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Inorganic Carbon Transport and Dynamics in the Florida Straits

Citation: Xu, Y. Y., Wanninkhof, R., Osborne, E., Baringer, M., Barbero, L., Cai, W. J., & Hooper, J. (2022). Inorganic Carbon Transport and Dynamics in the Florida Straits. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 127(10), e2022JC018405.

A large amount of ocean heat and carbon is transported northward through the Florida Straits, the upper limb of the Atlantic Meridional Circulation, and plays a role in ocean carbonate chemistry along the U.S. east coast. Our understanding of carbon transport and ocean acidification in the Florida Straits is limited by insufficient carbonate chemistry data within this region. To address this issue, we developed an algorithm based on high-quality data from carbonate chemistry-focused research cruises. Then we applied this algorithm to seasonally resolved hydrographic time-series data from 2002 to 2018 to generate the carbonate chemistry datasets for the study region. We found that short-term variation in surface water dissolved oxygen was strongly correlated with volume transport. During the past two decades, dissolved oxygen showed a significant decreasing trend, and dissolved inorganic carbon showed a significant increasing trend. In addition, the increasing rate of dissolved inorganic carbon was highest in North Atlantic Central Water where the decreasing rate in dissolved oxygen was greatest. Furthermore, the long-term declines in pH and aragonite saturation state have the potential to threaten the health of corals living in the Florida Straits.

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The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) works to prepare society to adapt to the consequences of ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as acidification occurs. Learn more about the human connections and adaptation strategies from these efforts.

Adaptation approaches fostered by the OAP include:


Using models and research to understand the sensitivity of organisms and ecosystems to ocean acidification to make predictions about the future, allowing communities and industries to prepare


Using these models and predictions as tools to facilitate management strategies that will protect marine resources and communities from future changes


Developing innovative tools to help monitor ocean acidification and mitigate changing ocean chemistry locally


On the Road

Drive fuel-efficient vehicles or choose public transportation. Choose your bike or walk! Don't sit idle for more than 30 seconds. Keep your tires properly inflated.

With your Food Choices

Eat local- this helps cut down on production and transport! Reduce your meat and dairy. Compost to avoid food waste ending up in the landfill

With your Food Choices

Make energy-efficient choices for your appliances and lighting. Heat and cool efficiently! Change your air filters and program your thermostat, seal and insulate your home, and support clean energy sources

By Reducing Coastal Acidification

Reduce your use of fertilizers, Improve sewage treatment and run off, and Protect and restore coastal habitats

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You've taken the first step to learn more about ocean acidification - why not spread this knowledge to your community?

Every community has their unique culture, economy and ecology and what’s at stake from ocean acidification may be different depending on where you live.  As a community member, you can take a larger role in educating the public about ocean acidification. Creating awareness is the first step to taking action.  As communities gain traction, neighboring regions that share marine resources can build larger coalitions to address ocean acidification.  Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Work with informal educators, such as aquarium outreach programs and local non-profits, to teach the public about ocean acidification. Visit our Education & Outreach page to find the newest tools!
  2. Participate in habitat restoration efforts to restore habitats that help mitigate the effects of coastal acidification
  3. Facilitate conversations with local businesses that might be affected by ocean acidification, building a plan for the future.
  4. Partner with local community efforts to mitigate the driver behind ocean acidification  – excess CO2 – such as community supported agriculture, bike & car shares and other public transportation options.
  5. Contact your regional Coastal Acidification Network (CAN) to learn how OA is affecting your region and more ideas about how you can get involved in your community
       More for Taking Community Action