Last updated October 10, 2018

Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 System in the Oceans

  • 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