimated to decline between 27 and 43% by the end of the century, depending on the biogeochemical model and the emission scenario considered. In monetary terms, the value of this loss in carbon sequestration service in the North Atlantic was estimated to range between US$170–US$3000 billion in abatement (mitigation) costs and US$23–US$401 billion in social (adaptation) costs, over the twenty-first century. Our results challenge the frequent assumption that coastal habitats store more significant amounts of carbon and are under greater threat. We highlight the largely unrecognized economic importance of the natural, blue carbon sequestration service provided by the open ocean, which is predicted to undergo significant anthropogenic-driven change.
climate change, ocean biochemistry, North Atlantic, carbon sequestration, economic valuation
290
Barange, Manuel
e23cae35-9111-4c07-86b0-ef87ff24a098
Butenschön, Momme
8eeb723a-3d1e-48ee-b74f-21f7add49cc2
Yool, Andrew
882aeb0d-dda0-405e-844c-65b68cce5017
Beaumont, Nicola
400c6ec0-cd53-4bd1-afed-eae5afe85257
Fernandes, Jose A.
b9cd90cb-2bab-4630-9f6c-6178ce3cf927
Martin, Adrian P.
9d0d480d-9b3c-44c2-aafe-bb980ed98a6d
Allen, J. Icarus
6a8016db-2a5a-4275-8cdf-63ddb7a51526
Barange, Manuel
e23cae35-9111-4c07-86b0-ef87ff24a098
Butenschön, Momme
8eeb723a-3d1e-48ee-b74f-21f7add49cc2
Yool, Andrew
882aeb0d-dda0-405e-844c-65b68cce5017
Beaumont, Nicola
400c6ec0-cd53-4bd1-afed-eae5afe85257
Fernandes, Jose A.
b9cd90cb-2bab-4630-9f6c-6178ce3cf927
Martin, Adrian P.
9d0d480d-9b3c-44c2-aafe-bb980ed98a6d
Allen, J. Icarus
6a8016db-2a5a-4275-8cdf-63ddb7a51526

Barange, Manuel, Butenschön, Momme, Yool, Andrew, Beaumont, Nicola, Fernandes, Jose A., Martin, Adrian P. and Allen, J. Icarus (2017) The cost of reducing the North Atlantic Ocean biological carbon pump Frontiers in Marine Science, 3, p. 290. (doi:10.3389/fmars.2016.00290).

Record type: Article

Abstract

To predict the impacts of climate change it is essential to understand how anthropogenic change alters the balance between atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial reservoirs of carbon. It has been estimated that natural atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are almost 200 ppm lower than they would be without the transport of organic material produced in the surface ocean to depth, an ecosystem service driven by mechanisms collectively referred to as the biological carbon pump. Here we quantify potential reductions in carbon sequestration fluxes in the North Atlantic Ocean through the biological carbon pump over the twenty-first century, using two independent biogeochemical models, driven by low and high IPCC AR5 carbon emission scenarios. The carbon flux at 1000 m (the depth at which it is assumed that carbon is sequestered) in the North Atlantic was estimated to decline between 27 and 43% by the end of the century, depending on the biogeochemical model and the emission scenario considered. In monetary terms, the value of this loss in carbon sequestration service in the North Atlantic was estimated to range between US$170–US$3000 billion in abatement (mitigation) costs and US$23–US$401 billion in social (adaptation) costs, over the twenty-first century. Our results challenge the frequent assumption that coastal habitats store more significant amounts of carbon and are under greater threat. We highlight the largely unrecognized economic importance of the natural, blue carbon sequestration service provided by the open ocean, which is predicted to undergo significant anthropogenic-driven change.

Text fmars-03-00290.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (2MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 December 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 January 2017
Published date: 10 January 2017
Keywords: climate change, ocean biochemistry, North Atlantic, carbon sequestration, economic valuation
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 404747
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/404747
PURE UUID: 086e5196-cd80-4ee9-9888-40adeb41210d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Jan 2017 11:50
Last modified: 30 Oct 2017 17:31

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Manuel Barange
Author: Momme Butenschön
Author: Andrew Yool
Author: Nicola Beaumont
Author: Jose A. Fernandes
Author: Adrian P. Martin
Author: J. Icarus Allen

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×