Wang Zhaohui Aleck

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Zhaohui Aleck

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  • Article
    Carbon cycling in the North American coastal ocean: a synthesis
    (European Geosciences Union, 2019-03-27) Fennel, Katja ; Alin, Simone R. ; Barbero, Leticia ; Evans, Wiley ; Bourgeois, Timothée ; Cooley, Sarah R. ; Dunne, John P. ; Feely, Richard A. ; Hernandez-Ayon, Jose Martin ; Hu, Xinping ; Lohrenz, Steven E. ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Najjar, Raymond G. ; Robbins, Lisa ; Shadwick, Elizabeth H. ; Siedlecki, Samantha A. ; Steiner, Nadja ; Sutton, Adrienne J. ; Turk, Daniela ; Vlahos, Penny ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck
    A quantification of carbon fluxes in the coastal ocean and across its boundaries with the atmosphere, land, and the open ocean is important for assessing the current state and projecting future trends in ocean carbon uptake and coastal ocean acidification, but this is currently a missing component of global carbon budgeting. This synthesis reviews recent progress in characterizing these carbon fluxes for the North American coastal ocean. Several observing networks and high-resolution regional models are now available. Recent efforts have focused primarily on quantifying the net air–sea exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2). Some studies have estimated other key fluxes, such as the exchange of organic and inorganic carbon between shelves and the open ocean. Available estimates of air–sea CO2 flux, informed by more than a decade of observations, indicate that the North American Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) acts as a sink of 160±80 Tg C yr−1, although this flux is not well constrained. The Arctic and sub-Arctic, mid-latitude Atlantic, and mid-latitude Pacific portions of the EEZ account for 104, 62, and −3.7 Tg C yr−1, respectively, while making up 51 %, 25 %, and 24 % of the total area, respectively. Combining the net uptake of 160±80 Tg C yr−1 with an estimated carbon input from land of 106±30 Tg C yr−1 minus an estimated burial of 65±55 Tg C yr−1 and an estimated accumulation of dissolved carbon in EEZ waters of 50±25 Tg C yr−1 implies a carbon export of 151±105 Tg C yr−1 to the open ocean. The increasing concentration of inorganic carbon in coastal and open-ocean waters leads to ocean acidification. As a result, conditions favoring the dissolution of calcium carbonate occur regularly in subsurface coastal waters in the Arctic, which are naturally prone to low pH, and the North Pacific, where upwelling of deep, carbon-rich waters has intensified. Expanded monitoring and extension of existing model capabilities are required to provide more reliable coastal carbon budgets, projections of future states of the coastal ocean, and quantification of anthropogenic carbon contributions.
  • Article
    Changes in anthropogenic carbon storage in the Northeast Pacific in the last decade
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-07-02) Chu, Sophie N. ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Doney, Scott C. ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Hoering, Katherine A.
    In order to understand the ocean's role as a sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), it is important to quantify changes in the amount of anthropogenic CO2 stored in the ocean interior over time. From August to September 2012, an ocean acidification cruise was conducted along a portion of the P17N transect (50°N 150°W to 33.5°N 135°W) in the Northeast Pacific. These measurements are compared with data from the previous occupation of this transect in 2001 to estimate the change in the anthropogenic CO2 inventory in the Northeast Pacific using an extended multiple linear regression (eMLR) approach. Maximum increases in the surface waters were 11 µmol kg−1 over 11 years near 50°N. Here, the penetration depth of anthropogenic CO2 only reached ∼300 m depth, whereas at 33.5°N, penetration depth reached ∼600 m. The average increase of the depth-integrated anthropogenic carbon inventory was 0.41 ± 0.12 mol m−2 yr−1 across the transect. Lower values down to 0.20 mol m−2 yr−1 were observed in the northern part of the transect near 50°N and increased up to 0.55 mol m−2 yr−1 toward 33.5°N. This increase in anthropogenic carbon in the upper ocean resulted in an average pH decrease of 0.002 ± 0.0003 pH units yr−1 and a 1.8 ± 0.4 m yr−1 shoaling rate of the aragonite saturation horizon. An average increase in apparent oxygen utilization of 13.4 ± 15.5 µmol kg−1 centered on isopycnal surface 26.6 kg m−3 from 2001 to 2012 was also observed.
