Posts Tagged 'biogeochemistry'

Effect of elevated pCO2 on trace gas production during an ocean acidification mesocosm experiment (update)

A mesocosm experiment was conducted in Wuyuan Bay (Xiamen), China, to investigate the effects of elevated pCO2 on the phytoplankton species Phaeodactylum tricornutum (P. tricornutum), Thalassiosira weissflogii (T. weissflogii) and Emiliania huxleyi (E. huxleyi) and their production ability of dimethylsulfide (DMS), dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), as well as four halocarbon compounds, bromodichloromethane (CHBrCl2), methyl bromide (CH3Br), dibromomethane (CH2Br2) and iodomethane (CH3I). Over a period of 5 weeks, P. tricornuntum outcompeted T. weissflogii and E. huxleyi, comprising more than 99% of the final biomass. During the logarithmic growth phase (phase I), mean DMS concentration in high pCO2 mesocosms (1000µatm) was 28% lower than that in low pCO2 mesocosms (400µatm). Elevated pCO2 led to a delay in DMSP-consuming bacteria concentrations attached to T. weissflogii and P. tricornutum and finally resulted in the delay of DMS concentration in the high pCO2 treatment. Unlike DMS, the elevated pCO2 did not affect DMSP production ability of T. weissflogii or P. tricornuntum throughout the 5-week culture. A positive relationship was detected between CH3I and T. weissflogii and P. tricornuntum during the experiment, and there was a 40% reduction in mean CH3I concentration in the high pCO2 mesocosms. CHBrCl2, CH3Br, and CH2Br2 concentrations did not increase with elevated chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations compared with DMS(P) and CH3I, and there were no major peaks both in the high pCO2 or low pCO2 mesocosms. In addition, no effect of elevated pCO2 was identified for any of the three bromocarbons.

Continue reading ‘Effect of elevated pCO2 on trace gas production during an ocean acidification mesocosm experiment (update)’

Seawater carbonate chemistry distributions across the Eastern South Pacific Ocean sampled as part of the GEOTRACES project and changes in marine carbonate chemistry over the past 20 years

The US GEOTRACES Eastern Pacific Zonal Transect in 2013 that sampled in the South Pacific Ocean has provided an opportunity to investigate the biogeochemical cycling of trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) and seawater carbon dioxide (CO2)–carbonate chemistry. Across the Peru to Tahiti section, the entire water column was sampled for total alkalinity (TA) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), in addition to core hydrographic and chemical measurements conducted as part of the GEOTRACES cruise. From the nutrient-rich, low-oxygen coastal upwelling region adjacent to Peru to the oligotrophic central Pacific, very large horizontal gradients in marine carbonate chemistry were observed. Near the coast of Peru, upwelling of CO2-rich waters from the oxygen-deficient zone (ODZ) impinged at the surface with very high partial pressures of CO2 (pCO2; >800–1,200 μatm), and low pH (7.55–7.8). These waters were also undersaturated with respect to aragonite, a common calcium carbonate (CaCO3) mineral. These chemical conditions are not conducive to pelagic and shelf calcification, with shelf calcareous sediments vulnerable to CaCO3 dissolution, and to the future impacts of ocean acidification. A comparison to earlier data collected from 1991 to 1994 suggests that surface seawater DIC and pCO2 have increased by as much as 3 and 20%, respectively, while pH and saturation state for aragonite (Ωaragonite) have decreased by as much as 0.063 and 0.54, respectively. In intermediate waters (∼200–500 m), dissolved oxygen has decreased (loss of up to -43 μmoles kg-1) and nitrate increased (gain of up to 5 μmoles kg-1) over the past 20 years and this likely reflects the westward expansion of the ODZ across the central Eastern South Pacific Ocean. Over the same period, DIC and pCO2 increased by as much as +45 μmoles kg-1 and +145 μatm, respectively, while pH and Ωaragonite decreased by -0.091 and -0.45, respectively. Such rapid change in pH and CO2–carbonate chemistry over the past 20 years reflects substantial changes in the ODZ and water-column remineralization of organic matter with no direct influence from uptake of anthropogenic CO2. Estimates of anthropogenic carbon (i.e., CANT) determined using the TrOCA method showed no significant changes between 1993 and 2014 in these water masses. These findings have implications for changing the thermodynamics and solubility of intermediate water TEIs, but also for the marine ecosystem of the upper waters, especially for the vertically migrating community present in the eastern South Pacific Ocean.

