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Quantifying the impact of ocean acidification on our future climate


Matear, RJ and Lenton, A, Quantifying the impact of ocean acidification on our future climate, Biogeosciences, 11, (14) pp. 3965-3983. ISSN 1726-4170 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.5194/bg-11-3965-2014


Ocean acidification (OA) is the consequence of rising atmospheric CO2 levels, and it is occurring in conjunction with global warming. Observational studies show that OA will impact ocean biogeochemical cycles. Here, we use an Earth system model under the RCP8.5 emission scenario to evaluate and quantify the first-order impacts of OA on marine biogeochemical cycles, and its potential feedback on our future climate. We find that OA impacts have only a small impact on the future atmospheric CO2 (less than 45 ppm) and global warming (less than a 0.25 K) by 2100. While the climate change feedbacks are small, OA impacts may significantly alter the distribution of biological production and remineralisation, which would alter the dissolved oxygen distribution in the ocean interior. Our results demonstrate that the consequences of OA will not be through its impact on climate change, but on how it impacts the flow of energy in marine ecosystems, which may significantly impact their productivity, composition and diversity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean acidification, climate change, global warming, CO2
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Matear, RJ (Dr Richard Matear)
UTAS Author:Lenton, A (Dr Andrew Lenton)
ID Code:118609
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2017-07-14
Last Modified:2017-08-28
Downloads:157 View Download Statistics

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