EGU24-8827, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Alkalization of seawater enhances calcification of large benthic foraminifers.

Shunichi Kinoshita1, Yuri Hashimoto2, Azumi Kuroyanagi2, and Atsushi Suzuki3
Shunichi Kinoshita et al.
  • 1National Museum of Nature and Science, Department of Geology and Paleontology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan (
  • 2Tohoku University, Japan
  • 3National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan

There is concern that the increasing pCO2 following the Industrial Revolution Period might lead to ocean acidification, which could affect calcifying organisms in the oceans. Recently, negative emission technology has been attracting attention as an effective countermeasure for greenhouse gas emissions. In the ocean, ocean alkalinization technology is proposed to neutralize acidified oceans and enhance the absorption capacity of CO2 in the oceans. The potential effectiveness of ocean alkalinization technology is also suggested by the history of the Earth. During the Cretaceous period, when pCO2 is interpreted >1,000 ppm, calcifying organisms thrived in the Cretaceous oceans. It is hypothesized that it was due to the total alkalinity (TA) of the seawater being maintained higher, thereby kept the calcium carbonate saturation state at necessary. In this study, we examined this hypothesis as well as attempted to predict the effects of the application of current alkalinization techniques in the ocean on calcifying organisms.

Clonal populations of large benthic foraminifers were cultured in highly alkalinized seawater under high pCO2 conditions, and amounts of calcification (weight and volume) were measured (Group 1: high TA and high pCO2). Specimens taken from same clonal population were kept in modern surface seawater (Group 2: low TA and low pCO2) as a control treatment. The same experiments were also conducted as Group 3 (low TA and high pCO2) to simulate future ocean acidification conditions, and as Group 4 (high TA and low pCO2) to simulate alkalinized ocean under a low pCO2 environment. It was showed significant differences in the amount of calcification in each of the Groups after three months cultivation. The amount of calcification in Group 1 was almost the same as that in the control treatment, confirming the possibility of maintaining the growth of calcifying organisms by alkalinization. Calcification amount in Group 3 was the smallest among all groups, indicating that future ocean acidification may inhibit calcification of large benthic foraminifers. In addition, the calcification rate was the greatest in Group 4, it is indicated that ocean alkalinization may enhance the calcification of the organisms. Finally, these results suggest that the calcium carbonate saturation state of seawater is an important parameter for calcification.

How to cite: Kinoshita, S., Hashimoto, Y., Kuroyanagi, A., and Suzuki, A.: Alkalization of seawater enhances calcification of large benthic foraminifers., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8827,, 2024.