Posts Tagged 'globalmodeling'

Meeting climate targets by direct CO2 injections: what price would the ocean have to pay? (update)

We investigate the climate mitigation potential and collateral effects of direct injections of captured CO2 into the deep ocean as a possible means to close the gap between an intermediate CO2 emissions scenario and a specific temperature target, such as the 1.5 ∘C target aimed for by the Paris Agreement. For that purpose, a suite of approaches for controlling the amount of direct CO2 injections at 3000 m water depth are implemented in an Earth system model of intermediate complexity.

Following the representative concentration pathway RCP4.5, which is a medium mitigation CO2 emissions scenario, cumulative CO2 injections required to meet the 1.5 ∘C climate goal are found to be 390 Gt C by the year 2100 and 1562 Gt C at the end of simulations, by the year 3020. The latter includes a cumulative leakage of 602 Gt C that needs to be reinjected in order to sustain the targeted global mean temperature.

CaCO3 sediment and weathering feedbacks reduce the required CO2 injections that comply with the 1.5 ∘C target by about 13 % in 2100 and by about 11 % at the end of the simulation.

With respect to the injection-related impacts we find that average pH values in the surface ocean are increased by about 0.13 to 0.18 units, when compared to the control run. In the model, this results in significant increases in potential coral reef habitats, i.e., the volume of the global upper ocean (0 to 130 m depth) with omega aragonite > 3.4 and ocean temperatures between 21 and 28 ∘C, compared to the control run. The potential benefits in the upper ocean come at the expense of strongly acidified water masses at depth, with maximum pH reductions of about −2.37 units, relative to preindustrial levels, in the vicinity of the injection sites. Overall, this study demonstrates that massive amounts of CO2 would need to be injected into the deep ocean in order to reach and maintain the 1.5 ∘C climate target in a medium mitigation scenario on a millennium timescale, and that there is a trade-off between injection-related reductions in atmospheric CO2 levels accompanied by reduced upper-ocean acidification and adverse effects on deep-ocean chemistry, particularly near the injection sites.

Continue reading ‘Meeting climate targets by direct CO2 injections: what price would the ocean have to pay? (update)’

A global assessment of the vulnerability of shellfish aquaculture to climate change and ocean acidification

Human‐induced climate change and ocean acidification (CC‐OA) is changing the physical and biological processes occurring within the marine environment, with poorly understood implications for marine life. Within the aquaculture sector, molluskan culture is a relatively benign method of producing a high‐quality, healthy, and sustainable protein source for the expanding human population. We modeled the vulnerability of global bivalve mariculture to impacts of CC‐OA over the period 2020–2100, under RCP8.5. Vulnerability, assessed at the national level, was dependent on CC‐OA‐related exposure, taxon‐specific sensitivity and adaptive capacity in the sector. Exposure risk increased over time from 2020 to 2100, with ten nations predicted to experience very high exposure to CC‐OA in at least one decade during the period 2020–2100. Predicted high sensitivity in developing countries resulted, primarily, from the cultivation of species that have a narrow habitat tolerance, while in some European nations (France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) high sensitivity was attributable to the relatively high economic value of the shellfish production sector. Predicted adaptive capacity was low in developing countries primarily due to governance issues, while in some developed countries (Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) it was linked to limited species diversity in the sector. Developing and least developed nations (n = 15) were predicted to have the highest overall vulnerability. Across all nations, 2060 was identified as a tipping point where predicted CC‐OA will be associated with the greatest challenge to shellfish production. However, rapid declines in mollusk production are predicted to occur in the next decade for some nations, notably North Korea. Shellfish culture offers human society a low‐impact source of sustainable protein. This research highlights, on a global scale, the likely extent and nature of the CC‐OA‐related threat to shellfish culture and this sector enabling early‐stage adaption and mitigation.

Continue reading ‘A global assessment of the vulnerability of shellfish aquaculture to climate change and ocean acidification’

Year of emergence of ocean acidification in the global ocean

Year of emergence (YoE) is the year when an environment and the organisms within begin to experience significant different conditions (two times of natural variability) from the pre-industrial conditions (~1770 C.E.). This study calculates the global surface ocean YoEs for pH, partial pressure of CO(CO) and aragonite saturation (Ω) from a recent calculated surface ocean carbonate chemistry data product. The data product is calculated from the Surface Ocean CO Atlas version 6 (SOCATv6) with modeled CO changes in the global surface ocean from the ESM2M model. We find that CO, pH and Ω generally emerged from preindustrial conditions in the open ocean by the year 1950, while these properties have still not yet emerged along many ocean margins. We also find that Ω had a significantly delayed YoE compared to pH and CO. The delayed YoE for Ω is caused by its lasting sensitivity to temperature variability, which increases the natural variability experienced by organisms, and a partial cancellation of the long term acidification trend by the global warming. Together, YoEs presented here highlight that there are hotspots (open ocean) and coldspots (ocean margins that were impacted by boundary currents) for the emergence of anthropogenic signals. Continuous data collection and synthesis are needed to further examine the impact of ocean acidification on ecosystem health.

