Posts Tagged 'modeling'

Insights from GO-SHIP hydrography data into the thermodynamic consistency of CO2 system measurements in seawater

• The thermodynamic consistency of CO2 system measurements was investigated.

• Errors in CO2 measurements are unlikely to be the main cause of inconsistencies.

• There are likely systematic errors in K1, K2, and the total boron-salinity ratio.

• An unaccounted source of alkalinity may be present in the open ocean.

Due to advances in technology, routine seawater pH measurements of excellent repeatability are becoming increasingly common for studying the ocean CO2 system. However, the accuracy of pH measurements has come into question due to a widespread observation, from a large number of carefully calibrated state-of-the-art CO2 measurements on various cruises, of there being a significant pH-dependent discrepancy between pH that was measured spectrophotometrically and pH calculated from concurrent measurements of total dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) and total alkalinity (AT), using a thermodynamic model of seawater

acid-base systems. From an analysis of four recent GO-SHIP repeat hydrography datasets, we show that a combination of small systematic errors in the dissociation constants of carbonic acid (K1 and K2), the total boron-salinity ratio, and in CT and AT measurements are likely responsible for some, but not all of the observed pH-dependent discrepancy. The residual discrepancy can only be fully accounted for if there exists a small, but meaningful amount (~4 μmol kg–1) of an unidentified and typically neglected contribution to measured AT, likely from organic bases, that is widespread in the open ocean. A combination of these errors could achieve consistency between measured and calculated pH, without requiring that any of the shipboard measurements be significantly in error. Future research should focus on establishing the existence of organic alkalinity in the open ocean and constraining the uncertainty in both CO2 measurements and in the constants used in CO2 calculations.

Continue reading ‘Insights from GO-SHIP hydrography data into the thermodynamic consistency of CO2 system measurements in seawater’

Highest plasticity of carbon‐concentrating mechanisms in earliest evolved phytoplankton

Phytoplankton photosynthesis strongly relies on the operation of carbon‐concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) to accumulate CO2 around their carboxylating enzyme ribulose‐1,5‐bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO). Earlier evolved phytoplankton groups were shown to exhibit higher CCM activities to compensate for their RuBisCO with low CO2 specificities. Here, we tested whether earlier evolved phytoplankton groups also exhibit a higher CCM plasticity. To this end, we collected data from literature and applied a Bayesian linear meta‐analytic model. Our results show that with elevated pCO2, photosynthetic CO2 affinities decreased strongest and most consistent for the earlier evolved groups, i.e., cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, while CO2‐dependent changes in affinities for haptophytes and diatoms were smaller and less consistent. In addition, responses of maximum photosynthetic rates toward elevated pCO2 were generally small and inconsistent across species. Our results demonstrate that phytoplankton groups with an earlier origin possess a high CCM plasticity, whereas more recently evolved groups do not, which likely results from evolved differences in the CO2 specificity of RuBisCO.

Continue reading ‘Highest plasticity of carbon‐concentrating mechanisms in earliest evolved phytoplankton’

Linking social preferences and ocean acidification impacts in mussel aquaculture

Ocean Acidification (OA) has become one of the most studied global stressors in marine science during the last fifteen years. Despite the variety of studies on the biological effects of OA with marine commercial species, estimations of these impacts over consumers’ preferences have not been studied in detail, compromising our ability to undertake an assessment of market and economic impacts resulting from OA at local scales. Here, we use a novel and interdisciplinary approach to fill this gap. We experimentally test the impact of OA on commercially relevant physical and nutritional attributes of mussels, and then we use economic discrete choice models to assess the marginal effects of these impacts over consumers’ preferences and wellbeing. Results showed that attributes, which were significantly affected by OA, are also those preferred by consumers. Consumers are willing to pay on average 52% less for mussels with evidences of OA and are willing to increase the price they pay to avoid negative changes in attributes due to OA. The interdisciplinary approach developed here, complements research conducted on OA by effectively informing how OA economic impacts can be analyzed under the lens of marginal changes in market price and consumer’ welfare. Thereby, linking global phenomena to consumers’ wellbeing, and shifting the focus of OA impacts to assess the effects of local vulnerabilities in a wider context of people and businesses.

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Particulate inorganic to organic carbon production as a predictor for coccolithophorid sensitivity to ongoing ocean acidification

Ocean acidification (OA) can induce shifts in plankton community composition, with coccolithophores being mostly negatively impacted. This is likely to change particulate inorganic and organic carbon (PIC and POC, respectively) production, with impacts on the biological carbon pump. Hence, assessing and, most importantly, understanding species‐specific sensitivities of coccolithophores is paramount. In a multispecies comparison, spanning more than two orders of magnitude in terms of POC and PIC production rates, among Calcidiscus leptoporus, Coccolithus pelagicus subsp. braarudii, Emiliania huxleyi, Gephyrocapsa oceanica, and Scyphosphaera apsteinii, we found that cellular PIC : POC was a good predictor for a species’ OA sensitivity. This is likely related to the need for cellular pH homeostasis, which is challenged by the process of calcification producing protons internally, especially when seawater pH decreases in an OA scenario. With higher PIC : POC, species and strains being more sensitive to OA coccolithophores may shift toward less calcified varieties in the future.

