News

Short exposure to oxygen and sulfide alter nitrification, denitrification, and DNRA activity in seasonally hypoxic estuarine sediments

Abstract.

"Increased organic loading to sediments from eutrophication often results in hypoxia, reduced nitrification and increased production of hydrogen sulfide, altering the balance between nitrogen removal and retention. We examined the effect of short-term exposure to various oxygen and sulfide concentrations on sediment nitrification, denitrification and DNRA from a chronically hypoxic basin in Roskilde Fjord, Denmark. Surprisingly, nitrification rates were highest in the hypoxic and anoxic treatments (about 5 μmol cm−3 d−1) and the high sulfide treatment was not significantly different than the oxic treatment.  [...]"

Source: FEMS Microbiology Letters
Authors: Jane M. Caffrey, Stefano Bonaglia, Daniel J. Conley
DOI: 10.1093/femsle/fny288

Read the full article here.


Study of dissolved oxygen responses to tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal based on Argo and satellite observations

Abstract.

"Effects of tropical cyclones (TCs) on dissolved oxygen (DO) in subsurface waters (20–200 m) over the Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) are examined based on Argo and satellite data. Five TCs (Hudhud, Five, Vardah, Maarutha and Mora) during 2013–2018 are considered. Analyses reveal three types of DO temporal variability caused by the storm-induced mixing and upwelling. The first type features temporal DO increases in subsurface waters (37–70 m) caused mainly by intense vertical mixing and downwelling. [...]"

Source: Science of the Total Environment
Authors: Huabing Xu et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.384

Read the full article here.


Ocean deoxygenation and zooplankton: Very small oxygen differences matter

Abstract.

"Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), large midwater regions of very low oxygen, are expected to expand as a result of climate change. While oxygen is known to be important in structuring midwater ecosystems, a precise and mechanistic understanding of the effects of oxygen on zooplankton is lacking. Zooplankton are important components of midwater food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Here, we show that, in the eastern tropical North Pacific OMZ, previously undescribed submesoscale oxygen variability has a direct effect on the distribution of many major zooplankton groups. Despite extraordinary hypoxia tolerance, many zooplankton live near their physiological limits and respond to slight (≤1%) changes in oxygen. [...]"

Source: Science Advances
Authors: K. F. Wishner et al.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau5180

Read the full article here.


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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Home sweet suboxic home: remarkable hypoxia tolerance in two demersal fish species in the Gulf of California

"Extremophiles – organisms that live in extreme environments – invite us to question our assumptions about the requirements for life. Fish, as a group, are thought to be relatively hypoxia intolerant due to their high metabolic requirements (Vaquer‐Sunyer and Duarte 2008); however, the cusk‐eel, Cherublemma emmelas, and the catshark, Cephalurus cephalus, appear to thrive in one of the most extreme low oxygen marine habitats in the world – the Gulf of California. Here, we describe the behavior and habitat of these extraordinary species that live under conditions commonly thought to be uninhabitable by fish. [...]"

Source: Ecology
Authors: Natalya D. Gallo et al.
DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2539

Read the full article here.


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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High denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation contributes to net nitrogen loss in a seagrass ecosystem in the central Red Sea

Abstract.

"Nitrogen loads in coastal areas have increased dramatically, with detrimental consequences for coastal ecosystems. Shallow sediments and seagrass meadows are hotspots for denitrification, favoring N loss. However, atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) fixation has been reported to support seagrass growth. Therefore, the role of coastal marine systems dominated by seagrasses in the net N2 flux remains unclear. Here, we measured denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), and N2 fixation in a tropical seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) meadow and the adjacent bare sediment in a coastal lagoon in the central Red Sea. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Neus Garcias-Bonet et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-7333-2018

Read the full article here.


Global warming today mirrors conditions leading to Earth's largest extinction event, study says

"More than two-thirds of life on Earth died off some 252 million years ago, in the largest mass extinction event in Earth's history.

Researchers have long suspected that volcanic eruptions triggered "the Great Dying," as the end of the Permian geologic period is sometimes called, but exactly how so many creatures died has been something of a mystery.

Now scientists at the University of Washington and Stanford believe their models reveal how so many animals were killed, and they see frightening parallels in the path our planet is on today.

Models of the effects of volcanic greenhouse gas releases showed the Earth warming dramatically and oxygen disappearing from its oceans, leaving many marine animals unable to breathe, according to a study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science. By the time temperatures peaked, about 80 percent of the oceans' oxygen, on average, had been depleted. Most marine animals went extinct. [...]"

Source: Phys.org

Read the full article here.

 


Temperature-dependent hypoxia explains biogeography and severity of end-Permian marine mass extinction

Abstract.

"Climate change triggered by volcanic greenhouse gases is hypothesized to have caused the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history at the end of the Permian Period (~252 million years ago). Geochemical evidence provides strong support for rapid global warming and accompanying ocean oxygen (O2) loss, but a quantitative link among climate, species’ traits, and extinction is lacking. To test whether warming and O2 loss can mechanistically account for the marine mass extinction, we combined climate model simulations with an established ecophysiological framework to predict the biogeographic patterns and severity of extinction. Those predictions were confirmed by a spatially explicit analysis of the marine fossil record. [...]"

Source: Science
Authors: Justin L. Penn et al.
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat1327

Read the full article here.


A Novel Approach for Measuring the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone: Toward Better Temporal and Spatial Estimates for Management Applications

Abstract.