  • Article
    Accelerating global ocean observing: monitoring the coastal ocean through broadly accessible, low-cost sensor networks
    (Marine Technology Society, 2021-05-01) Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Michel, Anna P. M. ; Mooney, T. Aran
    The global coastal ocean provides food and other critical resources to human societies. Yet this habitat, for which many depend, has experienced severe degradation from human activities. The rates of human-induced changes along the coast demand significantly improved coverage of ocean observations in order to support science-based decision making and policy formation tailored to specific regions. Our proposal envisions developing a global network of low-cost, easily produced and readily deployed oceanographic sensors for use on a wide variety of platforms in the coastal ocean. A substantially large number of these sensors can thus be installed on existing infrastructure, ships of opportunity, and fishing fleets, or even individually along the coast, particularly in vulnerable and disadvantaged regions. This would vastly increase the spatiotemporal resolution of the current data coverage along the coast, allowing greater equitable access. It would also offer significant opportunities for partnership with communities, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders, as well as a wide range of commercial and industrial sectors to develop and deploy sensors in scalable networks transmitting data in near-real time. Finally, it presents a vastly lowered bar for participation by citizen scientists and other engaged members of the public to address location-specific coastal problems anywhere in the world.
  • Article
    Submarine groundwater discharge in the northern Bohai Sea, China: Implications for coastal carbon budgets and buffering capacity
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-07-20) Zhang, Yan ; Zou, Changpei ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Wang, Xuejing ; Zeng, Zhenzhong ; Xiao, Kai ; Guo, Huaming ; Jiang, Xiaowei ; Li, Zhenyang ; Li, Hailong
    Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) has been widely recognized as an important source of dissolved nutrients in coastal waters and affects nutrient biogeochemistry. In contrast, little information is available on SGD impacts on coastal carbon budgets. Here, we assessed the SGD and associated carbon (dissolved inorganic carbon [DIC] and total alkalinity [TA]) fluxes in Liaodong Bay (the largest bay of the Bohai Sea, China) and discussed their border implications for coastal DIC budget and buffering capacity. Based on 223Ra and 228Ra mass balance models, the SGD flux was estimated to be (0.92–1.43) × 109 m3 d−1. SGD was the largest contributor of DIC, accounting for 55%–77% of the total DIC sources. The low ratio (<1) of SGD-derived TA to DIC fluxes and negative correlation between radium isotopes and pH in seawater implied that SGD would potentially reduce seawater pH in Liaodong Bay. Combining the groundwater carbon data in Liaodong Bay with literature data, we found that the SGD-derived DIC flux off China was 4–9 times greater than those from rivers. By analyzing the TA/DIC ratios in groundwater along the Chinese coast and related carbon fluxes, SGD was thought to partially reduce the CO2 buffer capacity in receiving seawater. These results obtained at the bay scale and national scale suggest that SGD is a significant component of carbon budget and may play a critical role in modulating coastal buffering capacity and atmospheric CO2 sequestration.
  • Dataset
    Core data collected in the Brazos River Plume, TX during 2017-2018
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2021-03-11) Dellapenna, Timothy M. ; Churchill, James ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck
    Core data collected in the Brazos River Plume, TX during three cruises conducted in 2017 and 2018. Cores were analyzed for grain size and mercury content. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Precise determination of dolomite content in marine sediments
    (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2022-10-10) Wurgaft, Eyal ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Shalev, Netta ; Morag, Navot ; Golan, Rotem ; Gavrieli, Ittai
    E.W. developed the analytical method and the tests which appear in the manuscript. Z.A.W. assisted in the development of the method at its early stages and preliminary tests. N.S. assisted in the development and conducted ICP‐MS measurements. N.M. assisted in the development and conducted XRD measurements. R.G. assisted in all stages of the development and conducted some of the tests described in the manuscript. I.G. assisted in all stages of the development. All authors have contributed to the writing and editing of the manuscript. Dolomite (CaMg[CO3]2) is a common rock‐forming mineral. Nevertheless, its mechanisms of formation and the factors that cause dolomite concentration variations within the sedimentary records constitute long‐standing geochemical questions. In addition, the flux of Mg2+ leaving the ocean by the formation of dolomite is a controversial question, with some studies arguing that dolomite formation is a negligible Mg2+ sink in the modern ocean, while others show that it constitutes more than 50% of the total Mg2+ removal rate. An important factor that impedes the resolution of the dolomite Mg2+ flux is the lack of analytical methods with adequate precision and detection limit to directly measure minute quantities of authigenic dolomite in marine sediments. Here, we present a new analytical method for direct, precise measurement of dolomite content in marine sediments. The method is based on sequential leaching of carbonate minerals in acid and tracks the CO2 emitted by the dissolution. Based on the measurement of gravimetric standards of calcite and dolomite, the method's detection limit and precision were determined as better than 0.2 and ± 0.2 dry wt% of dolomite, respectively. The method out‐performed dolomite quantification made by x‐ray diffraction and by inductive coupled plasma mass‐spectrometry, which provided precision of ± 2 and ± 1 dry wt%, respectively. Measurements of the dolomite content in modern sediments from the seafloor below the oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean and the eutrophic Mississippi plume, and in clayey‐silty alluvial soil from south‐eastern Israel, demonstrated that the aforementioned precisions are also valid for natural samples.
  • Dataset
    Discrete bottle sample measurements for carbonate chemistry from samples collected in the Sage Lot Pond salt marsh tidal creek in Waquoit Bay, MA from 2012 to 2015
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2019-05-29) Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Gonneea, Meagan ; Kroeger, Kevin D.
    Discrete bottle sample measurements for carbonate chemistry from samples collected in the Sage Lot Pond salt marsh tidal creek in Waquoit Bay, MA from 2012 to 2015. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Editorial: Advances in understanding lateral blue carbon export from coastal ecosystems
    (Frontiers Media, 2022-10-27) Xiao, Kai ; Chen, Nengwang ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Tamborski, Joseph James ; Maher, Damien Troy ; Yu, Xuan
    ‘Blue Carbon’ refers to the carbon captured by the coastal systems or ocean and was coined about a decade ago (Nellemann et al., 2009), emphasizing the carbon sequestration capacity of coastal vegetated ecosystems (e.g., macroalgae/kelp, seagrass beds, saltmarshes, and mangroves). These blue carbon systems only cover <0.1% of the ocean area, but may account for >50% of the carbon storage in marine environments, representing a large carbon sink comparable to the global river input (Alongi, 2014). The fluxes of terrestrial-derived carbon including dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and particulate organic carbon (POC) transported through surface river runoff to the ocean were well known and quantified (Ludwig et al., 1996; Regnier et al., 2022). However, increasing evidence suggests that tidal exchange dominates the transport of significant dissolved carbon from coastal ecosystems to adjacent estuarine and shelf waters (e.g., Maher et al., 2013; Tait et al., 2016; Wang et al., 2016; Chen et al., 2021). This mechanism is commonly named as carbon ‘outwelling’ or lateral carbon export (e.g., Teal, 1962; Odum, 1968; Wang and Cai, 2004; Sippo et al., 2017; Cabral et al., 2021; Santos et al., 2021; Tamborski et al., 2021).
  • Dataset
    Discrete bottle sample measurements for carbonate chemistry, organic alkalinity and organic carbon from samples collected in Waquoit Bay and Vineyard Sound, MA in 2016
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2020-02-26) Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Song, Shuzhen ; Gonneea, Meagan ; Kroeger, Kevin
    Discrete bottle sample measurements for carbonate chemistry, organic alkalinity and organic carbon from samples collected in Waquoit Bay and Vineyard Sound, MA in 2016. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Inorganic carbon speciation and fluxes in the Congo River
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-02-14) Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Bienvenu, Dinga Jean ; Mann, Paul J. ; Hoering, Katherine A. ; Poulsen, John R. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Holmes, Robert M.
