Acceleration of modern acidification in the South China Sea driven by anthropogenic CO2

Yi Liu, Zicheng Peng, Renjun Zhou, Shaohua Song, Weiguo Liu, Chen Feng You, Yen Po Lin, Kefu Yu, Chung Che Wu, Gangjian Wei, Luhua Xie, George S. Burr, Chuan Chou Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modern acidification by the uptake of anthropogenic CO 2 can profoundly affect the physiology of marine organisms and the structure of ocean ecosystems. Centennial-scale global and regional influences of anthropogenic CO 2 remain largely unknown due to limited instrumental pH records. Here we present coral boron isotope-inferred pH records for two periods from the South China Sea: AD 1048-1079 and AD 1838-2001. There are no significant pH differences between the first period at the Medieval Warm Period and AD 1830-1870. However, we find anomalous and unprecedented acidification during the 20th century, pacing the observed increase in atmospheric CO 2. Moreover, pH value also varies in phase with inter-decadal changes in Asian Winter Monsoon intensity. As the level of atmospheric CO 2 keeps rising, the coupling global warming via weakening the winter monsoon intensity could exacerbate acidification of the South China Sea and threaten this expansive shallow water marine ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5148
JournalScientific reports
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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