A time-series view of changing surface ocean chemistry due to ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2 and ocean acidification

Nicholas R. Bates, Yrene M. Astor, Matthew J. Church, Kim Currie, John E. Dore, Melchor González-Dávila, Laura Lorenzoni, Frank Muller-Karger, Jon Olafsson, J. Magdalena Santana-Casiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Scopus citations


Sustained observations provide critically needed data and understanding not only about ocean warming and water cycle reorganization (e.g., salinity changes), ocean eutrophication, and ocean deoxygenation, but also about changes in ocean chemistry. As an example of changes in the global ocean carbon cycle, consistent changes in surface seawater CO2-carbonate chemistry are documented by seven independent CO2 time series that provide sustained ocean observations collected for periods from 15 to 30 years: (1) Iceland Sea, (2) Irminger Sea, (3) Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS), (4) European Station for Time series in the Ocean at the Canary Islands (ESTOC), (5) CArbon Retention In A Colored Ocean sites in the North Atlantic (CARIACO), (6) Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT), and (7) Munida in the Pacific Ocean. These ocean time-series sites exhibit very consistent changes in surface ocean chemistry that reflect the impact of uptake of anthropogenic CO2 and ocean acidification. The article discusses the long-term changes in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), salinity-normalized DIC, and surface seawater pCO2 (partial pressure of CO2) due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 and its impact on the ocean's buffering capacity. In addition, we evaluate changes in seawater chemistry that are due to ocean acidification and its impact on pH and saturation states for biogenic calcium carbonate minerals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


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