    Seasonal variations in inorganic carbon chemistry and associated fluxes from the Congo River were investigated at Brazzaville-Kinshasa. Small seasonal variation in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) was found in contrast with discharge-correlated changes in pH, total alkalinity (TA), carbonate species, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). DIC was almost always greater than TA due to the importance of CO2*, the sum of dissolved CO2 and carbonic acid, as a result of low pH. Organic acids in DOC contributed 11–61% of TA and had a strong titration effect on water pH and carbonate speciation. The CO2* and bicarbonate fluxes accounted for ~57% and 43% of the DIC flux, respectively. Congo River surface water released CO2 at a rate of ~109 mol m−2 yr−1. The basin-wide DIC yield was ~8.84 × 104 mol km−2 yr−1. The discharge normalized DIC flux to the ocean amounted to 3.11 × 1011 mol yr−1. The DOC titration effect on the inorganic carbon system may also be important on a global scale for regulating carbon fluxes in rivers.
  • Article
    The marine inorganic carbon system along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of the United States : insights from a transregional coastal carbon study
    (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2013-01) Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Wanninkhof, Rik ; Cai, Wei-Jun ; Byrne, Robert H. ; Hu, Xinping ; Peng, Tsung-Hung ; Huang, Wei-Jen
    Distributions of total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and other parameters relevant to the marine inorganic carbon system were investigated in shelf and adjacent ocean waters during a U.S. Gulf of Mexico and East Coast Carbon cruise in July–August 2007. TA exhibited near-conservative behavior with respect to salinity. Shelf concentrations were generally high in southern waters (Gulf of Mexico and East Florida) and decreased northward from Georgia to the Gulf of Maine. DIC was less variable geographically and exhibited strongly nonconservative behavior. As a result, the ratio of TA to DIC generally decreased northward. The spatial patterns of other CO2 system parameters closely followed those of the TA : DIC ratio. All sampled shelf waters were supersaturated with respect to aragonite (saturation state ΩA > 1). The most intensely buffered and supersaturated waters (ΩA > 5.0) were in northern Gulf of Mexico river-plume waters; the least intensely buffered and least supersaturated waters (ΩA < 1.3) were in the deep Gulf of Maine. Due to their relatively low pH, ΩA, and buffer intensity, waters of the northeastern U.S. shelves may be more susceptible to acidification pressures than are their southern counterparts. In the Mid-Atlantic Bight, alongshore mixing tended to increase DIC concentrations southward, but this effect was largely offset by the opposing effects of biogeochemical processing. In the Gulf of Mexico, downstream increases in Loop Current DIC suggested significant contributions from shelf and gulf waters, estimated at 9.1 × 109 mol C d−1. Off the southeastern U.S., along-flow chemical changes in the Florida Current were dominated by mixing associated with North Atlantic subtropical recirculation.
  • Article
    Advancing observation of ocean biogeochemistry, biology, and ecosystems with cost-effective in situ sensing technologies
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-09-12) Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Moustahfid, Hassan ; Mueller, Amy V. ; Michel, Anna P. M. ; Mowlem, Matthew ; Glazer, Brian T. ; Mooney, T. Aran ; Michaels, William ; McQuillan, Jonathan S. ; Robidart, Julie ; Churchill, James H. ; Sourisseau, Marc ; Daniel, Anne ; Schaap, Allison ; Monk, Sam ; Friedman, Kim ; Brehmer, Patrice
    Advancing our understanding of ocean biogeochemistry, biology, and ecosystems relies on the ability to make observations both in the ocean and at the critical boundaries between the ocean and other earth systems at relevant spatial and temporal scales. After decades of advancement in ocean observing technologies, one of the key remaining challenges is how to cost-effectively make measurements at the increased resolution necessary for illuminating complex system processes and rapidly evolving changes. In recent years, biogeochemical in situ sensors have been emerging that are threefold or more lower in cost than established technologies; the cost reduction for many biological in situ sensors has also been significant, although the absolute costs are still relatively high. Cost savings in these advancements has been driven by miniaturization, new methods of packaging, and lower-cost mass-produced components such as electronics and materials. Recently, field projects have demonstrated the potential for science-quality data collection via large-scale deployments using cost-effective sensors and deployment strategies. In the coming decade, it is envisioned that ocean biogeochemistry and biology observations will be revolutionized by continued innovation in sensors with increasingly low price points and the scale-up of deployments of these in situ sensor technologies. The goal of this study is therefore to: (1) provide a review of existing sensor technologies that are already achieving cost-effectiveness compared with traditional instrumentation, (2) present case studies of cost-effective in situ deployments that can provide insight into methods for bridging observational gaps, (3) identify key challenge areas where progress in cost reduction is lagging, and (4) present a number of potentially transformative directions for future ocean biogeochemical and biological studies using cost-effective technologies and deployment strategies.
  • Article
    Projecting ocean acidification impacts for the Gulf of Maine to 2050: new tools and expectations
    (University of California Press, 2021-05-13) Siedlecki, Samantha A. ; Salisbury, Joseph E. ; Gledhill, Dwight K. ; Bastidas, Carolina ; Meseck, Shannon L. ; McGarry, Kelly ; Hunt, Christopher W. ; Alexander, Michael A. ; Lavoie, Diane ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Scott, James D. ; Brady, Damian C. ; Mlsna, Ivy ; Azetsu-Scott, Kumiko ; Liberti, Catherine M. ; Melrose, D. Christopher ; White, Meredith M. ; Pershing, Andrew J. ; Vandemark, Douglas ; Townsend, David W. ; Chen, Changsheng ; Mook, Bill ; Morrison, J. Ruairidh
    Ocean acidification (OA) is increasing predictably in the global ocean as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide lead to higher oceanic concentrations of inorganic carbon. The Gulf of Maine (GOM) is a seasonally varying region of confluence for many processes that further affect the carbonate system including freshwater influences and high productivity, particularly near the coast where local processes impart a strong influence. Two main regions within the GOM currently experience carbonate conditions that are suboptimal for many organisms—the nearshore and subsurface deep shelf. OA trends over the past 15 years have been masked in the GOM by recent warming and changes to the regional circulation that locally supply more Gulf Stream waters. The region is home to many commercially important shellfish that are vulnerable to OA conditions, as well as to the human populations whose dependence on shellfish species in the fishery has continued to increase over the past decade. Through a review of the sensitivity of the regional marine ecosystem inhabitants, we identified a critical threshold of 1.5 for the aragonite saturation state (Ωa). A combination of regional high-resolution simulations that include coastal processes were used to project OA conditions for the GOM into 2050. By 2050, the Ωa declines everywhere in the GOM with most pronounced impacts near the coast, in subsurface waters, and associated with freshening. Under the RCP 8.5 projected climate scenario, the entire GOM will experience conditions below the critical Ωa threshold of 1.5 for most of the year by 2050. Despite these declines, the projected warming in the GOM imparts a partial compensatory effect to Ωa by elevating saturation states considerably above what would result from acidification alone and preserving some important fisheries locations, including much of Georges Bank, above the critical threshold.
  • Article
    Particle triggered reactions as an important mechanism of alkalinity and inorganic carbon removal in river plumes
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-05-20) Wurgaft, Eyal ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Churchill, James H. ; Dellapenna, Timothy M. ; Song, Shuzhen ; Du, Jiabi ; Ringham, Mallory C. ; Rivlin, Tanya ; Lazar, Boaz
    The effects of heterogeneous reactions between river-borne particles and the carbonate system were studied in the plumes of the Mississippi and Brazos rivers. Measurements within these plumes revealed significant removal of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA). After accounting for all known DIC and TA sinks and sources, heterogeneous reactions (i.e., heterogeneous CaCO3 precipitation and cation exchange between adsorbed and dissolved ions) were found to be responsible for a significant fraction of DIC and TA removal, exceeding 10% and 90%, respectively, in the Mississippi and Brazos plume waters. This finding was corroborated by laboratory experiments, in which the seeding of seawater with the riverine particles induced the removal of the DIC and TA. The combined results demonstrate that heterogeneous reactions may represent an important controlling mechanism of the seawater carbonate system in particle-rich coastal areas and may significantly impact the coastal carbon cycle.
  • Article
    Surface ocean pCO2 seasonality and sea-air CO2 flux estimates for the North American east coast
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-10-16) Signorini, Sergio R. ; Mannino, Antonio ; Najjar, Raymond G. ; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M. ; Cai, Wei-Jun ; Salisbury, Joseph E. ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Thomas, Helmuth ; Shadwick, Elizabeth H.
