Acceleration of ocean acidification in the Western North Pacific

Because annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions have grown rapidly over the past decades, there is concern that anthropogenic CO2 invasion into the ocean may also have caused the rate of ocean acidification to increase. Here we report the decadal and longer term variability in the rates of change of inorganic carbon variables since the early 1980s in surface seawaters of various oceanic regions along the 137°E repeat line in the western North Pacific. In the Subtropical Frontal zone, we found that the mean rate of acidification tracked the acceleration of the atmospheric CO2 increase; during 2008–2017 the rate of acidification was 30% faster than during 1983–2017. In the Kuroshio Recirculation and tropical zone, acidification trends were clear, but the trends were modulated by decadal variability associated with temporal variability in regional ocean circulation.

Ono H., Kosugi N., Toyama K., Tsujino H., Kojima A., Enyo K., Iida Y., Nakano T. & Ishii M., in press. Acceleration of ocean Acidification in the Western North Pacific. Geophysical Research Letters. Article.

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