Past changes of ocean carbonate chemistry

The geologic record may provide clues about what the future will hold for ocean chemistry changes and their effects on marine life. When studying the geologic record, however, the critical task is to identify an appropriate analogue for the future. This requires a basic understanding of ocean chemistry controls during long-term steady states and transient events, because carbonate chemistry parameters do not vary with the same relationship if either the rate of change or initial chemistry is very different. Another reason for studying past changes of ocean chemistry is that it allows us to evaluate the current anthropogenic perturbation in the context of Earth’s history. This chapter reviews basic controls on ocean carbonate chemistry on different timescales. Ocean chemistry changes during various geologic eras and past ocean acidification events are examined.

Zeebe R. E., & Ridgwell A., 2011. Past changes of ocean carbonate chemistry. In: Gattuso J.-P. & Hansson L. (Eds.), Ocean acidification, pp. 21-40. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Book.

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