Continue reading ‘Seawater carbonate chemistry distributions across the Eastern South Pacific Ocean sampled as part of the GEOTRACES project and changes in marine carbonate chemistry over the past 20 years’

CO2 modulation of the rates of photosynthesis and light-dependent O2 consumption in Trichodesmium

We established the relationship between gross photosynthetic O2 evolution and light-dependent O2 consumption in Trichodesmium erythraeum IMS101 acclimated to three targeted pCO2 concentrations (180 µmol mol-1 = low-CO2, 380 µmol mol-1 = mid-CO2 and 720 µmol mol-1 = high-CO2). We found that biomass (carbon) specific, light-saturated maximum net O2 evolution rates (PnC,max) and acclimated growth rates increased from low- to mid-CO2, but did not differ significantly between mid- and high-CO2. Dark respiration rates were five-times higher than required to maintain cellular metabolism, suggesting that respiration provides a substantial proportion of the ATP and reductant for N2 fixation. Oxygen uptake increased linearly with gross O2 evolution across light intensities ranging from darkness to 1100 µmol photons m-2 s-1. The slope of this relationship decreased with increasing CO2, which we attribute to the increased energetic cost of operating the carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM) at lower CO2 concentrations. Our results indicate that net photosynthesis and growth of T. erythraeum IMS101 would have been severely CO2 limited at the last glacial maximum, but that the direct effect of future increases of CO2 may only cause marginal increases in growth.

Continue reading ‘CO2 modulation of the rates of photosynthesis and light-dependent O2 consumption in Trichodesmium’

Planar optode observation method for the effect of raindrop on dissolved oxygen and pH diffusion of air–water interface

The air–water interface is an important boundary where material exchanges, it has important influence on ecosystem and biogeochemical cycle. The rain can change the balance of interface, improve the exchange rate of gas flux, and make the distribution of dissolved oxygen and pH around the interface change in horizontal and vertical direction. Based on planar sensing film with highly spatial and temporal resolution which can provide the characteristics of two-dimensional distribution information, we carry out the simulation experiment of raindrops about oxygen and pH distribution in air–water interface using double parameters planar optode. The experimental data are analyzed from the gas transfer velocity, the kinetic energy flux and the sea-air flux of oxygen. The results show that rainfall process plays an important role in adjusting dissolved oxygen and pH of the surface water, the raindrop can break the balance of micro surface of water–gas interface mechanism, increase the gas transfer velocity and promote the dissolution of oxygen in the atmosphere in water to make a average increase of about 2.3 mg/L in vertical direction 23 mm. The impact of rainfall on pH of the water surface within 12 mm is relatively obvious, the pH value decreased by an average of 0.2–0.4 units, indicating that the raindrop promoted the migration of the atmosphere in the air–water interface, and the dissolved CO2 caused the surface water acidification. This study provides a novel technical method for understanding the influence of raindrops on the dissolved oxygen concentration and pH of the surface water in low wind-impacting area and static-water area.

Continue reading ‘Planar optode observation method for the effect of raindrop on dissolved oxygen and pH diffusion of air–water interface’

Current CaCO3 dissolution at the seafloor caused by anthropogenic CO2

Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 leads to decreased pH, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation state with respect to CaCO3 minerals, causing increased dissolution of these minerals at the deep seafloor. This additional dissolution will figure prominently in the neutralization of man-made CO2. However, there has been no concerted assessment of the current extent of anthropogenic CaCO3 dissolution at the deep seafloor. Here, recent databases of bottom-water chemistry, benthic currents, and CaCO3 content of deep-sea sediments are combined with a rate model to derive the global distribution of benthic calcite dissolution rates and obtain primary confirmation of an anthropogenic component. By comparing preindustrial with present-day rates, we determine that significant anthropogenic dissolution now occurs in the western North Atlantic, amounting to 40–100% of the total seafloor dissolution at its most intense locations. At these locations, the calcite compensation depth has risen ∼300 m. Increased benthic dissolution was also revealed at various hot spots in the southern extent of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Our findings place constraints on future predictions of ocean acidification, are consequential to the fate of benthic calcifiers, and indicate that a by-product of human activities is currently altering the geological record of the deep sea.

