Fabry, V. J., California State University Sa, San Marcos, USA, fabry@csusm.edu

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION: HUMANKIND'S GLOBAL GEOCHEMICAL EXPERIMENT WITH UNCERTAIN ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES

Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 is altering the seawater chemistry and can have significant impacts on marine biota and ecological processes. The average pH of surface oceans has dropped by 0.1 units since the industrial revolution and, if carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated, will drop another 0.2 to 0.4 units by 2100. Elevated pCO2 is driving the shoaling of the CaCO3 saturation horizon in many regions, particularly in high latitudes and areas that intersect with pronounced hypoxic zones. As the seawater chemistry changes, many calcifying organisms will be adversely impacted, which could lead to decreased biodiversity and cascading effects through marine systems. Few data on the consequences of ocean acidification are available for many organisms, processes other than calcification, and for coastal regions, which generally are not well-represented in global models. The small number of studies at climate-relevant pCO2 values presently provides poor predictive ability to quantify future impacts to food webs and other ecosystem processes. Suggestions for future research will be presented, based on regions, taxa, and processes believed to be most vulnerable to ocean acidification over seasonal to centennial timescales.

Oral presentation

Presentation is given by student: No
Session #:201
Date:
Time: Not scheduled

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