News

Dissolved oxygen and pH criteria leave fisheries at risk

Abstract.

"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. [...]"

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Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019

"Human-emitted greenhouse gases (GHGs) have resulted in a long-term and unequivocal warming of the planet (IPCC, 2019). More than 90% of the excess heat is stored within the world’s oceans, where it accumulates and causes increases in ocean temperature (Rhein et al., 2013; Abram et al., 2019). Because the oceans are the main repository of the Earth’s energy imbalance, measuring ocean heat content (OHC) is one of the best way to quantify the rate of global warming (Trenberth et al., 2016; Von Schuckmann et al., 2016; Cheng et al., 2018). [...]"

Source: Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Authors: Lijing Cheng et al.
DOI: 10.1007/s00376-020-9283-7

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Importance of wind and meltwater for observed chemical and physical changes in the Southern Ocean

Abstract.

"The Southern Ocean south of 30° S represents only one-third of the total ocean area, yet absorbs half of the total ocean anthropogenic carbon and over two-thirds of ocean anthropogenic heat. In the past, the Southern Ocean has also been one of the most sparsely measured regions of the global ocean. [...]"

Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: Ben Bronselaer et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0502-8

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Greenhouse gas cycling by the plastisphere: The sleeper issue of plastic pollution

Abstract.

"Plastic is an allochthonous material to marine ecosystems but is rapidly colonized by marine microbial communities, with an as yet unclear contribution to biogeochemical cycles. In this study, we investigated the influence of an active microbial community grown on microplastic particles (the plastisphere) on CO2 and N2O recycling and its potential role in greenhouse gas inventories and air-sea exchange. Microplastics were collected during two cruises (Cimar 21 and FIP Montes Submarinos) from the surface layer (5 m depth) from several contrasting trophic regions of the South Pacific Ocean, i.e., from a transition zone off the eutrophic coastal upwelling of Chile, to a mesotrophic transition area of oceanic seamounts and, finally, to an oligotrophic zone in the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre. [...]"

Source: Chemosphere
Authors: MarcelaCornejo-D’Ottone et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125709

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Diel and tidal pCO2 × O2 fluctuations provide physiological refuge to early life stages of a coastal forage fish

Abstract.

"Coastal ecosystems experience substantial natural fluctuations in pCO2 and dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions on diel, tidal, seasonal and interannual timescales. Rising carbon dioxide emissions and anthropogenic nutrient input are expected to increase these pCO2 and DO cycles in severity and duration of acidification and hypoxia. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Emma L. Cross et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-53930-8

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Response of N2O production rate to ocean acidification in the western North Pacific

Abstract.

"Ocean acidification, induced by the increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions, has a profound impact on marine organisms and biogeochemical processes1. The response of marine microbial activities to ocean acidification might play a crucial role in the future evolution of air–sea fluxes of biogenic gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O), a strong GHG and the dominant stratospheric ozone-depleting substance2. Here, we examine the response of N2O production from nitrification to acidification in a series of incubation experiments conducted in subtropical and subarctic western North Pacific. [...]"

Source: Nature Climate Change
Authors: Florian Breider et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-019-0605-7

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