Ocean acidification sessions at the EGU Meeting, Vienna, April 2011

There will be several ocean acidification sessions at the upcoming meeting of the European Geosciences Union (Vienna, 3-8 April 2011). General information on the meeting is available here: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2011/. Information on the ocean acidification sessions is appended below.

The deadline for abstract submission is 10 January 2011.

BG3.1: Ocean acidification and its impact on polar ecosystems

Convener: Jean-Pierre Gattuso
Co-Conveners: Ulf Riebesell , Stephen Widdicombe

Ocean acidity has increased by 30% since preindustrial times due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2. It is projected to rise by another 100% by 2100 if CO2 emissions continue at current rates. Polar seas are considered to be particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification because the high solubility of CO2 in cold waters results in naturally low carbonate saturation states. CO2-induced acidification will make these waters undersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate and, therefore, corrosive for calcareous organisms. By the time atmospheric CO2 exceeds 490 parts per million (2040 to 2050, depending on the scenario considered), more than half of the Arctic Ocean is projected to be corrosive to aragonite.

Presentations from the EPOCA Svalbard experiments (2009 and 2010) are particularly welcome as are all contributions addressing ocean acidification in polar areas, including observations, experiments and modeling.

Abstract submission [link to http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/6401]

BG3.7: Impact of climate change and ocean acidification on the Mediterranean Sea

Convener: Conny Maier
Co-Conveners: Patrizia Ziveri , Jason Hall-Spencer , Markus Weinbauer

The accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere is affecting ocean temperatures as well as the sea water carbonate chemistry. The unique setting of the Mediterranean Sea makes it an excellent experimental system to study and predict the impact of sea water acidification. The thermohaline circulation creates steep W-E directed physicochemical gradients, with increasing salinity, temperature,stratification and alkalinity towards the east. The generally oligotrophic to ultraoligotrophic offshore waters stand in contrast to eutrophication in certain coastal areas with coral and seagrass ecosystems. In addition, the modern Mediterranean changing climate is characterized by a significant increase in seawater temperatures due to global warming. These anthropogenic changes (sea water acidification and warming) are anticipated to continue and will be substantial, depending on global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. There is considerable concern that the recorded and anticipated changes in seawater temperature and pH will have
wide-ranging impacts on the coastal and marine ecosystems of the
Mediterranean Sea. We are inviting contributions presenting advance in one or several of these topics (e.g response to Mediterranean climate change of single model organisms, especially marine calcifying organisms, or on community or ecosystem level) providing in-depth reviews and guidance for important future research, or show Quaternary paleoceanographic and modeling case studies.

Abstract submission [link to http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/7248]

CL1.19: Ocean climate viewed through deep-sea corals

Convener: Norbert Frank
Co-Conveners: Tina van de Flierdt , Andres Rüggeberg

Over the past decade deep-sea (cold-water) corals have emerged as a new archive of ocean dynamics and climate change. Numerous species can be precisely dated, provide rapidly growing aragonite skeletons to investigate novel geochemical tracers and occur with high spatial and temporal coverage throughout the world oceans. Since the late nineties much progress on dating tools, tracer developments and bio-mineralization have been made, indicating climate and oceanic changes from decades to hundreds of thousands of years. Consequently, we invite here to present records of present and past ocean dynamics and climate change including ocean acidification as derived from deep-sea corals and we greatly welcome furthermore studies on cold-water coral bio-mineralization and reef development.

Abstract submission [link to http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/7122/acidification]

BG3.6/SSP4.4: Biogeochemical cycling in modern and ancient earth systems

Convener: Caroline P. Slomp
Co-Conveners: Jack Middelburg , Lovisa Zillén

The biogeochemical cycling of elements such as phosphorus, nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and oxygen is intimately connected to the evolution of life on earth. This session aims to bring together researchers studying the coupling between these elemental cycles, including the role of biological processes (bacteria, macrofauna) and the response to perturbation for both modern and ancient earth environments. Examples of topics include – but are not limited to – the effects of expanding hypoxia on elemental cycling in coastal systems and the open ocean, the evolution of elemental cycling over earth’s history, the consequences of ocean acidification for the ocean carbon cycle, and the role of bacteria and macrofauna for mineral formation, recycling of nutrients and organic carbon preservation in sediments.

Abstract submission [link to http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/6402/acidification]

BG6.1: Calcification mechanisms and its relation to calcium carbonate-based proxies

Convener: Lennart de Nooijer
Co-Conveners: Kai Schulz , Daniela Schmidt, Gert-Jan Reichart

Fossil biogenic calcium carbonate is a popular tool to reconstruct past marine environments. The success of their application in paleoceanographical studies is based on the correlation of environmental parameters (e.g. SST, salinity, pH) to calcite’s/ aragonite’s trace elemental composition or stable isotopic fractionation. The currently employed calibrations are derived from field as well as culturing studies and a mechanistic understanding of trace element and isotope fractionations is starting to emerge from physiological studies on living foraminifera, corals and coccolithophores. Integrating the different approaches holds great potential for improving the accuracy, precision and scale of their paleoceanographic application.

This session aims to bring together the wide spectrum of current research on calcifying organisms and their paleoceanographic applications, aiming to improve/validate existing proxies or explore new ones. We invite abstracts for poster- and oral presentations encompassing areas including analytical developments in elemental and isotopic determination, culturing designs, cell-physiological studies, field surveys and the paleoceanographic application of marine calcifyers.

BG7.2: gas hydrate environments

Convener: Matthias Haeckel
Co-Convener: Judith Maria Schicks

Over the last decade increasing attention has been drawn to gas hydrates in submarine environments. Interests were rising from different directions including (1) the potential of methane hydrates as future energy resource, (2) the sub-seabed storage of CO2 as solid gas hydrates, (3) the potential danger of melting gas hydrates on accelerating climate change and ocean acidification, and (4) the role of methane hydrates in benthic ecosystems such as chemosynthetic cold-seep habitats.

For all of these studies, however, a basic understanding of the behavior of gas hydrates in the natural environment is the common pre-requisite. In this session, we aim to bring together scientists from the fields of geology, physical chemistry, isotope geochemistry, biogeochemistry, numerical modeling as well as the energy and CCS sector to discuss recent knowledge on gas hydrate properties, occurrences, and reactions in marine sediments. Some of the questions we would like to address are: How and where do gas hydrates form in marine sediments? How does gas hydrate formation change the geochemistry and geomechanics of sediments and what are the gas and fluid sources? What causes gas hydrates to destabilize? What is the importance of the composition and structure of gas hydrates on its stability? Which reactions do we expect when submarine gas hydrate reservoirs destabilize? What role do benthic microorganisms play during the persistence and dissociation of submarine gas hydrates? Which are the key parameters to monitor and the risks to assess when exploiting hydrate reservoirs, including techniques such as injection of CO2 into hydrate-bearing sediments? How are the physical properties of the multiphase sediment composite altered by hydrates?

We especially would like to encourage scientists who are studying gas hydrates at their stability limits in the changing natural environment or in the area of gas hydrate production/CCS to submit their abstracts to this session.

Abstract submission [link to http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/7034/acidification]

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