Rapid increase of pCO2 and seawater acidification along Kuroshio at the east edge of the East China Sea

Graphical abstract

Highlights

  • Fast rates of pCO2 increase and seawater acidification were found along the Kuroshio mainstream near the East China Sea
  • Under sustained DIC increase, faster seawater warming led to rapid rates of pCO2 increase and acidification
  • It potentially implies a gradual loss of oceanic CO2 uptake in ocean margins under climate change.

Abstract

Rates of seawater acidification and rise of partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) at ocean margins are highly uncertain. In this study, nine years of time-series data sampled during 2010–2018 along Kuroshio Current near the East China Sea (ECS) were investigated. We found trends of surface seawater pCO2 at 3.70 ± 0.57 μatm year−1 and pH at −0.0033 ± 0.0009 unityear−1, both of which were significantly greater than those reported from other oceanic time series. Mechanistic analysis showed that seawater warming caused rapid rates of pCO2 increase and acidification under sustained DIC increase. The faster pCO2 growth relative to the atmosphere resulted in the CO2 uptake through the air-sea exchange declining by ~50 % (~−0.8 to −0.4 mol C m−2 year−1) over the study period. Our results imply that rapidly warming boundary currents could potentially present an elevated pCO2 trend, leading to a gradual reduction and eventual loss of oceanic CO2 uptake under climate change.

Tsao S.-E., Shen P.-Y. & Tseng C.-M., 2023. Rapid increase of pCO2 and seawater acidification along Kuroshio at the east edge of the East China Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin 186: 114471. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114471. Article.


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