"Nearly every summer, a large hypoxic zone forms in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Research on the causes and consequences of hypoxia requires reliable estimates of hypoxic extent, which can vary at submonthly time scales due to hydro-meteorological variability. Here, we use an innovative space-time geostatistical model and data collected by multiple research organizations to estimate bottom-water dissolved oxygen (BWDO) concentrations and hypoxic area across summers from 1985 to 2016. [...]"

Source: Environmental Science and Technology 
Authors: V. Rohith Reddy Matli et al.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b03474

Read the full article here.


Distribution of Meiofauna in Bathyal Sediments Influenced by the Oxygen Minimum Zone Off Costa Rica

Abstract.

"Ocean deoxygenation has become a topic of increasing concern because of its potential impacts on marine ecosystems, including oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) expansion and subsequent benthic effects. We investigated the influence of oxygen concentration and organic matter (OM) availability on metazoan meiofauna within and below an OMZ in bathyal sediments off Costa Rica, testing the hypothesis that oxygen and OM levels are reflected in meiofaunal community structures and distribution. Mean total densities in our sampling cores (400–1800 m water depth) were highest with 3688 ind. 10 cm−2 at the OMZ core at 400 m water depth, decreasing rapidly downslope. [...]"

Source: Frontiers in Marine Science
Authors: Carlos Neira et al.
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00448

Read the full article here.


Finding forced trends in oceanic oxygen

Abstract.

"Anthropogenically forced trends in oceanic dissolved oxygen are evaluated in Earth system models in the context of natural variability. A large ensemble of a single Earth system model is used to clearly identify the forced component of change in interior oxygen distributions and to evaluate the magnitude of this signal relative to noise generated by internal climate variability. The time of emergence of forced trends is quantified on the basis of anomalies in oxygen concentrations and trends. [...]"

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: Matthew C. Long, Curtis Deutsch and Taka Ito
DOI: 10.1002/2015GB005310 

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Measuring carbon and nitrogen bioassimilation, burial, and denitrification contributions of oyster reefs in Gulf coast estuaries

Abstract.

"The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) and the reefs they create provide significant ecosystem services. This study measured their possible role in nutrient mitigation through bioassimilation, burial, and oyster-mediated sediment denitrification in near-shore shallow water (< 1 m water depth) and deep-water (> 1 m water depth) oyster reefs in Louisiana. Nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) in shell and tissue differed by oyster reproductive status, size, and habitat type. [...]"

Source: Marine Biology
Authors: Phillip Westbrook, Leanna Heffner, Megan K. La Peyre
DOI: 10.1007/s00227-018-3449-1

Read the full article here.


Pacific Decadal Oscillation and recent oxygen decline in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean

Abstract.

"The impact of the positive and negative phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on the extension of the poorly oxygenated regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean was assessed using a coupled ocean circulation–biogeochemical model. We show that during a “typical” PDO-positive phase the volume of the suboxic regions expands by 7 % over 50 years due to a slowdown of the large-scale circulation related to the decrease in the intensity of the trade winds. Changes in oxygen levels are mostly controlled by advective processes between 10∘ N and 10∘ S, whereas diffusive processes are dominant poleward of 10∘: in a “typical” PDO-positive phase the sluggish equatorial current system provides less oxygen to the eastern equatorial part of the basin while the oxygen transport by diffusive processes significantly decreases south of 10∘ S. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Olaf Duteil, Andreas Oschlies, and Claus W. Böning
DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-7111-2018

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


Major intensification of Atlantic overturning circulation at the onset of Paleogene greenhouse warmth

Abstract.

"During the Late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic the Earth experienced prolonged climatic cooling most likely caused by decreasing volcanic activity and atmospheric CO2 levels. However, the causes and mechanisms of subsequent major global warming culminating in the late Paleocene to Eocene greenhouse climate remain enigmatic. We present deep and intermediate water Nd-isotope records from the North and South Atlantic to decipher the control of the opening Atlantic Ocean on ocean circulation and its linkages to the evolution of global climate. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: S. J. Batenburg et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07457-7

Read the full article here.


Thallium isotopes reveal protracted anoxia during the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) associated with volcanism, carbon burial, and mass extinction

Abstract.

"For this study, we generated thallium (Tl) isotope records from two anoxic basins to track the earliest changes in global bottom water oxygen contents over the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE; ∼183 Ma) of the Early Jurassic. The T-OAE, like other Mesozoic OAEs, has been interpreted as an expansion of marine oxygen depletion based on indirect methods such as organic-rich facies, carbon isotope excursions, and biological turnover. Our Tl isotope data, however, reveal explicit evidence for earlier global marine deoxygenation of ocean water, some 600 ka before the classically defined T-OAE. "

Source: PNAS
Authors: Theodore R. Them et al.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1803478115

Read the full article here.


The evolving response of mesopelagic fishes to declining midwater oxygen concentrations in the southern and central California Current

Abstract.

"Declining oxygen concentrations in the deep ocean, particularly in areas with pronounced oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), are a growing global concern related to global climate change. Its potential impacts on marine life remain poorly understood. A previous study suggested that the abundance of a diverse suite of mesopelagic fishes off southern California was closely linked to trends in midwater oxygen concentration. [...]"

Source: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Authors: J Anthony Koslow et al.
DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsy154

Read the full article here.


Controls on redox-sensitive trace metals in the Mauritanian oxygen minimum zone

Abstract.

