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Ocean Acidification is insensitive to Climate Change

Results from intermediate complexity model simulations suggest that climate change exerts only a second order control on ocean chemistry.

Using a coupled Earth System Model (Integrated Science Assessment Model - 2.5D), which includes the OCMIP ocean chemistry routine and PlankTOM ocean biogeochemistry model (Le Quere et al., 2005), Cao et al. (2007) show that future changes in ocean acidification and saturation state of calcium carbonate minerals caused by CO2 emissions, are insensitive to the amounts of climate change. Simulations with zero climate change and CO2 emissions stabilizing at 1000 ppm, show that by the year 2500, surface ocean pH will drop by 0.47 relative to pre-industrial value of 8.17. Additional simulations with +4.5 degrees C change, provides a positive but negligible feedback through sea surface temperature and climate-induced DIC concentrations. 

Reference:
Long Cao, Ken Caldeira, and Atul K. Jain, 2007.
Effects of carbon dioxide and climate change on ocean acidification and carbonate mineral saturation
.
Geophys. Res. Letters, Vol. 34, L05607, doi:10.1029/2006GL028605

RELEVANT LINKS:

- Ocean Acidification – an EUROCEANS film in French and English with the participation of James Orr and Jean-Pierre Gattuso

- PlankTOM ocean biogeochemistry model – Project home site and model equations (provided by EUROCEANS’ Model Shopping Tool).



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