Figure : oa-graphic-from-mathis

Projected Changes in Arctic Ocean Acidity

Figure 26.3

U.S. Geological Survey
Carl Markon

This figure appears in chapter 26 of the Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II report.

The time series shows the projected decline in the annual average aragonite saturation (one of the consequences of increased ocean acidity, or lower pH) for the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and for the entire Pacific-Arctic region under the higher scenario (RCP8.5). Aragonite saturation is a metric used to assess ocean acidification and the ability for organisms to build shells and skeletons. The annual average saturation state for the Beaufort Sea surface waters likely crossed the saturation horizon—a tipping point—around 2001, meaning it is currently undersaturated and its marine ecosystems are vulnerable to the impacts of ocean acidification during most of the year. The Chukchi Sea is projected to first cross this threshold around 2030 and then likely remain under the threshold after the early 2040s; the Bering Sea is projected to be a concern after 2065. Source: adapted from Mathis et al. 2015.32a7c6b7-16ce-49f8-8667-7343d9d40ea9

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This figure was created on May 25, 2017.

This figure was submitted on November 29, 2018.

This figure was derived from scenario rcp_8_5

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