"The availability of the micronutrient iron (Fe) in surface waters determines primary production, N2 fixation and microbial community structure in large parts of the world's ocean, and thus plays an important role in ocean carbon and nitrogen cycles. Eastern boundary upwelling systems and the connected oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) are typically associated with elevated concentrations of redox-sensitive trace metals (e.g. Fe, manganese (Mn) and cobalt (Co)), with shelf sediments typically forming a key source. Over the last five decades, an expansion and intensification of OMZs has been observed and this trend is likely to proceed. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Insa Rapp et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-2018-472

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


Volcanic eruptions once caused mass extinctions in the oceans – could climate change do the same?

"All animals, whether they live on land or in the water, require oxygen to breathe. But today the world’s oceans are losing oxygen, due to a combination of rising temperatures and changing ocean currents. Both factors are driven by human-induced climate change.

This process has the potential to disrupt marine food chains. We already know that large hypoxic, or low-oxygen, zones can be deadly. If hypoxia expands in both size and duration, it is possible to cause widespread extinction of marine life, which has happened previously in Earth’s history. [...]"

Source: TheConversation

Read the full article here.


Distribution of meiofauna in bathyal sediments influenced by the oxygen minimum zone off Costa Rica

Abstract.

"Ocean deoxygenation has become a topic of increasing concern because of its potential impacts on marine ecosystems, including oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) expansion and subsequent benthic effects. We investigated the influence of oxygen concentration and organic matter (OM) availability on metazoan meiofauna within and below an OMZ in bathyal sediments off Costa Rica, testing the hypothesis that oxygen and OM levels are reflected in meiofaunal community structures and distribution. [...]"

Source: Frontiers in Marine Science
Authors: Carlos Neira et al.
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00448

Read the full article here.


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!

Read the full article here.


Tracking sea surface salinity and dissolved oxygen on a river-influenced, seasonally stratified shelf, Mississippi Bight, northern Gulf of Mexico

Abstract.

"River discharge, and its resulting region of freshwater influence (ROFI) in the coastal ocean, has a critical influence on physical and biogeochemical processes in seasonally stratified shelf ecosystems. Multi-year (2010–2016) observations of satellite-derived sea surface salinity (SSS) and in situ water column hydrographic data during summer 2016 were used to investigate physical aspects of the ROFI east of the Mississippi River Delta to better assess regional susceptibility to hypoxia in the summer months. [...]"

Source: Continental Shelf Research
Authors: Brian Dzwonkowski et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2018.09.009

Read the full article here.


Characterization of “dead-zone” eddies in the eastern tropical North Atlantic (2016)

Abstract.

"Localized open-ocean low-oxygen “dead zones” in the eastern tropical North Atlantic are recently discovered ocean features that can develop in dynamically isolated water masses within cyclonic eddies (CE) and anticyclonic mode-water eddies (ACME). Analysis of a comprehensive oxygen dataset obtained from gliders, moorings, research vessels and Argo floats reveals that “dead-zone” eddies are found in surprisingly high numbers and in a large area from about 4 to 22°N, from the shelf at the eastern boundary to 38°W. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Florian Schütte et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-5865-2016

Read the full article here.


Reconstructing Aragonite Saturation State Based on an Empirical Relationship for Northern California

Abstract.

"Ocean acidification is a global phenomenon with highly regional spatial and temporal patterns. In order to address the challenges of future ocean acidification at a regional scale, it is necessary to increase the resolution of spatial and temporal monitoring of the inorganic carbon system beyond what is currently available. One approach is to develop empirical regional models that enable aragonite saturation state to be estimated from existing hydrographic measurements, for which greater spatial coverage and longer time series exist in addition to higher spatial and temporal resolution. [...]"

Source: Estuaries and Coasts
Authors: Catherine V. Davis et al.
DOI: 10.1007/s12237-018-0372-0

Read the full article here.


The Oceans Are Warming Even Faster Than We Previously Thought

"The oceans have long been considered our planet's heat sponge - a 2014 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the oceans had absorbed 93% of the excess heat that greenhouse gases have trapped within the Earth's atmosphere. However, a recent study shows that the world's oceans have absorbed 60% more heat over the past 25 years than initially thought. [...]"

Source: Forbes
Author: Priya Shukla

Read the full article here.


Particulate matter flux interception in oceanic mesoscale eddies by the polychaete Poeobius sp.

Abstract.

"Gelatinous zooplankton hold key functions in the ocean and have been shown to significantly influence the transport of organic carbon to the deep sea. We discovered a gelatinous, flux‐feeding polychaete of the genus Poeobius in very high abundances in a mesoscale eddy in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, where it co‐occurred with extremely low particle concentrations. Subsequent analysis of an extensive in situ imaging dataset revealed that Poeobius sp. occurred sporadically between 5°S–20°N and 16°W–46°W in the upper 1000 m. [...]"

Source: Limnology and Oceanography
Authors: Svenja Christiansen et al.
DOI: 10.1002/lno.10926

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Subsurface Fine‐Scale Patterns in an Anticyclonic Eddy Off Cap‐Vert Peninsula Observed From Glider Measurements

Abstract.

"Glider measurements acquired along four transects between Cap‐Vert Peninsula and the Cape Verde archipelago in the eastern tropical North Atlantic during March–April 2014 were used to investigate fine‐scale stirring in an anticyclonic eddy. The anticyclone was formed near 12°N off the continental shelf and propagated northwest toward the Cape Verde islands. At depth, between 100 and –400 m, the isolated anticyclone core contained relatively oxygenated, low‐salinity South Atlantic Central Water, while the surrounding water masses were saltier and poorly oxygenated. [...]"

