Coastal ocean CO2-carbonic acid-carbonate sediment system of the Anthropocene

Andreas J. Andersson*, Fred T. Mackenzie, Abraham Lerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is little doubt that human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and land use practices have changed and will continue to change the cycling of carbon in the global coastal ocean. In the present study, two biogeochemical box models were used to investigate the consequences of increasing atmospheric CO2 and subsequent ocean acidification and increasing riverine transport of organic matter and nutrients arising from human activities on land on the global coastal ocean between the years 1700 and 2300. Numerical simulations show that the net flux Of CO2 between coastal ocean surface water and the atmosphere is likely to change during this time from net evasion to net invasion owing to increasing atmospheric CO2, increasing net ecosystem production arising from increasing nutrient loading to this region, and decreasing net ecosystem calcification due to lower carbonate ion concentration and subsequent lower surface water saturation state with respect to carbonate minerals. Model calculations show that surface water saturation state with respect to calcite will decrease 73% by the year 2300 under a business-as-usual scenario, which in concert with increasing temperature will cause overall biogenic calcification rate to decrease by 90%. Dissolution of carbonate minerals increased by 267% throughout the model simulation. This increase was in part due to increased invasion of atmospheric CO2, but mainly due to greater deposition and remineralization of land-derived and in situ produced organic matter in the sediments, producing CO2 that caused pore water pH and carbonate saturation state to decrease. This decrease, in turn, drove selective dissolution of metastable carbonate minerals. As a consequence, the relative carbonate composition of the sediments changed in favor of carbonate phases with lower solubility than that of an average 15 mol% magnesian calcite phase. Model projected changes in surface water carbonate saturation state agree well with observations from the Hawaiian Ocean Time series and the calculated air-sea CO2 exchange agrees well with a recent independent estimate of this flux derived from measurements from diverse coastal ecosystems scaled up to the global coastal ocean area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberGB1S92
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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