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Carbon-Dioxide Tension of Sea-Water

co and temperature


We express tension in parts per 10,000. If sea-water is bottled it undergoes some fermentation with rise in tension, unless an antiseptic is added. Krogh supposed that the addition of 1 gram HgC12 per liter caused the tension to rise 0.35. Krogh found that the CO, tension of sea-water was low, except where it was diluted with fresh water from the land. Everywhere it increases with depth. In the Baltic he found tensions as high as 16 at a depth of 95 meters and salinity of 1.3. That the CO, tension of the sea-surface is not in equilibrium with the air is indicated by the fact that Krogh found it to vary from 1.5 to 3 in the North Atlantic. These differences were apparently partly due to change in temperature, since, if the water samples were all tested at 12.5°, the tension varied only from 2.05

to 2.95. Perhaps this water came from a uniform source (such as the Gulf Stream) with uniform tension, and the change in temperature on meeting ice and air currents diversified the tension. Since the CO, tension of the sea near the Gulf Stream (at Tortugas) varied from 3.3 to 4.7 (calculated from the P.) and Krogh obtained values as low as 1.5 in the North Atlantic, we may suppose that the water maintains a relatively constant CO, content as it flows northward and the lowered temperature decreases the CO, tension. This supposition is supported by the fact that Palitzsch found that the P. is relatively constant, and we have shown that the P. is dependent on the CO, content and not on the temperature. If sea-water at 30° has 4.5 CO, tension, simple cooling to 0° will reduce the CO, tension to about 1.5.