Source: Oceans
Authors: Nicolas Kolodziejczyk et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2018JC014135

Read the full article here.


Forcings and Evolution of the 2017 Coastal El Niño Off Northern Peru and Ecuador

Abstract.

"El Niño events, in particular the eastern Pacific type, have a tremendous impact on the marine ecosystem and climate conditions in the eastern South Pacific. During such events, the accumulation of anomalously warm waters along the coast favors intense rainfall. The upwelling of nutrient-replete waters is stopped and the marine ecosystem is strongly impacted. These events are generally associated with positive surface temperature anomalies in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. [...]"

Source: Frontiers in Marine Science
Authors: Vincent Echevin et al.
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00367

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Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition

Abstract.

"The ocean is the main source of thermal inertia in the climate system. During recent decades, ocean heat uptake has been quantified by using hydrographic temperature measurements and data from the Argo float program, which expanded its coverage after 2007. However, these estimates all use the same imperfect ocean dataset and share additional uncertainties resulting from sparse coverage, especially before 2007.  [...]"

Source: Nature
Authors: L. Resplandy et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0651-8

Read the full article here.


[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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Oysters as sentinels of climate variability and climate change in coastal ecosystems

Abstract.

"Beyond key ecological services, marine resources are crucial for human food security and socio-economical sustainability. Among them, shellfish aquaculture and fishing are of primary importance but become more vulnerable under anthropogenic pressure, as evidenced by reported mass mortality events linked to global changes such as ocean warming and acidification, chemical contamination, and diseases. Understanding climate-related risks is a vital objective for conservation strategies, ecosystems management and human health.  [...]"

Source: Environmental Research Letters
Authors: Yoann Thomas et al.
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aae254

Read the full article here.


[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


Manifestation, Drivers, and Emergence of Open Ocean Deoxygenation

Abstract.

"Oxygen loss in the ocean, termed deoxygenation, is a major consequence of climate change and is exacerbated by other aspects of global change. An average global loss of 2% or more has been recorded in the open ocean over the past 50–100 years, but with greater oxygen declines in intermediate waters (100–600 m) of the North Pacific, the East Pacific, tropical waters, and the Southern Ocean. Although ocean warming contributions to oxygen declines through a reduction in oxygen solubility and stratification effects on ventilation are reasonably well understood, it has been a major challenge to identify drivers and modifying factors that explain different regional patterns, especially in the tropical oceans. [...]"

Source: Annual Review of Marine Science
Author: L. Levin
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-marine-121916-063359

Read the full article here.


Investigator Voyage to Address Puzzle of Southern Ocean Current

"An IMAS-led voyage on the Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator today sailed from Hobart with scientists aiming to solve a Southern Ocean puzzle with important ramifications for the global climate.

The researchers will survey a ‘standing meander’ south of Tasmania that they hope will help them to understand why the east-flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) has remained constant despite westerly winds strengthening by 20% over the last two decades. [...]"

Source: IMAS

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Global-ocean redox variations across the Smithian-Spathian boundary linked to concurrent climatic and biotic changes

Abstract.

"The Smithian-Spathian boundary (SSB) was an interval characterized by a major global carbon cycle perturbation, climatic cooling from a middle/late Smithian boundary hyperthermal condition, and a major setback in the recovery of marine necto-pelagic faunas from the end-Permian mass extinction. Although the SSB has been linked to changes in oceanic redox conditions, key aspects of this redox variation (e.g., duration, extent, and triggering mechanisms) and its relationship to coeval climatic and biotic changes remain unresolved. [...]"

Source: Earth-Science Reviews
Authors: Feifei Zhang et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2018.10.012

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The impact of ocean acidification on the byssal threads of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis)

Abstract.

"Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) produce byssal threads to anchor themselves to the substrate. These threads are always exposed to the surrounding environmental conditions. Understanding how environmental pH affects these threads is crucial in understanding how climate change can affect mussels. This work examines three factors (load at failure, thread extensibility, and total thread counts) that indicate the performance of byssal threads as well as condition index to assess impacts on the physiological condition of mussels held in artificial seawater acidified by the addition of CO2. [...]"

Source: PLOS ONE
Authors: Grant Dickey et al.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205908

Read the full article here.


Glacial expansion of oxygen-depleted seawater in the eastern tropical Pacific

Abstract.

"Increased storage of carbon in the oceans has been proposed as a mechanism to explain lower concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide during ice ages; however, unequivocal signatures of this storage have not been found. In seawater, the dissolved gases oxygen and carbon dioxide are linked via the production and decay of organic material, with reconstructions of low oxygen concentrations in the past indicating an increase in biologically mediated carbon storage. [...]"

Source: Nature
Authors: Babette A. A. Hoogakker et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0589-x

Read the full article here.


Biological Sciences Mercury isotope signatures record photic zone euxinia in the Mesoproterozoic ocean

Abstract.

"Photic zone euxinia (PZE) is a condition where anoxic, H2S-rich waters occur in the photic zone (PZ). PZE has been invoked as an impediment to the evolution of complex life on early Earth and as a kill mechanism for Phanerozoic mass extinctions. Here, we investigate the potential application of mercury (Hg) stable isotopes in marine sedimentary rocks as a proxy for PZE by measuring Hg isotope compositions in late Mesoproterozoic (∼1.1 Ga) shales that have independent evidence of PZE during discrete intervals. [...]"

Source: PNAS
Authors: Wang Zheng et al.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1721733115

Read the full article here.


(2010) The Growing Human Footprint on Coastal and Open-Ocean Biogeochemistry

Abstract.

"Climate change, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, excess nutrient inputs, and pollution in its many forms are fundamentally altering the chemistry of the ocean, often on a global scale and, in some cases, at rates greatly exceeding those in the historical and recent geological record. Major observed trends include a shift in the acid-base chemistry of seawater, reduced subsurface oxygen both in near-shore coastal water and in the open ocean, rising coastal nitrogen levels, and widespread increase in mercury and persistent organic pollutants. [...]"

Source: Science
Author: Scott C. Doney
DOI: 10.1126/science.1185198

Read the full article here.


The emergence of a globally productive biosphere

Abstract.

"A productive biosphere and oxygenated atmosphere are defining features of Earth and are fundamentally linked. Here I argue that cellular metabolism imposes central constraints on the historical trajectories of biopsheric productivity and atmospheric oxygenation. Photosynthesis depends on iron, but iron is highly insoluble under the aerobic conditions produced by oxygenic photosynthesis. [...]"

Source: PeerJ Preprints
Author: Rogier Braakman
DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.27269v1

Read the full article here.


Marine ammonification and carbonic anhydrase activity induce rapid calcium carbonate precipitation

Abstract.

"During Earth’s history, precipitation of calcium carbonate by heterotrophic microbes has substantially contributed to the genesis of copious amounts of carbonate sediment and its subsequent lithification. Previous work identified the microbial sulfur and nitrogen cycle as principal pathways involved in the formation of marine calcium carbonate deposits. While substantial knowledge exists for the importance of the sulfur cycle, specifically sulfate reduction, with regard to carbonate formation, information about carbonate genesis connected to the microbial nitrogen cycle is dissatisfactory. [...]"

Source: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Authors: S. Krause et al
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2018.09.018

Read the full article here.


Spatial congruence between multiple stressors in the Mediterranean Sea may reduce its resilience to climate impacts

Abstract.

"Climate impacts on marine ecosystems may be exacerbated by other, more local stressors interacting synergistically, such as pollution and overexploitation of marine resources. The reduction of these human stressors has been proposed as an achievable way of retaining ecosystems within a “safe operating space” (SOS), where they remain resilient to ongoing climate change. However, the operability of an SOS requires a thorough understanding of the spatial distribution of these climate and human impacts. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Francisco Ramírez et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-33237-w

Read the full article here.


Deep-Water Dynamics in the Subpolar North Atlantic at the End of the Quaternary

Abstract.

"In the subpolar North Atlantic, four sediment cores were taken. All of them were suitable for reconstructing the dynamics of the meridional overturning circulation in the late Quaternary. Stratigraphy of the cores was performed by carbonate analyses, study of planktonic foraminifera, and oxygen isotopic composition in Neogloboquadrina pachyderma sin. Study of benthonic foraminifera assemblages has shown significant differences in the deep-water dynamics in the late Quaternary related to water exchange between the North Atlantic and Arctic seas. [...]"

Source: Oceanology
Authors: N.P. Lukashina
DOI: 10.1134/S0001

Read the full article here.


Photosynthesis by marine algae produces sound, contributing to the daytime soundscape on coral reefs

Abstract.

"We have observed that marine macroalgae produce sound during photosynthesis. The resultant soundscapes correlate with benthic macroalgal cover across shallow Hawaiian coral reefs during the day, despite the presence of other biological noise. Likely ubiquitous but previously overlooked, this source of ambient biological noise in the coastal ocean is driven by local supersaturation of oxygen near the surface of macroalgal filaments, and the resultant formation and release of oxygen-containing bubbles into the water column. During release, relaxation of the bubble to a spherical shape creates a monopole sound source that ‘rings’ at the Minnaert frequency. [...]"

Source: PLOS ONE
Authors: Simon E. Freeman et al.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201766

Read the full article here.


Last interglacial ocean changes in the Bahamas: climate teleconnections between low and high latitudes

Abstract.

"Paleorecords and modeling studies suggest that instabilities in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) strongly affect the low-latitude climate, namely via feedbacks on the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Despite the pronounced millennial-scale overturning and climatic variability documented in the subpolar North Atlantic during the last interglacial period (MIS 5e), studies on cross-latitudinal teleconnections remain very limited. This precludes a full understanding of the mechanisms controlling subtropical climate evolution across the last warm cycle. [...]"

Source: Climate of the Past
Authors: Anastasia Zhuravleva and Henning A. Bauch
DOI: 10.5194/cp-14-1361-2018

Read the full article here.


Redox condition and nitrogen cycle in the Permian deep mid-ocean: A possible contrast between Panthalassa and Tethys

Abstract.

"To constrain the redox conditions and related nitrogen cycles during the Middle Permian (Guadalupian) to latest Late Permian (Lopingian) deep mid-Panthalassa, we determined the abundances of major, trace, and rare earth elements along with the carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in shales interbedded with deep-sea cherts that are well-exposed at the Gujo-Hachiman section in the Mino-Tanba belt, SW Japan. [...]"

Source: Global and Planetary Change
Authors: Wataru Fujisaki et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2018.09.015

Read the full article here.


