News

Warming stimulates sediment denitrification at the expense of anaerobic ammonium oxidation

Abstract.

"Temperature is one of the fundamental environmental variables governing microbially mediated denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) in sediments. The GHG nitrous oxide (N2O) is produced during denitrification, but not by anammox, and knowledge of how these pathways respond to global warming remains limited. [...]"

Source: Nature Climate Change
Authors: Ehui Tan et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0723-2

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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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Our Vanishing World: Oceans

"As the human onslaught against life on Earth accelerates, no part of the biosphere is left pristine. The simple act of consuming more than we actually need drives the world’s governments and corporations to endlessly destroy more and more of the Earth to extract the resources necessary to satisfy our insatiable desires. In fact, an initiative of the World Economic Forum has just reported that ‘For the first time in history, more than 100 billion tonnes of materials are entering the global economy every year’ – see ‘The Circularity Gap Report 2020’– which means that, on average, every person on Earth uses more than 13 tonnes of materials each year extracted from the Earth. [...]"

Source: GlobalReasearch

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Observing phytoplankton via satellite

"Thanks to a new algorithm, researchers can now use satellite data to determine in which parts of the ocean certain types of phytoplankton are dominant. In addition, they can identify toxic algal blooms and assess the effects of global warming on marine plankton, allowing them to draw conclusions regarding water quality and the ramifications for the fishing industry. [...]"

Source: Science Daily

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On the co‐evolution of surface oxygen levels and animals

Abstract.

"Few topics in geobiology have been as extensively debated as the role of Earth's oxygenation in controlling when and why animals emerged and diversified. All currently described animals require oxygen for at least a portion of their life cycle. Therefore, the transition to an oxygenated planet was a prerequisite for the emergence of animals. Yet, our understanding of Earth's oxygenation and the environmental requirements of animal habitability and ecological success is currently limited; estimates for the timing of the appearance of environments sufficiently oxygenated to support ecologically stable populations of animals span a wide range, from billions of years to only a few million years before animals appear in the fossil record. [...]"

Source: Geobiology
Authors: Devon B. Cole et al.
DOI: 10.1111/gbi.12382

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Associations between redox‐sensitive trace metals and microbial communities in a Proterozoic ocean analogue

Abstract.

"Constraints on Precambrian ocean chemistry are dependent upon sediment geochemistry. However, diagenesis and metamorphism can destroy primary biosignatures, making it difficult to consider biology when interpreting geochemical data. Modern analogues for ancient ecosystems can be useful tools for identifying how sediment geochemistry records an active biosphere. The Middle Island Sinkhole (MIS) in Lake Huron is an analogue for shallow Proterozoic waters due to its low oxygen water chemistry and microbial communities that exhibit diverse metabolic functions at the sediment–water interface. [...]"

Source: Geobiology
Authors: Kathryn I. Rico
DOI: 10.1111/gbi.12388

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Anoxic metabolism after the 21st century in oxygen minimum zones

Abstract.

"Global models project a decrease of marine oxygen over the course of the 21th century. The future of marine oxygen becomes increasingly uncertain further into the future after yr 2100 , partly because ocean models differ in the way organic matter remineralisation continues under oxygen- and nitrate-free conditions. Using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity we found that under a business-as-usual CO2-emission scenario ocean deoxygenation further intensifies for several centuries until eventually ocean circulation re-establishes and marine oxygen increases again. (Oschlies et al. 2019, DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-10813-w). [...]"

Source: EGU General Assembly 2020
Authors: Wolfgang Koeve and Angela Landolfi
DOI: 10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13038

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Temperature-related body size change of marine benthic macroinvertebrates across the Early Toarcian Anoxic Event

Abstract.

"The Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (TOAE, Early Jurassic, ~182 Ma ago) was characterised by severe environmental perturbations which led to habitat degradation and extinction of marine species. Warming-induced anoxia is usually identified as main driver, but because marine life was also affected in oxygenated environments the role of raised temperature and its effects on marine life need to be addressed. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Veronica Piazza et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-61393-5

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Physical preconditioning of oxygen depletion in shelf seas

Abstract.

"The global ocean dissolved oxygen (DO) inventory is decreasing and the areal extent of DO deficiency is increasing. In the shelf sea BML, net DO removal can occur as a result of restricted ventilation due to seasonal thermal stratification, oxygen consumption via pelagic and benthic respiration of organic matter, and nitrification. DO decline is becoming evident in several shelf seas, with recent model studies estimating that large regions of the Northwest European continental shelf seas (325,000 to 400,000 km2) have the potential to become seasonally deficient in DO in late summer. It is therefore of vital importance that DO is monitored accurately and effectively in shelf seas. [...]"

Source: EGU General Assembly 2020
Authors: Charlotte Williams et al.
DOI: 10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20219

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UK's lost sea meadows to be resurrected in climate fight

First seagrass restoration in Britain will capture carbon rapidly and offer habitat for lost marine life

 

“We think this whole bay was once carpeted with seagrass,” says Evie Furness, waving across the sparkling, sunlit waters of Dale Bay in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The underwater meadow is long gone though, a victim of past pollution and shipping. So from a boat half a mile from shore, Furness is feeding a long rope into the water, which carries a little hessian bag of seagrass seeds every metre. “We’ve passed the 800,000 seed mark now,” she says. [...]"

Source: The Guardian

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