Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change: Ocean acidification amplifies global warming

Date:
August 26, 2013
Source:
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Summary:
Scientists have demonstrated that ocean acidification may amplify global warming through the biogenic production of the marine sulfur component dimethylsulphide (DMS). Ocean acidification has the potential to speed up global warming considerably, according to new research.

Observations of reduced DMS concentration with decreasing seawater pH from different mesocosm experiments.
Credit: Image courtesy of Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), Dr. Katharina Six, Dr. Silvia Kloster, Dr. Tatiana Ilyina, the late Dr. Ernst Maier-Reimer and two co-authors from the US, demonstrate that ocean acidification may amplify global warming through the biogenic production of the marine sulfur component dimethylsulphide (DMS).

Related Articles


It is common knowledge that fossil fuel emissions of CO2 lead to global warming. The ocean, by taking up significant amounts of CO2, lessens the effect of this anthropogenic disturbance. The "price" for storing CO2 is an ongoing decrease of seawater pH (ocean acidification1), a process that is likely to have diverse and harmful impacts on marine biota, food webs, and ecosystems. Until now, however, climate change and ocean acidification have been widely considered as uncoupled consequences of the anthropogenic CO2 perturbation2.

Recently, ocean biologists measured in experiments using seawater enclosures (mesocosms)3 that DMS concentrations were markedly lower in a low-pH environment. When DMS is emitted to the atmosphere it oxidizes to gas phase sulfuric acid, which can form new aerosol particles that impact cloud albedo and, hence, cool Earth's surface. As marine DMS emissions are the largest natural source for atmospheric sulfur, changes in their strength have the potential to notably alter Earth's radiation budget.

Based on the results from the mesocosm studies the researchers from the MPI-M have established relationships between pH changes and DMS concentrations in seawater. They projected changes in DMS emissions into the atmosphere in a future climate with enhanced ocean acidification using the MPI-M Earth system model4. In the journal Nature Climate Change it is demonstrated, that modeled DMS emissions decrease by about 18 (±3)% in 2100 compared to preindustrial times as a result of the combined effects of ocean acidification and climate change. The reduced DMS emissions induce a significant positive radiative forcing of which 83% (0.4 W/m2) can, in the model, be attributed to the impact of ocean acidification alone. Compared to Earth system response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 this is tantamount to an equilibrium temperature increase between 0.23 and 0.48 K.

Simply put, their research shows that ocean acidification has the potential to speed up global warming considerably.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katharina D. Six, Silvia Kloster, Tatiana Ilyina, Stephen D. Archer, Kai Zhang, Ernst Maier-Reimer. Global warming amplified by reduced sulphur fluxes as a result of ocean acidification. Nature Climate Change, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1981

Cite This Page:

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. "Climate change: Ocean acidification amplifies global warming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130826095846.htm>.
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. (2013, August 26). Climate change: Ocean acidification amplifies global warming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130826095846.htm
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. "Climate change: Ocean acidification amplifies global warming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130826095846.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) — Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Slams New England, Spares Mid-Atlantic

Storm Slams New England, Spares Mid-Atlantic

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) — A howling blizzard with wind gusts over 70 mph heaped snow on Boston along with other stretches of lower New England and Long Island on Tuesday, but failed to live up to the hype in Philadelphia and New York City. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mexico's Volcano of Fire Erupts Again

Mexico's Volcano of Fire Erupts Again

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) — A huge plume of smoke shoots into the air as activity in Mexico&apos;s Volcano of Fire picks up again. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Time Lapse: Snow, Frost Piling Up in New York's Times Square

Time Lapse: Snow, Frost Piling Up in New York's Times Square

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 26, 2015) — Video shows the accumulation of snow and frost in New York City&apos;s Times Square over five hours on Monday. Time Lapse (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins