11 Sep 2023
 | 11 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A decade of marine inorganic carbon chemistry observations in the northern Gulf of Alaska – Insights to an environment in transition

Natalie M. Monacci, Jessica N. Cross, Wiley Evans, Jeremy T. Mathis, and Hongjie Wang

Abstract. As elsewhere in the global ocean, the Gulf of Alaska is experiencing the rapid onset of ocean acidification (OA) driven by oceanic absorption of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In support of OA research and monitoring, we present here a data product of marine inorganic carbon chemistry parameters measured from seawater samples taken during biannual cruises between 2008 and 2017 in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Samples were collected each May and September over the 10–year period using a conductivity, temperature, depth (CTD) profiler coupled with a Niskin bottle rosette at stations including a long–term hydrographic survey transect known as the Gulf of Alaska (GAK) Line. This dataset includes discrete seawater measurements such as dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity, which allows the calculation of other marine carbon parameters, including carbonate mineral saturation states, carbon dioxide (CO2), and pH. Cumulative daily Bakun upwelling indices illustrate the pattern of downwelling in the northern Gulf of Alaska, with a period of relaxation spanning between the May and September cruises. The observed time and space variability impart challenges for disentangling the OA signal despite this dataset spanning a decade. However, this data product greatly enhances our understanding of seasonal and interannual variability on the marine inorganic carbon system parameters. The product can also aid in the ground truthing of biogeochemical models, refining estimates of sea–air CO2 exchange, and determining appropriate CO2 parameter ranges for experiments targeting potentially vulnerable species. Data are available at (Monacci et al., 2023).

Natalie M. Monacci et al.

Status: open (until 31 Oct 2023)

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Natalie M. Monacci et al.

Data sets

Marine carbonate system discrete profile data from the Gulf of Alaska (GAK) Seward Line cruises between 2008 and 2017 (NCEI Accession 0277034) Natalie M. Monacci, Jessica N. Cross, Seth L. Danielson, Wiley Evans, Russell R. Hopcroft, Jeremy T. Mathis, Calvin Mordy, Daniel Naber, Kristen L. Shake, Katherine Trahanovsky, Hongjie Wang, Thomas J. Weingartner, and Terry E. Whitledge

Natalie M. Monacci et al.


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Short summary
As carbon dioxide is released into the air through human generated activity, about one third dissolves into the surface water of oceans, lowering the pH and increasing the acidity. This is known as ocean acidification. We merged ten years of ocean carbon data and made it publicly available for adaptation planning during a time of change. The data confirmed Alaska is already experiencing the effects of ocean acidification due to naturally cold water, high productivity, and circulation patterns.