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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2017-92
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
Assessing Carbon Dioxide Removal Through Global and Regional Ocean Alkalization under High and Low Emission Pathways
Andrew Lenton1,2, Richard J. Matear1, David P. Keller3, Vivian Scott4, and Naomi E. Vaughan5 1CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart Australia
2Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre, Hobart, Australia
3GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
4School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
5Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Abstract. Atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise, increasing the risk of severe impacts on the Earth system, and on the ecosystem services that it provides. Artificial Ocean Alkalization (AOA) is capable of reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, surface warming and addressing ocean acidification. Here we simulate global and regional responses to alkalinity addition (0.25 PmolAlk/year) using the CSIRO-Mk3L-COAL Earth System Model in the period 2020–2100, under high (RCP8.5) and low (RCP2.6) emissions. While regionally there are large changes associated with locations of AOA, globally we see only a very weak dependence on where and when AOA is applied. We see that under RCP2.6, while the carbon uptake associated with AOA is only ~ 60 % of the total under RCP8.5, the relative changes in temperature are larger, as are the changes in pH (1.4×) and aragonite saturation (1.7×). The results of this modelling study are significant as they demonstrate that AOA is more effective under lower emissions, and the higher the emissions the more AOA required to achieve the same reduction in global warming and ocean acidification. Finally, our simulations show AOA in the period 2020–2100 is capable of offsetting global warming and ameliorating ocean acidification increases due to low emissions, but regionally the response is more variable.

Citation: Lenton, A., Matear, R. J., Keller, D. P., Scott, V., and Vaughan, N. E.: Assessing Carbon Dioxide Removal Through Global and Regional Ocean Alkalization under High and Low Emission Pathways, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2017-92, in review, 2017.
Andrew Lenton et al.
Andrew Lenton et al.
Andrew Lenton et al.

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Short summary
Some form of Carbon Dioxide Removal likely be needed if we are limit warming to well below 2C. Artificial Ocean Alkalization (AOA) is capable of reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and surface warming, while also addressing ocean acidification. Here we simulate the Earth System Response to AOA, and show AOA is more effective under lower emissions. This means that the higher the emissions the more AOA required to achieve the same reduction in global warming and ocean acidification.
Some form of Carbon Dioxide Removal likely be needed if we are limit warming to well below 2C. ...
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