Current Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation weakest in last millennium
"The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)—one of Earth’s major ocean circulation systems—redistributes heat on our planet and has a major impact on climate. Here, we compare a variety of published proxy records to reconstruct the evolution of the AMOC since about AD 400. A fairly consistent picture of the AMOC emerges: after a long and relatively stable period, there was an initial weakening starting in the nineteenth century, followed by a second, more rapid, decline in the mid-twentieth[...]"
Source: Nature Geosciences
Authors: L. Caesar et al.
Gulf of Mexico blue hole harbors high levels of novel microbial lineages
"Exploration of oxygen-depleted marine environments has consistently revealed novel microbial taxa and metabolic capabilities that expand our understanding of microbial evolution and ecology. Marine blue holes are shallow karst formations characterized by low oxygen and high organic matter content. They are logistically challenging to sample, and thus our understanding of their biogeochemistry and microbial ecology is limited. We present a metagenomic and geochemical characterization of Amberjack Hole on the Florida continental shelf (Gulf of Mexico). Dissolved oxygen became depleted at the hole’s rim[...]"
Source: The ISME Journal
Authors: N. V. Patin et al.
Climate field completion via Markov random fields – Application to the HadCRUT4.6 temperature dataset
"Surface temperature is a vital metric of Earth’s climate state, but is incompletely observed in both space and time: over half of monthly values are missing from the widely used HadCRUT4.6 global surface temperature dataset. Here we apply GraphEM, a recently developed imputation method, to construct a spatially complete estimate of HadCRUT4.6 temperatures. GraphEM leverages Gaussian Markov random fields (aka Gaussian graphical models) to better estimate covariance relationships within a climate field, detecting anisotropic features such as land/ocean contrasts, orography, ocean currents and wave-propagation pathways.[...]"
Source: AMS- American Meteorological Society
Authors: Adam Vaccaro et al.
Atlantic Ocean science diplomacy in action: the pole-to-pole All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance
"The ocean provides important ecosystem services to society, but its health is in crisis due to the impacts of human activities. Ocean sustainability requires ambitious levels of scientific evidence to support governance and management of human activities that impact the ocean. However, due to the size, complexity and connectivity of the ocean, monitoring and data collection presupposes high investments, and nations need to cooperate to deliver the ambitious, costly science that is required to inform decisions[...]"
Source: Nature - Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
Authors: Andrei Polejack et al.
Fossil evidence for vampire squid inhabiting oxygen-depleted ocean zones since at least the Oligocene
"A marked 120 My gap in the fossil record of vampire squids separates the only extant species (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) from its Early Cretaceous, morphologically-similar ancestors. While the extant species possesses unique physiological adaptations to bathyal environments with low oxygen concentrations, Mesozoic vampyromorphs inhabited epicontinental shelves. However, the timing of their retreat towards bathyal and oxygen-depleted habitats is poorly documented. Here, we document a first record of a post-Mesozoic vampire squid from the Oligocene of the Central Paratethys[...]"
Source: Nature - Communications Biology
Authors: Martin Košťák et al.
Ocean acidification may slow the pace of tropicalization of temperate fish communities
"Poleward range extensions by warm-adapted sea urchins are switching temperate marine ecosystems from kelp-dominated to barren-dominated systems that favour the establishment of range-extending tropical fishes. Yet, such tropicalization may be buffered by ocean acidification, which reduces urchin grazing performance and the urchin barrens that tropical range-extending fishes prefer. Using ecosystems experiencing natural warming and acidification, we show that ocean acidification could buffer warming-facilitated tropicalization by reducing urchin populations (by 87%) and inhibiting the formation of barrens. This buffering effect of CO2[...]"
Source: Nature Climate Change
Authors: Ericka O. C. Coni et al.
Vertical distribution of planktic foraminifera through an oxygen minimum zone: how assemblages and test morphology reflect oxygen concentrations
"Oxygen-depleted regions of the global ocean are rapidly expanding, with important implications for global biogeochemical cycles. However, our ability to make projections about the future of oxygen in the ocean is limited by a lack of empirical data with which to test and constrain the behavior of global climatic and oceanographic models. We use depth-stratified plankton tows to demonstrate that some species of planktic foraminifera are adapted to life in the heart of the pelagic oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). In particular, we identify two species, Globorotaloides hexagonus and Hastigerina parapelagica, living within the eastern tropical North Pacific OMZ. The tests of the former are preserved in marine sediments and could be used to trace the extent and intensity of low-oxygen pelagic habitats in the fossil record. Additional morphometric analyses of G. hexagonus show that tests found in the lowest oxygen[...]"
Authors: Catherine V. Davis et al.
Connecting to the oceans: supporting ocean literacy and public engagement
"Improved public understanding of the ocean and the importance of sustainable ocean use, or ocean literacy, is essential for achieving global commitments to sustainable development by 2030 and beyond. However, growing human populations (particularly in mega-cities), urbanisation and socio-economic disparity threaten opportunities for people to engage and connect directly with ocean environments. Thus, a major challenge in engaging the whole of society in achieving ocean sustainability by 2030 is to develop strategies to improve societal connections to the ocean[...]"
Source: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
Authors: Rachel Kelly et al.
Ocean Optimism: Moving Beyond the Obituaries in Marine Conservation
"While the ocean has suffered many losses, there is increasing evidence that important progress is being made in marine conservation. Examples include striking recoveries of once-threatened species, increasing rates of protection of marine habitats, more sustainably managed fisheries and aquaculture, reductions in some forms of pollution, accelerating restoration of degraded habitats, and use of the ocean and its habitats to sequester carbon and provide clean energy. Many of these achievements have multiple benefits[...]"
Source: Annual Reviews
Authors: Nancy Knowlton