Journal of Limnology and Oceanography, doi:10.4319/lo.2010.55.6.2424 (2010)
Since the dawn of the industrial age, oceans have been absorbing about 1/3 of the massive amounts of CO2 that humans have produced. When ocean water absorbs CO2 it makes carbonic acid which acidifies the ocean and decreases the saturation state of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This event has consequences for organisms that rely on high saturation states to build their shells and skeletons.
In this study led by Li-Qing Jiang, the researchers monitored the saturation state of the water off of the coast of the southeastern US from 2005 to 2006. They found that in all cases the water was supersaturated with CaCO3. They also concluded that the saturation state of East Coast water was higher than that of West Coast water due to the age of the water in global circulation and the upwelling that occurs in the Pacific Ocean.
How is some water older than other water? If it is in circulation wouldn’t it mix to be equally old water?
This is very interesting! But, if they only monitored saturation off the coast of the southeast, how did they know that the eastern waters were more saturated than the west? I mean, did they research the saturation state of the Pacific Ocean prior to this research?