Projected Centennial Oxygen Trends and Their Attribution to Distinct Ocean Climate Forcings

Abstract.

"We explore centennial changes in tropical Pacific oxygen (O2) using numerical models to illustrate the dominant patterns and mechanisms under centennial climate change. Future projections from state‐of‐the‐art Earth System Models exhibit significant model to model differences, but decreased solubility and weakened ventilation together deplete thermocline O2 in middle to high latitudes. In contrast, the tropical thermocline O2undergoes much smaller changes or even a slight increase. [...]"

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: Yohei Takano, Takamitsu Ito & Curtis Deutsch
DOI: 10.1029/2018GB005939

Read the full article here.


Microbial niches in marine oxygen minimum zones

Abstract.

"In the ocean’s major oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), oxygen is effectively absent from sea water and life is dominated by microorganisms that use chemicals other than oxygen for respiration. Recent studies that combine advanced genomic and chemical detection methods are delineating the different metabolic niches that microorganisms can occupy in OMZs. Understanding these niches, the microorganisms that inhabit them, and their influence on marine biogeochemical cycles is crucial as OMZs expand with increasing seawater temperatures."

Source: Nature Reviews Microbiology
Authors: Anthony D. Bertagnolli & Frank J. Stewart
DOI: 10.1038/s41579-018-0087-z

Read the full article here.


Drivers of oxygen consumption in the northern Gulf of Mexico hypoxic waters – A stable carbon isotope perspective

Abstract.

"We examined the stable carbon isotopic composition of remineralized organic carbon (δ13COCx) in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM) using incubations (sediment and water) and a three end‐member mixing model. δ13COCx in incubating sediments was ‐18.1±1.3‰, and δ13COCx in incubating near‐surface and near‐bottom waters varied with salinity, ranging from ‐30.4‰ to ‐16.2‰ from brackish water to full strength Gulf water. The average δ13COCx was ‐18.6 ±1.8‰ at salinity >23. A three end‐member mixing model based on a multi‐year dataset collected in previous summer hypoxia cruises (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016) suggested that δ13COCx in near‐bottom waters across the nGoM (5‐50 m) was ‐18.1±0.6‰. [...]" 

Source: Geophysical Reasearch Letters
Authors: Hongjie Wang et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078571

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


Rapid coastal deoxygenation due to ocean circulation shift in the northwest Atlantic

Abstract.

"Global observations show that the ocean lost approximately 2% of its oxygen inventory over the past five decades, with important implications for marine ecosystems. The rate of change varies regionally, with northwest Atlantic coastal waters showing a long-term drop that vastly outpaces the global and North Atlantic basin mean deoxygenation rates. However, past work has been unable to differentiate the role of large-scale climate forcing from that of local processes. [...]"

Source: Nature Climate Change
Auhors: Mariona Claret et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0263-1

Read the full article here.


Organic carbon burial during OAE2 driven by changes in the locus of organic matter sulfurization

Abstract.

"Ocean Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) was a period of dramatic disruption to the global carbon cycle when massive amounts of organic matter (OM) were buried in marine sediments via complex and controversial mechanisms. Here we investigate the role of OM sulfurization, which makes OM less available for microbial respiration, in driving variable OM preservation in OAE2 sedimentary strata from Pont d’Issole (France). We find correlations between the concentration, S:C ratio, S-isotope composition, and sulfur speciation of OM suggesting that sulfurization facilitated changes in carbon burial at this site as the chemocline moved in and out of the sediments during deposition. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Morgan Reed Raven et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05943-6

Read the full article here.


Evaluating climate geoengineering proposals in the context of the Paris Agreement temperature goals

Abstract.

"Current mitigation efforts and existing future commitments are inadequate to accomplish the Paris Agreement temperature goals. In light of this, research and debate are intensifying on the possibilities of additionally employing proposed climate geoengineering technologies, either through atmospheric carbon dioxide removal or farther-reaching interventions altering the Earth’s radiative energy budget. Although research indicates that several techniques may eventually have the physical potential to contribute to limiting climate change, all are in early stages of development, involve substantial uncertainties and risks, and raise ethical and governance dilemmas. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Mark G. Lawrence et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05938-3

Read the full article here.


Projected amplification of food web bioaccumulation of MeHg and PCBs under climate change in the Northeastern Pacific

Abstract.

"Climate change increases exposure and bioaccumulation of pollutants in marine organisms, posing substantial ecophysiological and ecotoxicological risks. Here, we applied a trophodynamic ecosystem model to examine the bioaccumulation of organic mercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a Northeastern Pacific marine food web under climate change. We found largely heterogeneous sensitivity in climate-pollution impacts between chemicals and trophic groups. Concentration of MeHg and PCBs in top predators, including resident killer whales, is projected to be amplified by 8 and 3%, respectively, by 2100 under a high carbon emission scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5) relative to a no-climate change control scenario. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Juan José Alava et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31824-5

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


Sedimentary molybdenum cycling in the aftermath of seawater inflow to the intermittently euxinic Gotland Deep, Central Baltic Sea

Abstract.

"Molybdenum (Mo) concentrations and isotope compositions in sediments and shalesare commonly used as proxies for anoxic and sulfidic (i.e., euxinic) conditions in the water column of paleo-marine systems. A basic assumption underlying this practice is that the proxy signal extracted from the geological record is controlled by long-term (order of decades to millennia) Mo scavenging in the euxinic water column rather than Mo deposition during brief episodes or events (order of weeks to months).  [...]"

