Decreased calcification in the Southern Ocean over the satellite record

Type Article
Date 2015-03
Language English
Author(s) Freeman Natalie M.1, 2, Lovenduski Nicole S.1, 2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Colorado, Dept Atmospher & Ocean Sci, Boulder, CO 80309 USA.
2 : Univ Colorado, Inst Arctic & Alpine Res, Boulder, CO 80309 USA.
Source Geophysical Research Letters (0094-8276) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2015-03 , Vol. 42 , N. 6 , P. 1834-1840
DOI 10.1002/2014GL062769
WOS© Times Cited 23
Keyword(s) Southern Ocean, calcification, particulate inorganic carbon, carbonate ion, Antarctic polar front
Abstract Widespread ocean acidification is occurring as the ocean absorbs anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, threatening marine ecosystems, particularly the calcifying plankton that provide the base of the marine food chain and play a key role within the global carbon cycle. We use satellite estimates of particulate inorganic carbon (PIC), surface chlorophyll, and sea surface temperature to provide a first estimate of changing calcification rates throughout the Southern Ocean. From 1998 to 2014 we observe a 4% basin-wide reduction in summer calcification, with approximate to 9% reductions in large regions (approximate to 1 x 10(6) km(2)) of the Pacific and Indian sectors. Southern Ocean trends are spatially heterogeneous and primarily driven by changes in PIC concentration (suspended calcite), which has declined by approximate to 24% in these regions. The observed decline in Southern Ocean calcification and PIC is suggestive of large-scale changes in the carbon cycle and provides insight into organism vulnerability in a changing environment.
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