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Lebrato, M, Andersson AJ, Ries JB, Aronson RB, Lamare MD, Koeve W, Oschlies A, Iglesias-Rodriguez MD, Thatje S, Amsler M, Vos SC, Jones DOB, Ruhl HA, Gates AR, McClintock JB.  2016.  Benthic marine calcifiers coexist with CaCO3-undersaturated seawater worldwide. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 30:1038-1053.   10.1002/2015GB005260   Abstract

Ocean acidification and decreasing seawater saturation state with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals have raised concerns about the consequences to marine organisms that build CaCO3 structures. A large proportion of benthic marine calcifiers incorporate Mg2+ into their skeletons (Mg-calcite), which, in general, reduces mineral stability. The relative vulnerability of some marine calcifiers to ocean acidification appears linked to the relative solubility of their shell or skeletal mineralogy, although some organisms have sophisticated mechanisms for constructing and maintaining their CaCO3 structures causing deviation from this dependence. Nevertheless, few studies consider seawater saturation state with respect to the actual Mg-calcite mineralogy (ΩMg-x) of a species when evaluating the effect of ocean acidification on that species. Here, a global dataset of skeletal mole % MgCO3 of benthic calcifiers and in situ environmental conditions spanning a depth range of 0 m (subtidal/neritic) to 5600 m (abyssal) was assembled to calculate in situ ΩMg-x. This analysis shows that 24% of the studied benthic calcifiers currently experience seawater mineral undersaturation (ΩMg-x < 1). As a result of ongoing anthropogenic ocean acidification over the next 200 to 3000 years, the predicted decrease in seawater mineral saturation will expose approximately 57% of all studied benthic calcifying species to seawater undersaturation. These observations reveal a surprisingly high proportion of benthic marine calcifiers exposed to seawater that is undersaturated with respect to their skeletal mineralogy, underscoring the importance of using species-specific seawater mineral saturation states when investigating the impact of CO2-induced ocean acidification on benthic marine calcification.

Andersson, AJ, Mackenzie FT.  2012.  Revisiting four scientific debates in ocean acidification research. Biogeosciences. 9:893-905.   10.5194/bg-9-893-2012   AbstractWebsite

In recent years, ocean acidification has gained continuously increasing attention from scientists and a number of stakeholders and has raised serious concerns about its effects on marine organisms and ecosystems. With the increase in interest, funding resources, and the number of scientific investigations focusing on this environmental problem, increasing amounts of data and results have been produced, and a progressively growing and more rigorous understanding of this problem has begun to develop. Nevertheless, there are still a number of scientific debates, and in some cases misconceptions, that keep reoccurring at a number of forums in various contexts. In this article, we revisit four of these topics that we think require further thoughtful consideration including: (1) surface seawater CO2 chemistry in shallow water coastal areas, (2) experimental manipulation of marine systems using CO2 gas or by acid addition, (3) net versus gross calcification and dissolution, and (4) CaCO3 mineral dissolution and seawater buffering. As a summation of these topics, we emphasize that: (1) many coastal environments experience seawater pCO(2) that is significantly higher than expected from equilibrium with the atmosphere and is strongly linked to biological processes; (2) addition of acid, base or CO2 gas to seawater can all be useful techniques to manipulate seawater chemistry in ocean acidification experiments; (3) estimates of calcification or CaCO3 dissolution based on present techniques are measuring the net of gross calcification and dissolution; and (4) dissolution of metastable carbonate mineral phases will not produce sufficient alkalinity to buffer the pH and carbonate saturation state of shallow water environments on timescales of decades to hundreds of years to the extent that any potential negative effects on marine calcifiers will be avoided.