Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 110. (2005).
Ken Caldeira, working at the Carnegie Institution, performed a study on ocean acidification that predicts the pH and aragonite saturation of the ocean in 2100 based on several different atmospheric carbon dioxide prediction models. He predicts aragonite will be undersaturated in the Southern Ocean by 2100. The model that predicts this happens to be one of the most conservative projections also. This leaves many to question whether ocean organisms will be able to sustain shell calcification past this date. This models predicting future pH measurements of the ocean are useful for other researchers. It gives them a good pH range to expose organisms to. The way they respond in the these environments will enable scientists to better understand organism specific responses to ocean acidification. The study also argues against the use of deep-sea carbon dioxide injection. Caldeira states that this will solve approximately ten percent of the problem but does not offer a better solution.
This is an interesting, informative research highlight. Caldeira’s ocean acidification models are fairly ominous, and demonstrate the need for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
I’ve read a study supporting deep-sea carbon dioxide injection as a sequestration tactic, and my first thought was that it seemed like a bad idea because it entails the acidifying of the ocean, just a deeper part of the ocean. The rest of the article is informative, and it’s unsettling that the model Caldeira used is considered conservative.