A changing ocean seen with clarity

The Hawaiian archipelago, the most remote group of islands on Earth, has long been associated with the world’s most recognizable image of global change. The Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 record, begun in March 1958 by Charles David Keeling, shows with startling clarity the saw-tooth pattern of the seasonal changes of land vegetation, and the still astonishing, dominating, rise forced by fossil fuel burning which is rapidly changing our world. Within perhaps only 5 years the peak in the annual signal atop Mauna Loa will touch the 400 ppm by volume mark, which would have been inconceivable to scientists of the first half of the twentieth century. But there is one huge and environmentally critical signal that is not easily seen in the “Keeling curve,” and that is the oceanic uptake of fossil fuel CO2. In this issue of PNAS, Dore et al. (1) document with great clarity the changes in ocean CO2 chemistry and pH occurring in the ocean in the waters off Hawaii from fossil fuel CO2 invasion.

Brewer, P. G., 2009. A changing ocean seen with clarity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106: 12213-12214. Article (subscription required).

  • Reset


OA-ICC Highlights

%d bloggers like this: