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Instability of seawater pH in the South China Sea during the mid-late Holocene: Evidence from boron isotopic composition of corals

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

By:
, , , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2008.11.034

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Abstract

We used positive thermal ionization mass spectrometry (PTIMS) to generate high precision ??11B records in Porites corals of the mid-late Holocene from the South China Sea (SCS). The ??11B values of the Holocene corals vary significantly, ranging from 22.2??? to 25.5???. The paleo-pH records of the SCS, reconstructed from the ??11B data, were not stable as previously thought but show a gradual increase from the Holocene thermal optimal and a sharp decrease to modern values. The latter is likely caused by the large amount of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution but variations of atmospheric pCO2 cannot explain the pH change of the SCS before the Industrial Revolution. We suggest that variations of monsoon intensity during the mid-late Holocene may have driven the sea surface pH increase from the mid to late Holocene. Results of this study indicate that the impact of anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 emissions may have reversed the natural pH trend in the SCS since the mid-Holocene. Such ocean pH records in the current interglacial period can help us better understand the physical and biological controls on ocean pH and possibly predict the long-term impact of climate change on future ocean acidification. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Instability of seawater pH in the South China Sea during the mid-late Holocene: Evidence from boron isotopic composition of corals
Series title:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI:
10.1016/j.gca.2008.11.034
Volume
73
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
First page:
1264
Last page:
1272
Number of Pages:
9