    Underway and in situ observations of surface ocean pCO2, combined with satellite data, were used to develop pCO2 regional algorithms to analyze the seasonal and interannual variability of surface ocean pCO2 and sea-air CO2 flux for five physically and biologically distinct regions of the eastern North American continental shelf: the South Atlantic Bight (SAB), the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB), the Gulf of Maine (GoM), Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank (NS+GB), and the Scotian Shelf (SS). Temperature and dissolved inorganic carbon variability are the most influential factors driving the seasonality of pCO2. Estimates of the sea-air CO2 flux were derived from the available pCO2 data, as well as from the pCO2 reconstructed by the algorithm. Two different gas exchange parameterizations were used. The SS, GB+NS, MAB, and SAB regions are net sinks of atmospheric CO2 while the GoM is a weak source. The estimates vary depending on the use of surface ocean pCO2 from the data or algorithm, as well as with the use of the two different gas exchange parameterizations. Most of the regional estimates are in general agreement with previous studies when the range of uncertainty and interannual variability are taken into account. According to the algorithm, the average annual uptake of atmospheric CO2 by eastern North American continental shelf waters is found to be between −3.4 and −5.4 Tg C yr−1 (areal average of −0.7 to −1.0 mol CO2 m−2 yr−1) over the period 2003–2010.
  • Article
    Effects of typhoons on surface seawater pCO(2) and air-sea CO2 fluxes in the Northern South China Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-08-03) Yu, Peisong ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Churchill, James H. ; Zheng, Minhui ; Pan, Jianming ; Bai, Yan ; Liang, Chujin
    This study assessed the effects of typhoons on sea surface pCO2 and CO2 flux in the northern South China Sea (SCS). During the passage of three major typhoons from May to August 2013, sea surface pCO2, surface seawater temperature (SST), and other meteorological parameters were continuously measured on a moored buoy. Surface water in the region was a source of CO2 to the atmosphere with large variations ranging from hours to months. SST was the primary factor controlling the variation of surface pCO2 through most of the time period. Typhoons are seen to impact surface pCO2 in three steps: first by cooling, thus decreasing surface pCO2, and then by causing vertical mixing that brings up deep, high‐CO2 water, and lastly triggering net uptake of CO2 due to the nutrients brought up in this deep water. The typhoons of this study primarily impacted air‐sea CO2 flux via increasing wind speeds. The mean CO2 flux during a typhoon ranged from 3.6 to 5.4 times the pretyphoon mean flux. The magnitude of the CO2 flux during typhoons was strongly inversely correlated with the typhoon center distance. The effect of typhoons accounted for 22% of the total CO2 flux in the study period, during which typhoons occurred only 9% of the time. It was estimated that typhoons enhanced annual CO2 efflux by 23–56% in the northern SCS during the last decade. As such, tropical cyclones may play a large and increasingly important role in controlling CO2 fluxes in a warmer and stormier ocean of the future.
  • Preprint
    The effect of elevated carbon dioxide on the sinking and swimming of the shelled pteropod Limacina retroversa
    ( 2017-01) Bergan, Alexander J. ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Maas, Amy E. ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck
    Shelled pteropods are planktonic molluscs that may be affected by ocean acidification. Limacina retroversa from the Gulf of Maine were used to investigate the impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) on shell condition as well as swimming and sinking behaviours. Limacina retroversa were maintained at either ambient (ca. 400 μatm) or two levels of elevated CO2 (800 and 1200 μatm) for up to four weeks, and then examined for changes in shell transparency, sinking speed, and swimming behaviour assessed through a variety of metrics (e.g., speed, path tortuosity, wing beat frequency). After exposures to elevated CO2 for as little as four days, the pteropod shells were significantly darker and more opaque in the elevated CO2 treatments. Sinking speeds were significantly slower for pteropods exposed to medium and high CO2 in comparison to the ambient treatment. Swimming behaviour showed less clear patterns of response to treatment and duration of exposure, but overall, swimming did not appear to be hindered under elevated CO2. Sinking is used by L. retroversa for predator evasion, and altered speeds and increased visibility could increase the susceptibility of pteropods to predation.
