Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
Biogeosciences, 5, 1057–1072, 2008
Biogeosciences, 5, 1057–1072, 2008

  28 Jul 2008

28 Jul 2008

Modeling the marine aragonite cycle: changes under rising carbon dioxide and its role in shallow water CaCO3 dissolution

R. Gangstø1,2, M. Gehlen1, B. Schneider1,*, L. Bopp1, O. Aumont3, and F. Joos2,4 R. Gangstø et al.
  • 1LSCE/IPSL, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Orme des Merisiers, Bât. 712, CEA/Saclay, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
  • 2Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstr. 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 3LOCEAN/IPSL, Centre IRD de Bretagne, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
  • 4Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Erlachstrasse 9a, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • *now at: Institute of Geosciences, University of Kiel, Luedwig-Meyn-Str. 10, 24098 Kiel, Germany

Abstract. The marine aragonite cycle has been included in the global biogeochemical model PISCES to study the role of aragonite in shallow water CaCO3 dissolution. Aragonite production is parameterized as a function of mesozooplankton biomass and aragonite saturation state of ambient waters. Observation-based estimates of marine carbonate production and dissolution are well reproduced by the model and about 60% of the combined CaCO3 water column dissolution from aragonite and calcite is simulated above 2000 m. In contrast, a calcite-only version yields a much smaller fraction. This suggests that the aragonite cycle should be included in models for a realistic representation of CaCO3 dissolution and alkalinity. For the SRES A2 CO2 scenario, production rates of aragonite are projected to notably decrease after 2050. By the end of this century, global aragonite production is reduced by 29% and total CaCO3 production by 19% relative to pre-industrial. Geographically, the effect from increasing atmospheric CO2, and the subsequent reduction in saturation state, is largest in the subpolar and polar areas where the modeled aragonite production is projected to decrease by 65% until 2100.

Final-revised paper