Time variability of the north-western Mediterranean Sea pH over 1995–2011

Factors controlling ocean acidification and its temporal variations were studied over the 1995–2011 period at the Dyfamed site at 10 m depth, in the North Mediterranean Sea. The results indicated a mean annual decrease of 0.003 ± 0.001 pH units on the seawater scale. The seasonal variability was characterized by a pH decrease during springtime and a strong pH increase in late fall. Anthropogenic CO2 (CANT) absorption by the ocean was the key driver of seawater acidification in this region, accounting for about 70% of the observed drop in pH, followed by water temperature (about 30%). The total inorganic carbon (CT) data showed a CT increase of 30.0 ± 1.0 μmol kg−1 per decade. This decadal increase is mainly due to the CANT penetration (43.2 μmol kg−1 per decade) in surface waters, which is mitigated for by relatively small opposing changes in CT due to physical and biological processes.

Marcellin Yao K., Marcou O., Goyet C., Guglielmi V., Touratier F. & Savy J.-P., in press. Time variability of the north-western Mediterranean Sea pH over 1995–2011. Marine Environmental Research. Article (subscription required).

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