Continue reading ‘Current CaCO3 dissolution at the seafloor caused by anthropogenic CO2’

Coral reef carbonate budgets and ecological drivers in the central Red Sea – a naturally high temperature and high total alkalinity environment

The structural framework provided by corals is crucial for reef ecosystem function and services, but high seawater temperatures can be detrimental to the calcification capacity of reef-building organisms. The Red Sea is very warm, but total alkalinity (TA) is naturally high and beneficial for reef accretion. To date, we know little about how such detrimental and beneficial abiotic factors affect each other and the balance between calcification and erosion on Red Sea coral reefs, i.e., overall reef growth, in this unique ocean basin. To provide estimates of present-day reef growth dynamics in the central Red Sea, we measured two metrics of reef growth, i.e., in situ net-accretion/-erosion rates (Gnet) determined by deployment of limestone blocks and ecosystem-scale carbonate budgets (Gbudget), along a cross-shelf gradient (25km, encompassing nearshore, midshore, and offshore reefs). Along this gradient, we assessed multiple abiotic (i.e., temperature, salinity, diurnal pH fluctuation, inorganic nutrients, and TA) and biotic (i.e., calcifier and epilithic bioeroder communities) variables. Both reef growth metrics revealed similar patterns from nearshore to offshore: net-erosive, neutral, and net-accretion states. The average cross-shelf Gbudget was 0.66kg CaCO3m−2yr−1, with the highest budget of 2.44kg CaCO3m−2yr−1 measured in the offshore reef. These data are comparable to the contemporary Gbudgets from the western Atlantic and Indian oceans, but lie well below optimal reef production (5–10kg CaCO3m−2yr−1) and below maxima recently recorded in remote high coral cover reef sites. However, the erosive forces observed in the Red Sea nearshore reef contributed less than observed elsewhere. A higher TA accompanied reef growth across the shelf gradient, whereas stronger diurnal pH fluctuations were associated with negative carbonate budgets. Noteworthy for this oligotrophic region was the positive effect of phosphate, which is a central micronutrient for reef building corals. While parrotfish contributed substantially to bioerosion, our dataset also highlights coralline algae as important local reef builders. Altogether, our study establishes a baseline for reef growth in the central Red Sea that should be useful in assessing trajectories of reef growth capacity under current and future ocean scenarios.

Continue reading ‘Coral reef carbonate budgets and ecological drivers in the central Red Sea – a naturally high temperature and high total alkalinity environment’

CO2 storage and release in the deep Southern Ocean on millennial to centennial timescales

The cause of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) during the recent ice ages is yet to be fully explained. Most mechanisms for glacial–interglacial CO2 change have centred on carbon exchange with the deep ocean, owing to its large size and relatively rapid exchange with the atmosphere1. The Southern Ocean is thought to have a key role in this exchange, as much of the deep ocean is ventilated to the atmosphere in this region2. However, it is difficult to reconstruct changes in deep Southern Ocean carbon storage, so few direct tests of this hypothesis have been carried out. Here we present deep-sea coral boron isotope data that track the pH—and thus the CO2 chemistry—of the deep Southern Ocean over the past forty thousand years. At sites closest to the Antarctic continental margin, and most influenced by the deep southern waters that form the ocean’s lower overturning cell, we find a close relationship between ocean pH and atmospheric CO2: during intervals of low CO2, ocean pH is low, reflecting enhanced ocean carbon storage; and during intervals of rising CO2, ocean pH rises, reflecting loss of carbon from the ocean to the atmosphere. Correspondingly, at shallower sites we find rapid (millennial- to centennial-scale) decreases in pH during abrupt increases in CO2, reflecting the rapid transfer of carbon from the deep ocean to the upper ocean and atmosphere. Our findings confirm the importance of the deep Southern Ocean in ice-age CO2 change, and show that deep-ocean CO2 release can occur as a dynamic feedback to rapid climate change on centennial timescales.

Continue reading ‘CO2 storage and release in the deep Southern Ocean on millennial to centennial timescales’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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