Jul 16, 2004

Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 System in the Oceans

by
Richard A. Feely, Christopher L. Sabine, Kitack Lee, Will Berelson, Joanie Kleypas, Victoria J. Fabry, Frank J. Millero
,
Science
  • States that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations over the past two centuries have led to greater CO2 uptake by the oceans
  • States that this acidification process has changed the saturation state of the oceans with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles
  • Estimates the in situ CaCO3dissolution rates for the global oceans from total alkalinity and chlorofluorocarbon data
  • Discusses the future impacts of anthropogenic CO2 on CaCO3 shell–forming species
  • Observes CaCO3 dissolution rates, ranging from 0.003 to 1.2 micromoles per kilogram per year, beginning near the aragonite saturation horizon
  • Finds that the total water column CaCO3 dissolution rate for the global oceans is approximately 0.5 ± 0.2 petagrams of CaCO3-C per year, which is approximately 45 to 65% of the export production of CaCO3