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Trends of pH decrease in the Mediterranean Sea through high frequency observational data: indication of ocean acidification in the basin
Flecha, S.; Pérez, F.F.; García Lafuente, J.; Sammartino, S.; Ríos, A.F.; Huertas, I.E. (2015). Trends of pH decrease in the Mediterranean Sea through high frequency observational data: indication of ocean acidification in the basin. NPG Scientific Reports 5(16770): 8 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep16770
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, meer
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  • Flecha, S.
  • Pérez, F.F.
  • García Lafuente, J.
  • Sammartino, S.
  • Ríos, A.F.
  • Huertas, I.E.

Abstract
    A significant fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) released to the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans, leading to a range of chemical changes and causing ocean acidification (OA). Assessing the impact of OA on marine ecosystems requires the accurate detection of the rate of seawater pH change. This work reports the results of nearly 3 years of continuous pH measurements in the Mediterranean Sea at the Strait of Gibraltar GIFT time series station. We document a remarkable decreasing annual trend of -0.0044?±?0.00006 in the Mediterranean pH, which can be interpreted as an indicator of acidification in the basin based on high frequency records. Modeling pH data of the Mediterranean outflow allowed to discriminate between the pH values of its two main constituent water masses, the Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) and the Western Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW). Both water masses also exhibited a decline in pH with time, particularly the WMDW, which can be related to their different biogeochemical nature and processes occurring during transit time from formation sites to the Strait of Gibraltar.

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