[Coral-List] Co2 in tropical oceans

Chris Langdon clangdon at rsmas.miami.edu
Fri Feb 13 21:30:44 EST 2009

The data speak for themselves. Take a look at the figures in Feely et al.
2005 in Science.  By direct chemical measurement the dissolved inorganic
carbon concentration of the surface ocean has increased by approx. 40
umol/kg between 1800 and 1994.  This is true throughout the tropics in
Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.  Take a look at Fig. 3 in that paper.
 The red zone representing an increase in CO2 of 40 umol/kg due to the
uptake of fossil fuel CO2 in the surface ocean extends from pole to pole
in each ocean basin. If that isn't convincing take a look at the long
term, high precision measurements at HOTS (23N 158W), BATS (32N 64W) and
ESTOC (29N 15W) all show a steady increasing trend in dissolved inorganic
carbon (DIC) of 1.2 umol/kg/y (Dore et al, 2003), 1.3 umol/kg/year (Bates
et al, 2002) and 0.4 umol/kg/y (Gonzalez-Davila 2003), respectively, over
the period 1988 to  2003.  These increases are very close to what would be
expected for a surface ocean staying in equilibrium with the increasing
inventory of CO2 in the atmosphere.  There is no controversy.  The
increases are well documented by thousand of measurements and the
mechanism understood.

It would be nice to have some of these long term measurements at a few
coral reef sites. There is no reason to expect that the basic increasing
trend would be different but the daily, seasonal and interannual
variability would be of interest.

Chris Langdon
Assoc. Professor
Uni. of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Cswy
Miami,FL 33149
Ph: 305-421-4614
Fax: 305-421-4239

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