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Sensitivity of the Marine Carbonate Cycle to Atmospheric Co2 : Volume 7, Issue 5 (20/09/2010)

By Gangstø, R.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004005598
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 62
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Sensitivity of the Marine Carbonate Cycle to Atmospheric Co2 : Volume 7, Issue 5 (20/09/2010)  
Author: Gangstø, R.
Volume: Vol. 7, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Gangstø, R., Gehlen, M., & Joos, F. (2010). Sensitivity of the Marine Carbonate Cycle to Atmospheric Co2 : Volume 7, Issue 5 (20/09/2010). Retrieved from

Description: Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland. Ocean acidification might reduce the ability of calcifying plankton to produce and maintain their shells of calcite, or of aragonite, the more soluble form of CaCO3. In addition to possibly large biological impacts, reduced CaCO3 production corresponds to a negative feedback on atmospheric CO2. In order to explore the sensitivity of the ocean carbon cycle to increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2, we use the new biogeochemical Bern3D/PISCES model. The model reproduces the large scale distributions of biogeochemical tracers. With a range of sensitivity studies, we explore the effect of (i) using different parameterizations of CaCO3 production fitted to available laboratory and field experiments, of (ii) letting calcite and aragonite be produced by auto- and heterotrophic plankton groups, and of (iii) using carbon emissions from the range of the most recent IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP). Under a high-emission scenario, the CaCO3 production of all the model versions decreases from ~1 Pg C yr−1 to between 0.36 and 0.82 Pg C yr−1 by the year 2100. By the year 2500, the ratio of open water CaCO3 dissolution to production stabilizes at a value that is 30–50% higher than at pre-industrial times when carbon emissions are set to zero after 2100. Despite the wide range of parameterizations, model versions and scenarios included in our study, the changes in CaCO3 production and dissolution resulting from ocean acidification provide only a small feedback on atmospheric CO2 of 1–11 ppm by the year 2100.

Sensitivity of the marine carbonate cycle to atmospheric CO2

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