Figure : increased-acidification-decreases-suitable-coral-habitat

Increased Acidification Decreases Suitable Coral Habitat

Figure 23.3

This figure appears in chapter 23 of the Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment report.

Ocean waters have already become more acidic from absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As this absorption lowers pH, it reduces the amount of calcium carbonate, which is critical for many marine species to reproduce and grow. Maps show projections of the saturation state of aragonite (the form of calcium carbonate used by coral and many other species) if CO2 levels were stabilized at 380 ppm (a level that has already been exceeded), 450 ppm (middle map), and 500 ppm (bottom map), corresponding approximately to the years 2005, 2030, and 2050, assuming a decrease in emissions from the current trend (scenario A1B). As shown on the maps, many areas that are adequate will become marginal. Higher emissions will lead to many more places where aragonite concentrations are “marginal” or “extremely marginal” in much of the Pacific. (Figure source: Burke et al. 20113d9112b9-6aa1-4614-9599-6966c9591ef9).

When citing this figure, please reference Burke et al. 20113d9112b9-6aa1-4614-9599-6966c9591ef9.

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This figure was created on November 12, 2013.

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