Posts Tagged 'chemistry'

The effect of Agulhas eddies on absorption and transport of anthropogenic carbon in the South Atlantic Ocean

The South Atlantic Ocean is currently undergoing significant alterations due to climate change. This region is important to the global carbon cycle, but marine carbon data are scarce in this basin. Additionally, this region is influenced by Agulhas eddies. However, their effects on ocean biogeochemistry are not yet fully understood. Thus, we aimed to model the carbonate parameters in this region and investigate the anthropogenic carbon (Cant) content in 13 eddies shed by the Agulhas retroflection. We used in situ data from the CLIVAR/WOCE/A10 section to elaborate total dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) and total alkalinity (AT) models and reconstruct those parameters using in situ data from two other Brazilian initiatives. Furthermore, we applied the Tracer combining Oxygen, inorganic Carbon, and total Alkalinity (TrOCA) method to calculate the Cant, focusing on the 13 identified Agulhas eddies. The CT and AT models presented root mean square errors less than 1.66 and 2.19 μmol kg−1, indicating Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network climate precision. The Cant content in the Agulhas eddies was 23% higher than that at the same depths of the surrounding waters. We observed that Agulhas eddies can play a role in the faster acidification of the South Atlantic Central Water.

Continue reading ‘The effect of Agulhas eddies on absorption and transport of anthropogenic carbon in the South Atlantic Ocean’

An enhanced ocean acidification observing network: from people to technology to data synthesis and information exchange

A successful integrated ocean acidification (OA) observing network must include (1) scientists and technicians from a range of disciplines from physics to chemistry to biology to technology development; (2) government, private, and intergovernmental support; (3) regional cohorts working together on regionally specific issues; (4) publicly accessible data from the open ocean to coastal to estuarine systems; (5) close integration with other networks focusing on related measurements or issues including the social and economic consequences of OA; and (6) observation-based informational products useful for decision making such as management of fisheries and aquaculture. The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON), a key player in this vision, seeks to expand and enhance geographic extent and availability of coastal and open ocean observing data to ultimately inform adaptive measures and policy action, especially in support of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. GOA-ON works to empower and support regional collaborative networks such as the Latin American Ocean Acidification Network, supports new scientists entering the field with training, mentorship, and equipment, refines approaches for tracking biological impacts, and stimulates development of lower-cost methodology and technologies allowing for wider participation of scientists. GOA-ON seeks to collaborate with and complement work done by other observing networks such as those focused on carbon flux into the ocean, tracking of carbon and oxygen in the ocean, observing biological diversity, and determining short- and long-term variability in these and other ocean parameters through space and time.

Continue reading ‘An enhanced ocean acidification observing network: from people to technology to data synthesis and information exchange’

Characteristics of the carbonate system in a semiarid estuary that experiences summertime hypoxia

In oceanic environments, two sources of CO2 have been found to contribute to acidification of stratified water bodies, i.e., CO2 invasion due to anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 increase and respiration-produced CO2 from organic matter remineralization. Acidification caused by these CO2 sources has been observed frequently in numerous environments spanning from open continental shelves to enclosed estuaries. Here, we report observations on carbonate system dynamics in a relatively well-buffered lagoonal estuary, Corpus Christi Bay (CCB), in a semiarid subtropical region that is influenced by summertime hypoxia as well as strong evaporation and seagrass vegetation in the vicinity. While the relationship between dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH in the bottom waters of CCB was positive as in other coastal and estuarine environments prone to hypoxia, the slope was significantly less than in other systems. We attribute the high buffering capacity in CCB to the presence of abundant seagrass meadows adjacent to CCB and strong evaporation-produced density flow that delivers low CO2 waters to the bottom of CCB. Thus, despite the occurrence of hypoxia, neither bottom water carbonate saturation state with respect to aragonite (Ωarg) nor CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) reached critical levels, i.e., undersaturation (i.e., Ωarag1000 µatm), respectively.

Continue reading ‘Characteristics of the carbonate system in a semiarid estuary that experiences summertime hypoxia’

Seasonal dynamics of the marine CO2 system in Adventfjorden, a west Spitsbergen fjord

Time series of the marine CO2 system and related parameters at the IsA Station, by Adventfjorden, Svalbard, were investigated between March 2015 and November 2017. The physical and biogeochemical processes that govern changes in total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and the saturation state of the calcium carbonate mineral aragonite (ΩAr) were assessed on a monthly timescale. The major driver for TA and DIC was changes in salinity, caused by river runoff, mixing and advection. This accounted for 77 and 45%, respectively, of the overall variability. It contributed minimally to the variability in ΩAr (5%); instead, biological activity was responsible for 60% of the monthly variations. For DIC, the biological activity was also important, contributing 44%. The monthly effect of air–sea CO2 fluxes accounted for 11 and 15% of the total changes in DIC and ΩAr, respectively. Net community production (NCP) during the productive season ranged between 65 and 85 g C m−2, depending on the year and the presence of either Arctic water or transformed Atlantic water (TAW). The annual NCP as estimated from DIC consumption was 34 g C m−2 yr−1 in 2016, which was opposite in direction but similar in magnitude to the integrated annual air–sea CO2 flux (i.e., uptake of carbon from the atmosphere) of −29 g C m−2 yr−1 for the same year. The results showed that increased intrusions of TAW into Adventfjorden in the future could possibly lower the NCP, with the potential to reduce the CO2buffer capacity and ΩAr over the summer season.

Continue reading ‘Seasonal dynamics of the marine CO2 system in Adventfjorden, a west Spitsbergen fjord’

Effects of coralline algal diffusion boundary layers on growth of newly settled sea urchins: implications for ocean acidification conditions

Macroalgae are able to modify their local environment via biological processes, thereby creating a diffusive boundary layer (DBL) where the chemical and physical environment differs from the overlying bulk seawater. In slow flow environments, the DBL has the potential to modulate effects of reduced seawater pH associated with ocean acidification (OA). OA poses a major threat to marine ecosystems and particularly to calcifying organisms. While implications for macroalgae and corals in the DBL have been studied, the effects on invertebrates settling and inhabiting the DBL are not well understood. This study examines
the oxygen and pH conditions within coralline algal DBLs that change as a result of irradiance, flow and bulk seawater pH, in order to understand the effects of these variable conditions on growth of juvenile sea urchins in the DBL. Oxygen concentrations, used as a proxy for pH based on previous research, were measured above crustose coralline algal surfaces to determine DBL thickness and pH levels within the DBL. Newly settled juvenile sea urchins Pseudechinus huttoni were subsequently grown in these conditions for up to 11 days. Morphological measurements (test diameter and spine length) and scanning electron microscopy were used to examine growth and calcification of sea urchins.

Seawater pH levels above CCA varied as a result of irradiance, flow and bulk seawater pH. In static flow, CCA increased pH at its surface up to approximately 0.8 units above the overlying bulk seawater in the light, but only decreased pH up to nearly 0.09 units below bulk seawater in the dark. DBLs were thickest at zero or slow flow (1 cm s-1 ) in the light. pH levels in the DBL varied from approximately pHT 7.4 to 8.6, but there was no strong effect of these varying pH levels within the DBL on post-settlement growth of P. huttoni juveniles. Life in
the diffusion boundary has allowed juveniles to adapt to grow and calcify in naturally fluctuating pH environments. This finding supports observations seen in other juvenile sea urchins, and is significant because it indicates that the early post-settlement stage may not be as sensitive to OA as the larval stage, where negative effects have been previously documented. Life in thick diffusion boundary layers above CCA in slow-flow fjord environments may have increased tolerance of juvenile P. huttoni to reduced bulk seawater pH, thereby conferring greater resilience to future ocean acidification conditions.

Continue reading ‘Effects of coralline algal diffusion boundary layers on growth of newly settled sea urchins: implications for ocean acidification conditions’

Modelling carbon exchange in the air, sea, and ice of the Arctic Ocean

The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolution of the Arctic Ocean’s carbon uptake capacity and impacts on ocean acidification with the changing sea-ice scape. In particular, I study the influence on air-ice-sea fluxes of carbon with two major updates to commonly-used carbon cycle models I have included. One, incorporation of sea ice algae to the ecosystem, and two, modification of the sea-ice carbon pump, to transport brineassociated Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) and Total Alkalinity (TA) to the depth of the bottom of the mixed layer (as opposed to releasing it in the surface model layer). I developed the ice algal ecosystem model by adding a sympagic (ice-associated) ecosystem into a 1D coupled sea ice-ocean model. The 1D model was applied to Resolute Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and evaluated with observations from a field campaign during the spring of 2010. I then implemented an inorganic carbon system into the model. The carbon system includes effects on both DIC and TA due to the coupled ice-ocean ecosystem, ikaite precipitation and dissolution, ice-air and air-sea carbon exchange, and ice-sea DIC and TA exchange through a formulation for brine rejection to depth and freshwater dilution associated with ice growth and melt. The 1D simulated ecosystem was found to compare reasonably well with observations in terms of bloom onset and seasonal progression for both the sympagic and pelagic algae. In addition, the inorganic carbon system showed reasonable agreement between observations of upper water column DIC and TA content. The simulated average ocean carbon uptake during the period of open water was 10.2 mmol C m−2 day−1 (11 g C m−2 over the entire open-water season).

Using the developments from the 1D model, a 3D biogeochemical model of the Arctic Ocean incorporating both sea ice and the water column was developed and tested, with a focus on the pan-Arctic oceanic uptake of carbon in the recent era of Arctic sea ice decline (1980 – 2015). The model suggests the total uptake of carbon for the Arctic Ocean (north of 66.5N) increases from 110 Tg C yr−1 in the early eighties (1980 – 1985) to 140 Tg C yr−1 for 2010 – 2015, an increase of 30%. The rise in SST accounts for 10% of the increase in simulated pan-Arctic sea surface pCO2. A regional analysis indicated large variability between regions, with the Laptev Sea exhibiting low sea surface pH relative to the pan- Arctic domain mean and seasonal undersaturation of arag by the end of the standard run.

Two sensitivity studies were performed to assess the effects of sea-ice algae and the sea-ice carbon pump in the pan-Arctic, with a focus on sea surface inorganic carbon properties. Excluding the sea ice-carbon-pump showed a marked decrease in seasonal variability of sea-surface DIC and TA averaged over the Arctic Ocean compared to the standard run, but only a small change in the net total carbon uptake (of 1% by the end of the no icecarbon- pump run). Neglecting the sea ice algae, on the other hand, exhibits only a small change in sea-surface DIC and TA averaged over the pan-Arctic Ocean, but a cumulative effect on the net total carbon uptake of the Arctic Ocean (reaching 5% less than that of the standard run by the end of the no-ice-algae run).

Continue reading ‘Modelling carbon exchange in the air, sea, and ice of the Arctic Ocean’

Quantifying susceptibility of marine invertebrate biocomposites to dissolution in reduced pH

Ocean acidification threatens many ecologically and economically important marine calcifiers. The increase in shell dissolution under the resulting reduced pH is an important and increasingly recognized threat. The biocomposites that make up calcified hardparts have a range of taxon-specific compositions and microstructures, and it is evident that these may influence susceptibilities to dissolution. Here, we show how dissolution (thickness loss), under both ambient and predicted end-century pH (approx. 7.6), varies between seven different bivalve molluscs and one crustacean biocomposite and investigate how this relates to details of their microstructure and composition. Over 100 days, the dissolution of all microstructures was greater under the lower pH in the end-century conditions. Dissolution of lobster cuticle was greater than that of any bivalve microstructure, despite its calcite mineralogy, showing the importance of other microstructural characteristics besides carbonate polymorph. Organic content had the strongest positive correlation with dissolution when all microstructures were considered, and together with Mg/Ca ratio, explained 80–90% of the variance in dissolution. Organic content, Mg/Ca ratio, crystal density and mineralogy were all required to explain the maximum variance in dissolution within only bivalve microstructures, but still only explained 50–60% of the variation in dissolution.

Continue reading ‘Quantifying susceptibility of marine invertebrate biocomposites to dissolution in reduced pH’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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