The influence of plastic pollution and ocean change on detrital decomposition
"Plastic pollution and ocean change have mostly been assessed separately, missing potential interactions that either enhance or reduce future impacts on ecosystem processes. Here, we used manipulative experiments with outdoor mesocosms to test hypotheses about the interactive effects of plastic pollution, ocean warming and acidification on macrophyte detrital decomposition. These experiments focused on detritus from kelp, Ecklonia radiata, and eelgrass, Zostera muelleri, and included crossed treatments of (i) no, low and high plastic pollution, (ii) current/future ocean temperatures, and (iii) ambient/future ocean partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2). High levels of plastic pollution significantly reduced[...]"
Source: Science Direct
Authors: Sebastian G. Litchfield et al.
Biogeochemical Controls on the Redox Evolution of Earth`s Oceans and Atmosphere
"The redox state of Earth’s atmosphere has undergone a dramatic shift over geologic time from reducing to strongly oxidizing, and this shift has been coupled with changes in ocean redox structure and the size and activity of Earth’s biosphere. Delineating this evolutionary trajectory remains a major problem in Earth system science. Significant insights have emerged through the application of redox-sensitive geochemical systems. Existing and emerging biogeochemical modeling tools are pushing the limits of the quantitative constraints on ocean–atmosphere[...]"
Authors: Christopher T. Reinhard et al.
The Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems and Reliant Human Communities
"Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, along with agriculture and land-use practices are causing wholesale increases in seawater CO2 and inorganic carbon levels; reductions in pH; and alterations in acid-base chemistry of estuarine, coastal, and surface open-ocean waters. On the basis of laboratory experiments and field studies of naturally elevated CO2 marine environments, widespread biological impacts of human-driven ocean acidification have been posited, ranging from changes in organism physiology and population dynamics to altered communities and ecosystems. Acidification, in conjunction with other climate change–related environmental stresses, particularly under future climate change[...]"
Source: Annual Review of Environment and Resources
Authors: Scott C. Doney et al.
Operationalizing Ocean Health: Toward Integrated Research on Ocean Health and Recovery to Achieve Ocean Sustainability
"Protecting the ocean has become a major goal of international policy as human activities increasingly endanger the integrity of the ocean ecosystem, often summarized as ‘‘ocean health.’’ By and large, efforts to protect the ocean have failed because, among other things, (1) the underlying socio-ecological pathways have not been properly considered, and (2) the concept of ocean health has been ill defined. Collectively, this prevents an adequate societal response as to how ocean ecosystems and their vital functions for human societies can be protected and restored. We review the confusion surrounding the term ‘‘ocean health’’ and suggest an operational ocean-health framework in line with the concept of strong sustainability. [...]"
Source: One Earth
Authors: Andrea Franke et al.
Slightly smaller-than-average 2020 ‘dead zone’ predicted for Chesapeake Bay
"Researchers from the University of Michigan, the Chesapeake Bay Program and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are forecasting a slightly smaller-than-average Chesapeake Bay “dead zone” this year, due to reduced rainfall and less nutrient-rich runoff flowing into the bay from the watershed this spring. [...]"
Source: University of Michigan
Larger-than-average ‘dead zone’ expected for Gulf of Mexico
"NOAA scientists are forecasting this summer’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic area or “dead zone” – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – to be approximately 6,700 square miles, larger than the long-term average measured size of 5,387 square miles but substantially less than the record of 8,776 square miles set in 2017. The annual prediction is based on U.S. Geological Survey river-flow and nutrient data. [...]"