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URI researchers: Small changes in oxygen levels have big implications for ocean life

Oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island have found that even slight levels of ocean oxygen loss, or deoxygenation, have big consequences for tiny marine organisms called zooplankton.

Zooplankton are important components of the food web in the expanse of deep, open ocean called the midwater. Within this slice of ocean below the surface and above the seafloor are oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), large regions of very low oxygen. Unlike coastal “dead zones” where oxygen levels can suddenly plummet and kill marine life not acclimated to the conditions, zooplankton in OMZs are specially adapted to live where other organisms – especially predators – cannot.

Source: Whats up newp

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Interpreting Mosaics of Ocean Biogeochemistry

"Sea level rise, heat transport, ocean acidification, these ocean processes, well known in the public sphere, play out on a regional to global scale. But less well known are more localized processes that bring some ecological niches together, keep others separated, and help sustain ocean life by circulating nutrients.

Physical processes in the ocean that take place over intermediate and small scales of space and time play a key role in vertical seawater exchange. They also have significant effects on chemical, biological, and ecological processes in the upper ocean. [...]"

Source: EOS

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The case of the missing oxygen: Foster Scholar Kate Hewett studies hypoxia in national marine sanctuaries

"Not every marine scientist has the same origin story. Some are instantly enthralled by the ocean and its many inhabitants at a ripe young age. For others, a lightbulb goes off while sitting in an undergraduate class. Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar Kate Hewett grew up on the islands of Micronesia, but did not consider a career in marine sciences until graduate school. While working as an environmental engineer in Boston, Massachusetts, she decided to go back to school to develop a deeper understanding of the environmental problems she encountered at work. In her classes, the complicated physics associated with coastal zones pulled at Hewett’s engineering heartstrings. [...]"

Source: NOAA

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Tool to Capture Marine Biological Activity Gets Coastal Upgrade

"Upwelling hinders an efficient method to estimate a key measure of biological productivity in coastal waters, but accounting for surface temperatures could boost accuracy.

 

Although coastal waters make up only about 10% of the surface area of the ocean, they harbor most of its life. Measuring biological activity in these regions can reveal their impact on fisheries, low-oxygen dead zones, and the global carbon cycle, but coastal zones remain understudied. Now new research by Teeter et al. suggests how to improve the accuracy of a method that uses oxygen and argon measurements to quickly estimate marine biological activity. [...]"

Source: EOS

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Why Is the Gulf of Maine Warming Faster Than 99% of the Ocean?

"The Gulf of Maine’s location at the meeting point of two major currents, as well as its shallow depth and shape, makes it especially susceptible to warming.


Late last month, four endangered sea turtles washed ashore in northern Cape Cod, marking an early onset to what has now become a yearly event: the sea turtle stranding season. These turtles—in last month’s case, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles—venture into the Gulf of Maine during warm months, but they can become hypothermic and slow moving when colder winter waters abruptly arrive, making it hard to escape. “They are enjoying the warm water, and then all of a sudden the cold comes, and they can’t get out fast enough,” said Andrew Pershing, an oceanographer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, Maine. [...]"

Source: eos.org

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What could cause the Mississippi Bight to become hypoxic?

"Coastal regions with low dissolved oxygen (known as hypoxia) can lead to poor water quality and harm regional fisheries. These areas of low dissolved oxygen are expanding and expected to continue growing in coming years due to human impacts on the environment.

A recent article published in Continental Shelf Research explores aspects of the environmental conditions that can potentially lead to hypoxia in the Mississippi Bight region of the northern Gulf of Mexico. This area extends from Apalachicola in Florida to the Mississippi River Delta. [...]"

Source:  EurekAlert!

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[German] Dem Ozean geht die Luft aus

"In den tropischen und subtropischen Meeren existieren in mittleren Tiefen riesige sauerstoffarme Zonen. Im Zuge des Klimawandels dehnen sie sich immer stärker aus. Auch in Küstenregionen entstehen durch Stickstoffbelastung aus der Landwirtschaft lebensfeindliche Zonen ohne Sauerstoff – mit verheerenden Folgen für das marine Ökosystem [...]"

Source: Spektrum.de

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[German] TV reports about ocean deoxygenation in the german media

The german Internet and TV channel HYPERRAUM.TV published two reports in collaboration with the SFB754 experts Martin Visbeck and Andreas Oschlies.

German speaking users may find the videos online by using one of the two links:

Report 1: Fische in Atemnot

Report 2: Sauerstoff-Transporte


Oregon Now Has A Hypoxia Season, Just Like A Wildfire Season

"Scientists say warming ocean temperatures mean Oregon’s coastal waters now have a low-oxygen season, or hypoxia season, just as the state’s forests have a fire season.

Hypoxia is a condition in which the ocean water close to the sea floor has such low levels of dissolved oxygen that the organisms living down there die.

Some of the first signs came in 2002 when dead crabs were hauled up in crab pots. Since then, scientists and crabbers say things have worsened."

Source: earthfix.info
Author: Kristian Foden-Vencil

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Shift in large-scale Atlantic circulation causes lower-oxygen water to invade Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence

"The Gulf of St. Lawrence has warmed and lost oxygen faster than almost anywhere else in the global oceans. The broad, biologically rich waterway in Eastern Canada drains North America’s Great Lakes and is popular with fishing boats, whales and tourists.

A new study led by the University of Washington looks at the causes of this rapid deoxygenation and links it to two of the ocean’s most powerful currents: the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current. The study, published Sept. 17 in Nature Climate Change, explains how large-scale climate change already is causing oxygen levels to drop in the deeper parts of this waterway."

Source: University of Washington
Author: Hannah Hickey

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