  • Article
    The metabolic response of thecosome pteropods from the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans to high CO2 and low O2
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2016-11-17) Maas, Amy E. ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck
    As anthropogenic activities directly and indirectly increase carbon dioxide (CO2) and decrease oxygen (O2) concentrations in the ocean system, it becomes important to understand how different populations of marine animals will respond. Water that is naturally low in pH, with a high concentration of carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) and a low concentration of oxygen, occurs at shallow depths (200–500 m) in the North Pacific Ocean, whereas similar conditions are absent throughout the upper water column in the North Atlantic. This contrasting hydrography provides a natural experiment to explore whether differences in environment cause populations of cosmopolitan pelagic calcifiers, specifically the aragonitic-shelled pteropods, to have a different physiological response when exposed to hypercapnia and low O2. Using closed-chamber end-point respiration experiments, eight species of pteropods from the two ocean basins were exposed to high CO2 ( ∼  800 µatm) while six species were also exposed to moderately low O2 (48 % saturated, or  ∼  130 µmol kg−1) and a combined treatment of low O2/high CO2. None of the species tested showed a change in metabolic rate in response to high CO2 alone. Of those species tested for an effect of O2, only Limacina retroversa from the Atlantic showed a response to the combined treatment, resulting in a reduction in metabolic rate. Our results suggest that pteropods have mechanisms for coping with short-term CO2 exposure and that there can be interactive effects between stressors on the physiology of these open ocean organisms that correlate with natural exposure to low O2 and high CO2. These are considerations that should be taken into account in projections of organismal sensitivity to future ocean conditions.
  • Article
    Time of Emergence of surface ocean carbon dioxide trends in the North American coastal margins in support of ocean acidification observing system design.
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-03-08) Turk, Daniela ; Wang, Hongjie ; Hu, Xinping ; Gledhill, Dwight K. ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Jiang, Liqing ; Cai, Wei-Jun
    Time of Emergence (ToE) is the time when a signal emerges from the noise of natural variability. Commonly used in climate science for the detection of anthropogenic forcing, this concept has recently been applied to geochemical variables, to assess the emerging times of anthropogenic ocean acidification (OA), mostly in the open ocean using global climate and Earth System Models. Yet studies of OA variables are scarce within costal margins, due to limited multidecadal time-series observations of carbon parameters. ToE provides important information for decision making regarding the strategic configuration of observing assets, to ensure they are optimally positioned either for signal detection and/or process elicitation and to identify the most suitable variables in discerning OA-related changes. Herein, we present a short overview of ToE estimates on an OA variable, CO2 fugacity f(CO2,sw), in the North American ocean margins, using coastal data from the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) V5. ToE suggests an average theoretical timeframe for an OA signal to emerge, of 23(±13) years, but with considerable spatial variability. Most coastal areas are experiencing additional secular and/or multi-decadal forcing(s) that modifies the OA signal, and such forcing may not be sufficiently resolved by current observations. We provide recommendations, which will help scientists and decision makers design and implement OA monitoring systems in the next decade, to address the objectives of OceanObs19 ( in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) ( and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.3 ( target to “Minimize and address the impacts of OA.”
  • Article
    Isotopic evidence for sources of dissolved carbon and the role of organic matter respiration in the Fraser River basin, Canada
    (Springer, 2022-07-10) Voss, Britta M. ; Eglinton, Timothy I. ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Galy, Valier ; Lang, Susan Q. ; McIntyre, Cameron P. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Bulygina, Ekaterina ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Guay, Katherine A.
    Sources of dissolved and particulate carbon to the Fraser River system vary significantly in space and time. Tributaries in the northern interior of the basin consistently deliver higher concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the main stem than other tributaries. Based on samples collected near the Fraser River mouth throughout 2013, the radiocarbon age of DOC exported from the Fraser River does not change significantly across seasons despite a spike in DOC concentration during the freshet, suggesting modulation of heterogeneous upstream chemical and isotopic signals during transit through the river basin. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations are highest in the Rocky Mountain headwater region where carbonate weathering is evident, but also in tributaries with high DOC concentrations, suggesting that DOC respiration may be responsible for a significant portion of DIC in this basin. Using an isotope and major ion mass balance approach to constrain the contributions of carbonate and silicate weathering and DOC respiration, we estimate that up to 33 ± 11% of DIC is derived from DOC respiration in some parts of the Fraser River basin. Overall, these results indicate close coupling between the cycling of DOC and DIC, and that carbon is actively processed and transformed during transport through the river network.