Offshore wind farms are projected to impact primary production and bottom water deoxygenation in the North Sea


"The wind wake effect of offshore wind farms affects the hydrodynamical conditions in the ocean, which has been hypothesized to impact marine primary production. So far only little is known about the ecosystem response to wind wakes under the premisses of large offshore wind farm clusters. Here we show, via numerical modeling, that the associated wind wakes in the North Sea provoke large-scale changes in annual primary production with local changes of up to ±10% not only at the offshore wind farm clusters, but also distributed over a wider region. [...]".


Source: Nature
Authors: Ute Daewel et al.

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Recovery from microplastic-induced marine deoxygenation may take centuries


"Climate change and plastics pollution are dual threats to marine environments. Here we use biogeochemical and microplastic modelling to show that even if there is complete removal of microplastics and cessation of deposition in the oceans in 2022, regional recovery from microplastic-induced remineralization and water column deoxygenation could take hundreds of years for coastal upwelling zones, the North Pacific and Southern Ocean. [...]".


Source: Nature
Authors: Karin Kvale & Andreas Oschlies

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Competing and accelerating effects of anthropogenic nutrient inputs on climate-driven changes in ocean carbon and oxygen cycles


"Nutrient inputs from the atmosphere and rivers to the ocean are increased substantially by human activities. However, the effects of increased nutrient inputs are not included in the widely used CMIP5 Earth system models, which introduce bias into model simulations of ocean biogeochemistry. Here, using historical simulations by an Earth system model with perturbed atmospheric and riverine nutrient inputs, we show that the contribution of anthropogenic nutrient inputs to past global changes in ocean biogeochemistry is of similar magnitude to the effect of climate change. [...]". 


Source: Science Advances
Authors: Akitomo Yamamoto et al. 
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abl9207

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Ocean Carbon Uptake Under Aggressive Emission Mitigation


"Nearly every nation has signed the UNFCC Paris Agreement, committing to mitigate global anthropogenic carbon (Cant) emissions and limit global mean temperature increase to 1.5 °C. A consequence of emission mitigation is reduced efficiency of ocean Cant uptake, which is driven by mechanisms that have not been studied in detail. The historical pattern of continual increase in atmospheric CO2 has resulted in a proportional increase in Cant uptake. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Sean Ridge and Galen McKinley
DOI: 10.5194/bg-2020-254

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Monitoring ocean biogeochemistry with autonomous platforms


"Human activities have altered the state of the ocean, leading to warming, acidification and deoxygenation. These changes impact ocean biogeochemistry and influence ecosystem functions and ocean health. The long-term global effects of these changes are difficult to predict using current satellite sensing and traditional in situ observation techniques. [...]"

Source: Nature Reviews Earth & Environment
Authors: Fei Chai et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s43017-020-0053-y

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Dissolved oxygen and pH criteria leave fisheries at risk


"Changes in human population centers and agricultural fertilizer use have accelerated delivery rates of nitrogen and phosphorus to coastal waters, often stimulating rapid accumulations of primary production (1). Whereas resulting eutrophication processes are of less environmental relevance in well-mixed, ocean ecosystems, when they occur in warm, stratified, and/or poorly mixed waters, they can result in hypoxia [depletion of dissolved oxygen (DO)] and acidification (decrease in pH), both of which individually can have adverse effects on aquatic life, affecting a suite of physiological processes and increasing mortality rates (23). [...]"

Source: Science
Authors: Stephen J. Tomasetti, Christopher J. Gobler
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba4896

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HKU study shows that control of anthropogenic atmospheric emissions can improve water quality in China’s coastal Seas

"A new research led by MPhil student Miss Yu Yan Yau and supervised by Dr Benoit Thibodeau from the Department of Earth Sciences and the Swire Institute of Marine Science, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), highlighted the importance of reducing fossil fuel combustion not only to curb the trend of global warming, but also to improve the quality of China’s coastal waters. The findings were recently published in the prestigious journal Environmental Science & Technology. [...]"

Source: The University of Hong Kong

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Fishing trawlers could harm water quality by disrupting seafloor microbes

"Fishing boats that drag nets along the sea floor to catch seafood can indiscriminately harm marine life and destroy habitat. Now, a new study suggests “bottom trawling” can also disrupt the ability of microbes in sediment to remove excess nutrients in coastal waters, potentially increasing that pollution. “This is one of the first papers to look at actual biogeochemical effects of bottom trawling,” says Sebastiaan van de Velde, a marine biogeochemist at the University of California, Riverside, who was not involved. “The whole angle is very novel.” [...]"

Source: Science

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Sweden becomes latest nation to join Global Ocean Alliance

"Sweden has become the newest member of the UK’s Global Ocean Alliance, which looks to help drive urgent action towards the 30by30 target, which would safeguard 30% of the ocean by 2030 and so helping to protect marine wildlife.

“Sweden together with Fiji, hosted the first UN ocean conference in 2017, and we firmly believe we need more international cooperation and substantially increased ambitions to help our ocean survive under the increasing pressures of overfishing, pollution and climate change,” said Swedish Minister for Environment and Climate, Isabella Lövin. [...]"

Source: Oceanographic

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Preparatory Meeting Stresses 2020 as a New Chapter of Ocean Action

"Participants at the 2020 UN Ocean Conference Preparatory Meeting highlighted the importance of a healthy ocean in implementing and achieving the SDGs and stressed that 2020 must be a year of concrete action for the ocean. The 2020 Ocean Conference is one of the first milestones of the UN Secretary-General’s Decade of Action for the SDGs and is expected to provide inputs into the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. [...]"

Read the full article here.

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