Coral reefs may start dissolving when atmospheric CO2 doubles
Article first published online: 13 MAR 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 5, March 2009
How to Cite
2009), Coral reefs may start dissolving when atmospheric CO2 doubles, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L05606, doi:10.1029/2008GL036282., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 13 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 13 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 30 DEC 2008
- Manuscript Received: 9 OCT 2008
- coral reef;
 Calcification rates in stony corals are expected to decline significantly in the near future due to ocean acidification. In this study we provide a global estimate of the decline in calcification of coral reefs as a result of increase in sea surface temperature and partial pressure of CO2. This estimate, unlike previously reported estimates, is based on an empirical rate law developed from field observations for gross community calcification as a function of aragonite degree of saturation (Ωarag), sea surface temperature and live coral cover. Calcification rates were calculated for more than 9,000 reef locations using model values of Ωarag and sea surface temperature at different levels of atmospheric CO2. The maps we produced show that by the time atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 will reach 560 ppm all coral reefs will cease to grow and start to dissolve.