> Oceanography > Issues > Archive > Volume 22, Number 4

2009, Oceanography 22(4):60–71, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.97

Ocean Acidification in the California Current System

Authors | Abstract | Full Article | Citation







Authors

Claudine Hauri | Environmental Physics, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Nicolas Gruber | Environmental Physics, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Gian-Kasper Plattner | Environmental Physics, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, and Climate and Environmental Physics Group, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Simone Alin | Coastal Carbon Dynamics, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Seattle, WA, USA.

Richard A. Feely | CO2 Program, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA, Seattle, WA, USA

Burke Hales | College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

Patricia A. Wheeler | College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

Top



Abstract

Eastern boundary upwelling systems (EBUS) are naturally more acidic than most of the rest of the surface ocean. Observations of EBUS already show pH values and saturation states with regard to the carbonate mineral aragonite that are as low as those expected for most open ocean waters several decades from now. Thus, as atmospheric CO2 increases further, EBUS are prone to widespread and persistent undersaturation with regard to aragonite, making them especially sensitive to ocean acidification. Here, we describe ocean carbonate chemistry and its short-term-to-seasonal variability in one major EBUS, the California Current System (CCS), based on observations and results from an eddy-resolving regional model. Results reveal high variability in ocean carbonate chemistry, largely driven by seasonal upwelling of waters with low pH and saturation states, and subsequent interactions of transport and biological production. Model simulations confirm that the pH of CCS waters has decreased by about 0.1 pH unit and by 0.5 in saturation state since pre-industrial times. A first assessment of the vulnerability of CCS marine organisms and ecosystems to ocean acidification suggests that there will be winners and losers, likely provoking changes in species composition. Benthic organisms appear to be among those that will be most affected by the continuing acidification of the CCS. More accurate projections require special consideration of the integrated effects of ocean acidification, ocean warming, decreasing oxygen levels, and other processes that are expected with global change.

Top



Full Article

Download 5.68 MB pdf

Top



Citation

Hauri, C., N. Gruber, G.-K. Plattner, S. Alin, R.A. Feely, B. Hales, and P.A. Wheeler. 2009. Ocean acidification in the California Current System. Oceanography 22(4):60–71, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.97.

Top