Continue reading ‘Year of emergence of ocean acidification in the global ocean’

Processes driving global interior ocean pH distribution

Ocean acidification evolves on the background of a natural ocean pH gradient that is the result of the interplay between ocean mixing, biological production and remineralization, calcium carbonate cycling, and temperature and pressure changes across the water column. While previous studies have analyzed these processes and their impacts on ocean carbonate chemistry, none have attempted to quantify their impacts on interior ocean pH globally. Here we evaluate how anthropogenic changes and natural processes collectively act on ocean pH, and how these processes set the vulnerability of regions to future changes in ocean acidification. We use the mapped data product from the Global Ocean Data Analysis Project version 2, a novel method to estimate preformed total alkalinity based on a combination of a total matrix intercomparison and locally interpolated regressions, and a comprehensive uncertainty analysis. We find that the largest contribution to the interior ocean pH gradient comes from organic matter remineralization, with CaCO3 cycling being the second most important process. The estimates of the impact of anthropogenic CO2 changes on pH reaffirm the large and well‐understood anthropogenic impact on pH in the surface ocean, and put it in the context of the natural pH gradient in the interior ocean. We also show that in the depth layer 500–1,500 m natural processes enhance ocean acidification by on average 28 ± 15%, but with large regional gradients.

Continue reading ‘Processes driving global interior ocean pH distribution’

Increase in ocean acidity variability and extremes under increasing atmospheric CO2

Ocean acidity extreme events are short-term periods of extremely high [H+] concentrations. The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 emissions by the ocean is expected to lead to more frequent and intense ocean acidity extreme events, not only due to mean ocean acidification, but also due to increases in ocean acidity variability. Here, we use daily output from ensemble simulations of a comprehensive Earth system model under a low and high CO2 emission scenario to isolate and quantify the impact of changes in variability on changes in ocean acidity extremes. We show that the number of days with extreme [H+] conditions for surface waters is projected to increase by a factor of 14 by the end of the 21st century under a high CO2 emission scenario relative to preindustrial levels. The duration of individual events is projected to triple, and the maximal intensity and the volume extent in the upper 200 m to quintuple. Similar changes are projected in the thermocline. At surface, the changes are mainly driven by increases in [H+] seasonality, whereas changes in interannual variability are also important in the thermocline. Increases in [H+] variability and extremes arise predominantly from increases in the sensitivity of [H+] to variations in its drivers. In contrast to [H+] extremes, the occurrence of short-term extremes in low aragonite saturation state due to changes in variability is projected to decrease. An increase in [H+] variability and an associated increase in extreme events superimposed onto the long-term ocean acidification trend will enhance the risk of severe and detrimental impacts on marine organisms, especially for those that are adapted to a more stable environment.

Continue reading ‘Increase in ocean acidity variability and extremes under increasing atmospheric CO2’

Twenty-first century ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation, and upper ocean nutrient decline from CMIP6 model projections

Anthropogenic climate change leads to ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation and reductions in near-surface nutrient concentrations, all of which are expected to affect marine ecosystems. Here we assess projections of these drivers of environmental change over the twenty-first century from Earth system models (ESMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) that were forced under the CMIP6 Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). Projections are compared to those from the previous generation (CMIP5) forced under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). 10 CMIP5 and 13 CMIP6 models are used in the two multi-model ensembles. Under the high-emission scenario SSP5–8.5, the model mean change (2080–2099 mean values relative to 1870–1899) in sea surface temperature, surface pH, subsurface (100–600 m) oxygen concentration and euphotic (0–100 m) nitrate concentration is +3.48 ± 0.78 °C, −0.44 ± 0.005, −13.27 ± 5.28 mmol m−3 and −1.07 ± 0.45 mmol m−3, respectively. Under the low-emission, high-mitigation scenario SSP1–2.6, the corresponding changes are +1.42 ± 0.32 °C, −0.16 ± 0.002, −6.36 ± 2.92 mmol m−3 and −0.53 ± 0.23 mmol m−3. Projected exposure of the marine ecosystem to these drivers of ocean change depends largely on the extent of future emissions, consistent with previous studies. The Earth system models in CMIP6 generally project greater surface warming, acidification, deoxygenation and euphotic nitrate reductions than those from CMIP5 under comparable radiative forcing, with no reduction in inter-model uncertainties. Under the high-emission CMIP5 scenario RCP8.5, the corresponding changes in sea surface temperature, surface pH, subsurface oxygen and euphotic nitrate concentration are +3.04 ± 0.62 °C, −0.38 ± 0.005, −9.51 ± 2.13 mmol m−3 and −0.66 ± 0.49 mmol m−3, respectively. The greater surface acidification in CMIP6 is primarily a consequence of the SSPs having higher associated atmospheric CO2 concentrations than their RCP analogues. The increased projected warming results from a general increase in the climate sensitivity of CMIP6 models relative to those of CMIP5. This enhanced warming results in greater increases in upper ocean stratification in CMIP6 projections, which contributes to greater reductions in euphotic nitrate and subsurface oxygen ventilation.

Continue reading ‘Twenty-first century ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation, and upper ocean nutrient decline from CMIP6 model projections’

The potential impact of nuclear conflict on ocean acidification

We demonstrate that the global cooling resulting from a range of nuclear conflict scenarios would temporarily increase the pH in the surface ocean by up to 0.06 units over a 5‐year period, briefly alleviating the decline in pH associated with ocean acidification. Conversely, the global cooling dissolves atmospheric carbon into the upper ocean, driving a 0.1 to 0.3 unit decrease in the aragonite saturation state (Ωarag) that persists for ~10 years. The peak anomaly in pH occurs 2 years post‐conflict, while the Ωarag anomaly peaks 4‐5 years post‐conflict. The decrease in Ωarag would exacerbate a primary threat of ocean acidification: the inability of marine calcifying organisms to maintain their shells/skeletons in a corrosive environment. Our results are based on sensitivity simulations conducted with a state‐of‐the‐art Earth system model integrated under various black carbon (soot) external forcings. Our findings suggest that regional nuclear conflict may have ramifications for global ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘The potential impact of nuclear conflict on ocean acidification’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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