Articles | Volume 7, issue 11
26 Nov 2010
 | 26 Nov 2010

Seasonal and long-term changes in pH in the Dutch coastal zone

P. Provoost, S. van Heuven, K. Soetaert, R. W. P. M. Laane, and J. J. Middelburg

Abstract. Recent observations and modelling studies suggest that biogeochemical changes can mask atmospheric CO2-induced pH decreases. Data collected by the Dutch monitoring authorities in different coastal systems (North Sea, Wadden Sea, Ems-Dollard, Eastern Scheldt and Scheldt estuary) since 1975 provide an excellent opportunity to test whether this is the case in the Dutch coastal zone. The time-series were analysed using Multi-Resolution Analysis (MRA) which resulted in the identification of system-dependent patterns on both seasonal and intra-annual time scales. The observed rates of pH change greatly exceed those expected from enhanced CO2 uptake, thus suggesting that other biogeochemical processes, possibly related to changes in nutrient loading, can play a dominant role in ocean acidification.

Final-revised paper