Insignificant buffering capacity of Antarctic shelf carbonates

We combined data sets of measured sedimentary CaCO3 and satellite-derived pelagic primary production to parameterize the relation between CaCO3 content on the Antarctic shelves and primary production in the overlying water column. CaCO3 content predicted in this way was in good agreement with the measured data. The parameterization was then used to chart CaCO3 content on the Antarctic shelves all around the Antarctic, using the satellite-derived primary production. The total inventory of CaCO3 in the bioturbated layer of Antarctic shelf sediments was estimated to be 0.5 Pg C. This quantity is comparable to the total CO2 uptake by the Southern Ocean in only one to a few years (dependent on the uptake estimate and area considered), indicating that the dissolution of these carbonates will neither delay ocean acidification in this area nor augment the Southern Ocean CO2 uptake capacity.

Key Points

  • Sedimentary CaCO3 can be predicted from Primary Production in the water column
  • The inventory of CaCO3 in surface sediments on Antarctic shelves is 0.5 Pg C
  • Dissolution of CaCO3 cannot buffer pH or CO2 in the Southern Ocean

Hauck J., Arrigo K. R., Hoppema M., van Dijken G., Völker C. D. & Wolf-Gladrow D. A., in press. Insignificant buffering capacity of Antarctic shelf carbonates. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. doi:10.1029/2011GB004211. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Insignificant buffering capacity of Antarctic shelf carbonates”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 746,693 hits

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 888 other followers