Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) has decreased seawater pH at long-term observing stations around the world, including in the open ocean north of Oahu, Hawaii, near Alaska's Aleutian Islands, the Gulf of Maine shore, and on Gray's Reef in the southeastern United States. This ocean acidification process has already affected some marine species and altered fundamental ecosystem processes, and further effects are likely. While atmospheric CO rises at approximately the same rate all over the globe, its non-climate effects on land vary depending on climate and dominant species. In terrestrial ecosystems, rising atmospheric CO concentrations are expected to increase plant photosynthesis, growth, and water-use efficiency, though these effects are reduced when nutrients, drought or other factors limit plant growth. Rising CO would likely change carbon storage and influence terrestrial hydrology and biogeochemical cycling, but concomitant effects on vegetation composition and nutrient feedbacks are challenging to predict, making decadal forecasts uncertain. Consequences of rising atmospheric CO are expected to include difficult-to-predict changes in the ecosystem services that terrestrial and ocean systems provide to humans. For instance, ocean acidification resulting from rising CO has decreased the supply of larvae that sustains commercial shellfish production in the northwestern United States. In addition, CO fertilization (increases) plus warming (decreases) are changing terrestrial crop yields. Continued persistence of uptake of carbon by the land and ocean is uncertain. Climate and environmental change create complex feedbacks to the carbon cycle and it is not clear how feedbacks modulate future effects of rising CO on carbon sinks. These are several mechanisms that could reduce future sink capacity.
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2018; Dec 10, 2018 - Dec 14, 2018; Washington, D. C. ; United States