Aquatic Calcification as a Source of Carbon Dioxide

Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 33)


When calcification occurs in the aquatic environment, carbon dioxide is released into the surrounding water. Due to chemical equilibria of the inorganic carbon system, the release of CO2 is not stoichiometric but depends on the buffering capacity of the water: the ratio released CO2 /precipitated CaCO3 (Ψ) is nearly 1 in freshwater and about 0.6 in seawater for present-day conditions. Calcification therefore favours the escape of CO2 to the atmosphere and cannot be considered as a potential carbon dioxide sink in the Global Change context. On the other hand, marine calcification will present a positive feedback to the man-induced increase of atmospheric CO2 and Ψ(seawater) would increase by about 20% for a doubling of the preindustrial atmospheric CO2 level


Coral Reef Total Alkalinity Calcium Carbonate Precipitate Total Inorganic Carbon Emiliania Huxleyi 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d’OcéanologieUniversité de Liège, Institut de Chimie B6Sart TilmanBelgium
  2. 2.Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3TownsvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Observatoire Océanologique EuropéenCentre Scientifique de MonacoMonacoFrance

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