When can ocean acidification impacts be detected from decadal alkalinity measurements?

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Author(s) Carter, Brendan R., Frölicher, Thomas L., Dunne, John P., Rodgers, Keith B., Slater, Richard D., Sarmiento, Jorge L.
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title When can ocean acidification impacts be detected from decadal alkalinity measurements?
Author(s) Carter, Brendan R.
Frölicher, Thomas L.
Dunne, John P.
Rodgers, Keith B.
Slater, Richard D.
Sarmiento, Jorge L.
Journal or Series Title Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume Number 30
Issue Number 4
Start Page 595
End Page 612
ISSN 0886-6236
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publication Place Washington, DC
Publication Date 2016-04
Abstract We use a large initial condition suite of simulations (30 runs) with an Earth system model to assess the detectability of biogeochemical impacts of ocean acidification (OA) on the marine alkalinity distribution from decadally repeated hydrographic measurements such as those produced by the Global Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP). Detection of these impacts is complicated by alkalinity changes from variability and long-term trends in freshwater and organic matter cycling and ocean circulation. In our ensemble simulation, variability in freshwater cycling generates large changes in alkalinity that obscure the changes of interest and prevent the attribution of observed alkalinity redistribution to OA. These complications from freshwater cycling can be mostly avoided through salinity normalization of alkalinity. With the salinity-normalized alkalinity, modeled OA impacts are broadly detectable in the surface of the subtropical gyres by 2030. Discrepancies between this finding and the finding of an earlier analysis suggest that these estimates are strongly sensitive to the patterns of calcium carbonate export simulated by the model. OA impacts are detectable later in the subpolar and equatorial regions due to slower responses of alkalinity to OA in these regions and greater seasonal equatorial alkalinity variability. OA impacts are detectable later at depth despite lower variability due to smaller rates of change and consistent measurement uncertainty.
DOI 10.1002/2015GB005308
Additional Notes Received 16 October 2015, Accepted 13 April 2016, Accepted article online 18 April 2016, Published online 30 April 2016
Published online by: Wiley
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
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NEBIS System Number 000041178
Source Database ID SCOPUS-84965117222
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  author = "Carter, Brendan R. and Fr{\"{o}}licher, Thomas L. and Dunne, John P. and Rodgers, Keith B. and Slater, Richard D. and Sarmiento, Jorge L.",
  title = "{W}hen can ocean acidification impacts be detected from decadal alkalinity measurements?",
  journal = "Global Biogeochemical Cycles",
  year = 2016,
  volume = "30",
  number = "4",
  pages = "595--612",
  month = apr,

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