Continue reading ‘Particulate inorganic to organic carbon production as a predictor for coccolithophorid sensitivity to ongoing ocean acidification’

The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2 from 1994 to 2007

We quantify the oceanic sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) over the period 1994 to 2007 by using observations from the global repeat hydrography program and contrasting them to observations from the 1990s. Using a linear regression–based method, we find a global increase in the anthropogenic CO2 inventory of 34 ± 4 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) between 1994 and 2007. This is equivalent to an average uptake rate of 2.6 ± 0.3 Pg C year−1 and represents 31 ± 4% of the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions over this period. Although this global ocean sink estimate is consistent with the expectation of the ocean uptake having increased in proportion to the rise in atmospheric CO2, substantial regional differences in storage rate are found, likely owing to climate variability–driven changes in ocean circulation.

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Sudden emergence of a shallow aragonite saturation horizon in the Southern Ocean

Models project that with current CO2 emission rates, the Southern Ocean surface will be undersaturated with respect to aragonite by the end of this century1,2,3,4. This will result in widespread impacts on biogeochemistry and ocean ecosystems5,6,7, particularly the health of aragonitic organisms, such as pteropods7, which can dominate polar surface water communities6. Here, we quantify the depth of the present-day Southern Ocean aragonite saturation horizon using hydrographic and ocean carbon chemistry observations, and use a large ensemble of simulations from the Community Earth System Model (CESM)8,9 to track its evolution. A new, shallow aragonite saturation horizon emerges in many Southern Ocean locations between now and the end of the century. While all ensemble members capture the emergence, internal climate variability may affect the year of emergence; thus, its detection may have been overlooked by ensemble average analysis in the past. The emergence of the new horizon is driven by the slow accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the Southern Ocean thermocline, where the carbonate ion concentration exhibits a local minimum and approaches undersaturation. The new horizon is also apparent under an emission-stabilizing scenario indicating an inevitable, sudden decrease in the volume of suitable habitat for aragonitic organisms.

Continue reading ‘Sudden emergence of a shallow aragonite saturation horizon in the Southern Ocean’

The internal consistency of the marine carbon dioxide system for high latitude shipboard and in situ monitoring

• Best calculations from combination of T,P-dependent and non-dependent parameters

• The dissociation constants of M73 and L yielded the best internal consistency

• Monte Carlo simulation of uncertainty propagation shows combined uncertainty to be more dependent on input parameters, less on dissociation constants

• Internal consistency study for deep ocean conditions is required

Deep convection in the Labrador Sea supplies large amounts of anthropogenic carbon to the ocean’s interior. We use measurements of all four measurable CO2 system parameters made along AR7W (across Labrador Sea) between 2013 and 2015 to assess the internal consistency of the carbonate system, including, as appropriate, conversion to in situ temperature (T) and pressure (P). The best agreement between measured and calculated values was obtained through combination of T,P-dependent (pH or pCO2) and non-dependent (TA or DIC) parameters. Use of the dissociation constants of Mehrbach et al. (1973) as refit by Dickson and Millero (1987) and Lueker et al. (2000) yielded the best internal consistency irrespective of the input parameters used. A Monte Carlo simulation demonstrated that the propagated uncertainty (i.e. combined standard uncertainty) of calculated parameters of the carbonate system is (a) always larger than the analytical precision of the measurements themselves; (b) strongly dependent on the choice of input parameters and uncertainties; (c) less dependent on choice of the specific set of constants. For calculation of other parameters of the carbonate system from TA and DIC measurements made throughout the Labrador Sea time-series, the estimated combined standard uncertainty of calculated pCO2 and pH based on the Monte Carlo simulation is ~ 13 μatm and ~ 0.012 pH units respectively, with accuracy relative to laboratory-based measurement estimated to be between −3 and − 13 μatm and 0.002 and 0.007 pH units. Internal consistency especially at in situ temperature and pressure conditions is important for rapidly developing sensor-based monitoring programs in the region, including measurement of pH and/or pCO2 from gliders, profiling floats and moorings. We highlight uncertainty associated with the large pressure effect on pH and pCO2, and recommend a study of carbonate system internal consistency under deep ocean conditions that addresses pressure effects on calculations.

Continue reading ‘The internal consistency of the marine carbon dioxide system for high latitude shipboard and in situ monitoring’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book