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Transient cooling episodes during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events with special reference to OAE 1a (Early Aptian)

Abstract.

"The two major oceanic anoxic events of the Cretaceous, those of the Early Aptian (OAE 1a) and the Cenomanian–Turonian boundary (OAE 2), registered some of the highest temperatures reconstructed for the Cretaceous Period, and are thought to be related to the input of volcanically derived carbon dioxide from one or more Large Igneous Provinces. Widely distributed deposition of marine organic matter, the hallmark of OAEs, and intensified silicate weathering in response to a globally accelerated hydrological cycle and/or reaction of seawater with freshly extruded basalt, are both potential mechanisms whereby the content of atmospheric carbon dioxide could have been drawn down to promote cooling, on the assumption that this potential effect was not offset by increased addition of this volcanically derived greenhouse gas. [...]"

Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Author: Hugh C. Jenkyns
DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2017.0073

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Earth's oxygen increased in gradual steps rather than big bursts

"A carbon cycle anomaly discovered in carbonate rocks of the Neoproterozoic Hüttenberg Formation of north-eastern Namibia follows a pattern similar to that found right after the Great Oxygenation Event, hinting at new evidence for how Earth's atmosphere became fully oxygenated.

By using the Hüttenberg Formation, which formed between a billion and half a billion years ago, to study the time between Earth's change from an anoxic environment (i.e. one lacking oxygen) to a more hospitable environment that heralded the animal kingdom, a team of researchers led by Dr. Huan Cui of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison discovered a sustained, high level of carbon. This influx of carbon, coupled with changes in other elements, indicates how changing levels of oceanic oxygen may have lent a helping hand to early animal evolution. [...]"

Source: Phys.org

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Lipids as indicators of nitrogen cycling in present and past anoxic oceans

Summary.

"Nitrogen (N) cycling influences primary production in the ocean and, hence, the global climate. It is performed by a variety of microorganisms, including eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea in oxic, suboxic, and anoxic waters. Our knowledge of the reactions involved in marine N cycling and its associated microorganisms has greatly increased in the last decade due to the development of multiple culture-independent methods. Among them are gene and lipid biomarkers, which hold taxonomic potential and can be successfully applied in modern day and paleoenvironmental studies. However, many aspects of N cycling and their long-term implications for the marine environment and the global climate still require more study, especially in suboxic and anoxic waters, including the oxygen-deficient zones (ODZs), which are expanding in the modern oceans.

Author: Martina Sollai

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Identifying oxygen minimum zone-type biogeochemical cycling in Earth history using inorganic geochemical proxies

Abstract.

"Because of anthropogenic global warming, the world ocean is currently losing oxygen. This trend called ocean deoxygenation is particularly pronounced in low-latitude upwelling-related oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). In these areas, the temperature-related oxygen drawdown is additionally modulated by biogeochemical feedback mechanisms between sedimentary iron (Fe) and phosphorus release, water column nitrogen cycling and primary productivity. Similar feedbacks were likely active during past periods of global warming and oceandeoxygenation. However, their integrated role in amplifying or mitigating climate change-driven ocean anoxia has not been evaluated in a systematic fashion. [...]"

Source: Earth-Science Reviews
Author: Florian Scholz
DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2018.08.002

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Modulation of the vertical particle transfer efficiency in the oxygen minimum zone off Peru

Abstract.

"The fate of the organic matter (OM) produced by marine life controls the major biogeochemical cycles of the Earth's system. The OM produced through photosynthesis is either preserved, exported towards sediments or degraded through remineralisation in the water column. The productive eastern boundary upwelling systems (EBUSs) associated with oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) would be expected to foster OM preservation due to low O2 conditions. But their intense and diverse microbial activity should enhance OM degradation. To investigate this contradiction, sediment traps were deployed near the oxycline and in the OMZ core on an instrumented moored line off Peru. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Marine Bretagnon et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-5093-2018

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Hydrochemical properties and chemocline of the Sansha Yongle Blue Hole in the South China Sea

Abstract.

"Blue holes can provide valuable information regarding paleoclimate, climate change, karst processes, marine ecology, and carbonate geochemistry. The Sansha Yongle Blue Hole, located on Yongle Atoll in the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, is the deepest blue hole in the world. A comprehensive investigation of the blue hole was conducted to determine the hydrochemical properties and associated redox processes active in the water column. Results indicate the presence of two thermoclines, one at 13–20 m and a second at 70–150 m, dividing the water column into five stratified water layers. [...]"

Source: Science of the Total Environment
Authors: Linping Xie et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.333

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H2S events in the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone facilitate enhanced dissolved Fe concentrations

Abstract.

"Dissolved iron (DFe) concentrations in oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) of Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems are enhanced as a result of high supply rates from anoxic sediments. However, pronounced variations in DFe concentrations in anoxic coastal waters of the Peruvian OMZ indicate that there are factors in addition to dissolved oxygen concentrations (O2) that control Fe cycling. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Christian Schlosser et al. 
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-30580-w

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Large-scale ocean deoxygenation during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Abstract.

"The consequences of global warming for fisheries are not well understood, but the geological record demonstrates that carbon cycle perturbations are frequently associated with ocean deoxygenation. Of particular interest is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), where the carbon dioxide input into the atmosphere was similar to the IPCC RCP8.5 emission scenario. Here we present sulfur-isotope data that record a positive 1 per mil excursion during the PETM. Modeling suggests that large parts of the ocean must have become sulfidic. [...]"

Source:Science
Authors: Weiqi Yao, Adina Paytan, Ulrich G. Wortmann
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar8658

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Decomposing the effects of ocean environments on predator–prey body-size relationships in food webs

Abstract.

"Body-size relationships between predators and their prey are important in ecological studies because they reflect the structure and function of food webs. Inspired by studies on the impact of global warming on food webs, the effects of temperature on body-size relationships have been widely investigated; however, the impact of environmental factors on body-size relationships has not been fully evaluated because climate warming affects various ocean environments. Thus, here, we comprehensively investigated the effects of ocean environments and predator–prey body-size relationships by integrating a large-scale dataset of predator–prey body-size relationships in marine food webs with global oceanographic data. We showed that various oceanographic parameters influence prey size selection. [...]"

Source: Royal Society Open Science
Authors: Tomoya Dobashi, Midori Iida, Kazuhiro Takemoto
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180707

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Acid coastal seas off US putting common fish species at risk

"Scientists have shown that coastal waters and river estuaries can exhibit unique vulnerabilities to acidification than offshore waters. This acidification, detected in waters off the United States West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, can lead to disorientation and cognitive problems in some marine fish species, such as salmon, sharks, and cod. This work is presented at the Goldschmidt Conference in Boston.
 

Scientists have recently discovered that marine creatures can be adversely affected by hypercapnia, a condition of too much dissolved CO2 in seawater (CO2 partial pressure, or pCO2). When this level rises above 1000 micro atmospheres (1000 μatm), some fish species suffer cognitive problems and disorientation, such as losing their way or even swimming towards predators. Surface ocean CO2 partial pressures tend to be around 400 μatm, so until now scientists have thought that hypercapnia was a problem which would only become apparent over time in subsurface waters. [...]"

Source: Phys.org

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