Normalization to a constant salinity (S) is widely used for the adjustment of marine inorganic carbon chemistry data such as total alkalinity (AT) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (CT). This procedure traces back to the earliest studies in marine chemistry, but ignores the influence of riverine input of alkalinity and of dissolution of biogenic carbonates in the ocean. We tested different adjustment possibilities for AT and conclude that in most parts of the surface ocean the normalization concept does not reflect relationships which represent reality. In this paper, we propose a salinity adjustment based on a constant and region-specific term for S = 0, which expresses river run off, upwelling from below the lysocline, calcification, and lateral sea surface water exchange. One application of the normalization concept is its extension to AT and also CT predictions and implementation in models. We give a brief discussion on the usage of such extensions.