Title: Potential impact of global warming on whiting in a semi-enclosed gulf

Authors: A. Shanableh; M. Imteaz; K. Hamad; M. Omar; Tarek Merabtene; M. Siddique

Addresses: Research Institute of Sciences and Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates ' Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122, Australia ' Research Institute of Sciences and Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates ' Research Institute of Sciences and Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates ' Research Institute of Sciences and Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates ' Research Institute of Sciences and Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: In this article, the potential impact of the rising atmospheric CO2 level on whiting in the semi-enclosed Arabian Gulf is considered. Chemical equilibrium models were developed to assess the spatial and temporal distributions of aragonite and calcite saturation indices (ΩAragonite and Ωcalcite) due to acidification resulting from increasing atmospheric CO2 level. The models accounted for the spatial and temporal distributions of salinity and temperature in the surface water of the gulf, which vary in the range of 36-43 psu and 15°C to 32°C. The spatial variations of CaCO3 saturation revealed that the southern part of the gulf along the coastlines of the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain experiences the highest CaCO3 saturation levels and corresponds to the observed whiting phenomenon. Potential acidification and erosion of the whiting phenomenon in the gulf threaten the ecosystem, which deserves significant additional attention from the scientific community and decision makers in the region.

Keywords: whiting phenomenon; aragonite saturation index; calcite saturation index; CaCO3 saturation; acidification of sea water; global warming; increasing atmospheric CO2; phytoplankton; cyanobacteria.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2017.087210

International Journal of Global Warming, 2017 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.411 - 425

Received: 21 Sep 2015
Accepted: 11 Jan 2016

Published online: 14 Sep 2017 *

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