News

Modulation of the North Atlantic deoxygenation by the slowdown of the nutrient stream

Abstract.

"Western boundary currents act as transport pathways for nutrient-rich waters from low to high latitudes (nutrient streams) and are responsible for maintaining midlatitude and high-latitude productivity in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. This study investigates the centennial oxygen (O2) and nutrient changes over the Northern Hemisphere in the context of the projected warming and general weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) in a subset of Earth system models included in the CMIP5 catalogue. In all models examined, the Atlantic warms faster than the Pacific Ocean, resulting in a greater basin-scale solubility decrease. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Filippos Tagklis et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-231-2020

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Upwelling Bays: How Coastal Upwelling Controls Circulation, Habitat, and Productivity in Bays

Abstract.

"Bays in coastal upwelling regions are physically driven and biochemically fueled by their interaction with open coastal waters. Wind-driven flow over the shelf imposes a circulation in the bay, which is also influenced by local wind stress and thermal bay–ocean density differences. Three types of bays are recognized based on the degree of exposure to coastal currents and winds (wide-open bays, square bays, and elongated bays), and the characteristic circulation and stratification patterns of each type are described. Retention of upwelled waters in bays allows for dense phytoplankton blooms that support productive bay ecosystems.  [...]"

Source:  Annual Review of Marine Science
Authors: John L. Largier
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-marine-010419-011020

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Larval Fish Habitats and Deoxygenation in the Northern Limit of the Oxygen Minimum Zone off Mexico

Abstract.

"The present state of deoxygenation in the northern limits of the shallow oxygen minimum zone off Mexico is examined in order to detect its effects on larval fish habitats and consider the sensitivity of fish larvae to decreased dissolved oxygen. A series of cruises between 2000 and 2017 indicated a significant vertical expansion of low oxygen waters. The upper limit of suboxic conditions (<4.4 μmol/kg) has risen ~100 m at 19.5°N off Cabo Corrientes and ~50 m at 25°N in the mouth of the Gulf of California. The larval habitat distribution was related to the geographic variability of dissolved oxygen and water masses between these two latitudes. [...]"

Source: JGR Oceans
Authors: Laura Sánchez‐Velasco et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2019JC015414

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Intensified ocean deoxygenation during the end Devonian mass extinction

Abstract.

"The end‐Devonian mass extinction (~359 Ma) substantially impacted marine ecosystems and shaped the roots of modern vertebrate biodiversity. Although multiple hypotheses have been proposed, no consensus has been reached about the mechanism inducing this extinction event. In this study, I/Ca ratio of carbonate was used to unravel the changes in local oxygen content of the upper water column during this critical interval. The Devonian‐Carboniferous boundary was recorded in two shallow water carbonate sections in South China. [...]"

Source: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Authors: Jiangsi Liu et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2019GC008614

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‘Dead zones’ expanding rapidly in oceans as climate emergency causes unprecedented oxygen loss

"“Dead zones” are rapidly appearing in the world’s oceans as they lose oxygen at an unprecedented rate due to climate change, sewage pollution and farming practices, presenting an existential threat to marine life and ecosystems, according to a vast new study.

The overall level of oxygen in the oceans has dropped by roughly 2 per cent, while the number of known hypoxic “dead zones” – where oxygen levels are dangerously low – has skyrocketed from 45 known sites in the 1960s to at least 700 areas now dangerously devoid of the life-giving compound, some encompassing thousands of square miles. [...]"

Source: The Independent

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World’s Oceans Are Losing Oxygen Rapidly, Study Finds

"The world’s oceans are gasping for breath, a report issued Saturday at the annual global climate talks in Madrid has concluded.

The report represents the combined efforts of 67 scientists from 17 countries and was released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It found that oxygen levels in the world’s oceans declined by roughly 2 percent between 1960 and 2010. The decline, called deoxygenation, is largely attributed to climate change, although other human activities are contributing to the problem. One example is so-called nutrient runoff, when too many nutrients from fertilizers used on farms and lawns wash into waterways. [...]"

Source: The New York Times

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Ocean deoxygenation : everyone’s problem

Abstract.

"The ocean represents 97% of the physical habitable space on the planet and is central to sustaining all life on Earth. Since 2000 significant and dedicated effort has been directed at raising awareness and understanding of the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions on the ocean. Carbon dioxide emitted by human activities is driving the ocean towards more acidic conditions. Only in the past decade has it started to become more widely recognized that the temperature of the global ocean is also being significantly affected as a result of the effect that the carbon dioxide and other potent greenhouse gases are having in the Earth’s atmosphere. [...]"

Source: IUCN
Authors: D. Laffoley and J. M. Baxter
DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2019.13.en

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A crisis in the water is decimating this once-booming fishing town

"TOMBWA, Angola — His ancestors were Portuguese colonialists who settled on this otherworldly stretch of coast, wedged between a vast desert and the southern Atlantic. They came looking for the one thing this barren region had in abundance: fish.

By the time Mario Carceija Santos was getting into the fishing business half a century later, in the 1990s, Angola had won independence and the town of Tombwa was thriving. There were 20 fish factories strung along the bay, a constellation of churches and schools, a cinema hall built in art deco, and, in the central plaza, massive drying racks for the tons upon tons of fish hauled out of the sea. [...]"

Source: The Washington Post

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Global sea-surface iodide observations, 1967–2018

Abstract.

"The marine iodine cycle has significant impacts on air quality and atmospheric chemistry. Specifically, the reaction of iodide with ozone in the top few micrometres of the surface ocean is an important sink for tropospheric ozone (a pollutant gas) and the dominant source of reactive iodine to the atmosphere. Sea surface iodide parameterisations are now being implemented in air quality models, but these are currently a major source of uncertainty. [...]"

Source: Scientific Data
Authors: Rosie J. Chance et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41597-019-0288-y

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Changes in oxygen concentrations in our ocean can disrupt fundamental biological cycles

"New research led by scientists at the University of Bristol has shown that the feedback mechanisms that were thought to keep the marine nitrogen cycle relatively stable over geological time can break down when oxygen levels in the ocean decline significantly.

The nitrogen cycle is essential to all forms of life on Earth - nitrogen is a basic building block of DNA.The marine nitrogen cycle is strongly controlled by biology and small changes in the marine nitrogen cycle have major implications on life. [...]"

Source: University of Bristol

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