Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Biogeosciences, 12, 67–78, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-67-2015
Biogeosciences, 12, 67–78, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-67-2015

Technical note 06 Jan 2015

Technical note | 06 Jan 2015

Technical Note: Large overestimation of pCO2 calculated from pH and alkalinity in acidic, organic-rich freshwaters

G. Abril et al.

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Short summary
We compared pCO2 data calculated from pH and alkalinity from those measured directly in a large array of temperate and tropical freshwaters. This revealed a large overestimation (up to 300%) of calculated pCO2 in the case of acidic and organic-rich waters, due to a contribution of organic acids anions to alkalinity and a lower buffering capacity of the carbonate system at acidic pH. Given the widespread distribution of acidic freshwaters, direct measurements of water pCO2 are encouraged.
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