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Year of emergence of ocean acidification in the Global Ocean
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  • Hongjie Wang,
  • Li-Qing Jiang,
  • Brendan R. Carter,
  • Wei-Jun Cai
Hongjie Wang
University of Delaware

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Li-Qing Jiang
University of Maryland, College Park
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Brendan R. Carter
University of Washington
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Wei-Jun Cai
University of Delaware
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Year of emergence (YoE) is the year when an environment and the organisms within begin to experience significant different conditions (two times of natural variability) from the pre-industrial conditions (~1770 C.E.). This study calculates the global surface ocean YoEs for pH, partial pressure of CO(CO) and aragonite saturation (Ω) from a recent calculated surface ocean carbonate chemistry data product. The data product is calculated from the Surface Ocean CO Atlas version 6 (SOCATv6) with modeled CO changes in the global surface ocean from the ESM2M model. We find that CO, pH and Ω generally emerged from preindustrial conditions in the open ocean by the year 1950, while these properties have still not yet emerged along many ocean margins. We also find that Ω had a significantly delayed YoE compared to pH and CO. The delayed YoE for Ω is caused by its lasting sensitivity to temperature variability, which increases the natural variability experienced by organisms, and a partial cancellation of the long term acidification trend by the global warming. Together, YoEs presented here highlight that there are hotspots (open ocean) and coldspots (ocean margins that were impacted by boundary currents) for the emergence of anthropogenic signals. Continuous data collection and synthesis are needed to further examine the impact of ocean acidification on ecosystem health.