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The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification


Mongin, M and Baird, ME and Tilbrook, B and Matear, RJ and Lenton, A and Herzfeld, M and Wild-Allen, K and Skerratt, J and Margvelashvili, N and Robson, BJ and Duarte, CM and Gustafsson, MSM and Ralph, PJ and Steven, ADL, The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification, Nature Communications, 7 Article 10732. ISSN 2041-1723 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms10732


The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is founded on reef-building corals. Corals build their exoskeleton with aragonite, but ocean acidification is lowering the aragonite saturation state of seawater (Ωa). The downscaling of ocean acidification projections from global to GBR scales requires the set of regional drivers controlling Ωa to be resolved. Here we use a regional coupled circulation–biogeochemical model and observations to estimate the Ωa experienced by the 3,581 reefs of the GBR, and to apportion the contributions of the hydrological cycle, regional hydrodynamics and metabolism on Ωa variability. We find more detail, and a greater range (1.43), than previously compiled coarse maps of Ωa of the region (0.4), or in observations (1.0). Most of the variability in Ωa is due to processes upstream of the reef in question. As a result, future decline in Ωa is likely to be steeper on the GBR than currently projected by the IPCC assessment report.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biogeochemistry, coral reefs, marine chemistry
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Tilbrook, B (Dr Bronte Tilbrook)
UTAS Author:Lenton, A (Dr Andrew Lenton)
ID Code:117245
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:52
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-06-05
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:154 View Download Statistics

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