Source: Chemical Geology
Authors: Florian Scholz et al.
DOI: j.chemgeo.2018.04.031

Read the full article here.


Autonomous biogeochemical floats detect significant carbon dioxide outgassing in the high‐latitude Southern Ocean

Abstract.

"Although the Southern Ocean is thought to account for a significant portion of the contemporary oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2), flux estimates in this region are based on sparse observations that are strongly biased towards summer. Here we present new estimates of Southern Ocean air‐sea CO2 fluxes calculated with measurements from biogeochemical profiling floats deployed by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project during 2014‐2017. Compared to ship‐based CO2 flux estimates, the float‐based fluxes find significantly stronger outgassing in the zone around Antarctica where carbon‐rich deep waters upwell to the surface ocean.  [...]"

Source: Geophysical Research Letters
Authors: Alison R. Gray et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078013

Read the full article here.


Transport, properties, and life cycles of mesoscale eddies in the eastern tropical South Pacific

Abstract.

"The influence of mesoscale eddies on the flow field and the water masses, especially the oxygen distribution of the eastern tropical South Pacific, is investigated from a mooring, float, and satellite data set. Two anticyclonic (ACE1/2), one mode-water (MWE), and one cyclonic eddy (CE) are identified and followed in detail with satellite data on their westward transition with velocities of 3.2 to 6.0cms−1 from their generation region, the shelf of the Peruvian and Chilean upwelling regime, across the Stratus Ocean Reference Station (ORS;  ∼ 20°S, 85°W) to their decaying region far west in the oligotrophic open ocean. [...]"

Source: Ocean Science
Authors: Rena Czeschel et al.
DOI: 10.5194/os-14-731-2018

Read the full article here.


Back to the future of climate change

Summary:

Researchers are looking to the geologic past to make future projections about climate change. Their research focuses on the ancient Tethys Ocean (site of the present-day Mediterranean Sea) and provides a benchmark for present and future climate and ocean models.

Source: Science Daily

Read the full article here.


Perturbation to the nitrogen cycle during rapid Early Eocene global warming

Abstract.

"The degree to which ocean deoxygenation will alter the function of marine communities remains unclear but may be best constrained by detailed study of intervals of rapid warming in the geologic past. The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was an interval of rapid warming that was the result of increasing contents of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that had wide ranging effects on ecosystems globally. Here, we present stable nitrogen isotope data from the Eastern Peri-Tethys Ocean that record a significant transition in the nitrogen cycle.  [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Christopher K. Junium, Alexander J. Dickson & Benjamin T. Uveges 
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05486-w

Read the full article here.


Increased biofilm formation due to high-temperature adaptation in marine Roseobacter

Abstract.

"Ocean temperatures will increase significantly over the next 100 years due to global climate change. As temperatures increase beyond current ranges, it is unclear how adaptation will impact the distribution and ecological role of marine microorganisms. To address this major unknown, we imposed a stressful high-temperature regime for 500 generations on a strain from the abundant marine Roseobacter clade. High-temperature-adapted isolates significantly improved their fitness but also increased biofilm formation at the air–liquid interface.  [...]"

Source: Nature Microbiology
Authors: Alyssa G. Kent et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41564-018-0213-8

Read the fulll article here.


A Novel Eukaryotic Denitrification Pathway in Foraminifera

Abstract.

"Benthic foraminifera are unicellular eukaryotes inhabiting sediments of aquatic environments. Several species were shown to store and use nitrate for complete denitrification, a unique energy metabolism among eukaryotes. The population of benthic foraminifera reaches high densities in oxygen-depleted marine habitats, where they play a key role in the marine nitrogen cycle. However, the mechanisms of denitrification in foraminifera are still unknown, and the possibility of a contribution of associated bacteria is debated. Here, we present evidence for a novel eukaryotic denitrification pathway that is encoded in foraminiferal genomes. [...]"

Source: Current Biology
Authors: Christian Woehle et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.027

Read the full article here.


How nutrients are removed in oxygen-depleted regions of the ocean

"In the course of global climate change, scientists are observing the increase of low-oxygen areas in the ocean, also termed oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). Large-scale OMZs exist, for example, in the Pacific off the coast of South America or in the Indian Ocean. Since little to no oxygen is present in these regions - depending on the depth of the water - organisms whose metabolisms is independent of oxygen have a distinct advantage. These organisms include some representatives of the foraminifera: unicellular, shell-forming microorganisms, which have a nucleus and thus belong to the eukaryotes. Their life style involves a particular metabolic pathway termed anaerobic respiration. In the absence of oxygen, they convert nitrate present in the water into molecular nitrogen. [...]"

Source: Kiel University

Read the full article here.

 

 


Scientists draw new connections between climate change and warming oceans

"Earth scientists exploring how ocean chemistry has evolved found similarities between an event 55 million years ago and current predicted trajectories of planet temperatures, with regards to inputs of CO2 into the atmosphere and oxygen levels in the oceans. As the oceans warm, oxygen decreases while hydrogen sulfide increases, making the oceans toxic and putting marine species at risk."

Source: Science Daily (University of Toronto)

Read the full article here.


Ocean acidification drives community shifts towards simplified non-calcified habitats in a subtropical−temperate transition zone

Abstract.

"Rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing surface seawater pH and carbonate ion concentrations to fall in a process known as ocean acidification. To assess the likely ecological effects of ocean acidification we compared intertidal and subtidal marine communities at increasing levels of pCO2 at recently discovered volcanic seeps off the Pacific coast of Japan (34° N). This study region is of particular interest for ocean acidification research as it has naturally low levels of surface seawater pCO2 (280–320 µatm) and is located at a transition zone between temperate and sub-tropical communities. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Sylvain Agostini et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29251-7

Read the full article here.


Generality in multispecies responses to ocean acidification revealed through multiple hypothesis testing

Abstract.

"Decades of research have demonstrated that many calcifying species are negatively affected by ocean acidification, a major anthropogenic threat in marine ecosystems. However, even closely related species may exhibit different responses to ocean acidification and less is known about the drivers that shape such variation in different species. Here, we examine the drivers of physiological performance under ocean acidification in a group of five species of turf‐forming coralline algae. [...]"

Source: Global Change Biology
Authors: Allison K. Barner et al.
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14372

Read the full article here.


Stratifying ocean sampling globally and with depth to account for environmental variability

Abstract.

"With increasing depth, the ocean is less sampled for physical, chemical and biological variables. Using the Global Marine Environmental Datasets (GMED) and Ecological Marine Units (EMUs), we show that spatial variation in environmental variables decreases with depth. This is also the case over temporal scales because seasonal change, surface weather conditions, and biological activity are highest in shallow depths. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Mark John Costello et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29419-1

Read the full article here.


Middle Eocene greenhouse warming facilitated by diminished weathering feedback

Abstract.

"The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) represents a ~500-kyr period of global warming ~40 million years ago and is associated with a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but the cause of this CO2 rise remains enigmatic. Here we show, based on osmium isotope ratios (187Os/188Os) of marine sediments and published records of the carbonate compensation depth (CCD), that the continental silicate weathering response to the inferred CO2 rise and warming was strongly diminished during the MECO—in contrast to expectations from the silicate weathering thermostat hypothesis. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Robin van der Ploeg et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05104-9

Read the full article here.


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 CO2 input into the atmosphere was similar to the IPCC RCP8.5 emission scenario. Here we present sulfur-isotope data which record a positive 1 ‰ excursion during the PETM. Modeling suggests that significant parts of the ocean must have become sulfidic. The toxicity of hydrogen sulfide will render two of the largest and least explored ecosystems on Earth, the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones, uninhabitable by multi-cellular organisms. This will affect many marine species whose eco-zones stretch into the deep ocean. [...]"

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

Read the full article here.


Macrobenthic communities in a shallow normoxia to hypoxia gradient in the Humboldt upwelling ecosystem

Abstract.

"Hypoxia is one of the most important stressors affecting the health conditions of coastal ecosystems. In highly productive ecosystems such as the Humboldt Current ecosystem, the oxygen minimum zone is an important abiotic factor modulating the structure of benthic communities over the continental shelf. Herein, we study soft-bottom macrobenthic communities along a depth gradient–at 10, 20, 30 and 50 m–for two years to understand how hypoxia affects the structure of shallow communities at two sites in Mejillones Bay (23°S) in northern Chile. [...]"

Source: PLoS ONE
Authors: Maritza Fajardo et al.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200349

Read the full article here.


Expanding 'dead zone' in Arabian Sea raises climate change fears

In the waters of the Arabian Sea, a vast "dead zone" the size of Scotland is expanding and scientists say climate change may be to blame. In his lab in Abu Dhabi, Zouhair Lachkar is labouring over a colourful computer model of the Gulf of Oman, showing changing temperatures, sea levels and oxygen concentrations.His models and new research unveiled earlier this year show a worrying trend.Dead zones are areas of the sea where the lack of oxygen makes it difficult for fish to survive and the one in the Arabian Sea is "is the most intense in the world," says Lachkar, a senior scientist at NYU Abu Dhabi in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Source: phys.org

Read the full articlere here.

 


The Ocean is losing its breath: declining oxygen in the world's ocean and coastal waters; summary for policy makers

"Oxygen is critical to the health of the ocean. It structures aquatic ecosystems, impacts the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and other key elements, and is a fundamental requirement for marine life from the intertidal zone to the greatest depths of the ocean." [...]

Source: UNESCO (UNESDOC)
Authors: Denise Breitburg et al.

Get the full publication here.


How ocean warmth triggers glacial melting far away

"The melting of glaciers on one side of the globe can trigger disintegration of glaciers on the other side of the globe, as has been presented in a recent paper by a team of AWI scientists, who investigated marine microalgae preserved in glacial deposits and subsequently used their findings to perform climate simulations. The study highlights a process with alerting consequences for modern ice sheets: continuous warming of the ocean can result in a massive loss of polar ice mass, and consequently to rapid sea level rise."

Source: Science Daily

Read the full article here.


North Pacific freshwater events linked to changes in glacial ocean circulation

Abstract.

"There is compelling evidence that episodic deposition of large volumes of freshwater into the oceans strongly influenced global ocean circulation and climate variability during glacial periods. In the North Atlantic region, episodes of massive freshwater discharge to the North Atlantic Ocean were related to distinct cold periods known as Heinrich Stadials. [...]"

Source: Nature
Authors: E. Maier et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0276-y

Read the full article here.


2018 AGU Fall Meeting

Submit an Abstract to this highly topical AGU Fall Meeting Session:
OS010: Declining Ocean Oxygen from Estuaries to the Open Ocean: Scientific Causes and Management Implications

Conveners: Jim Ammerman/Long Island Sound Study, and Jim O'Donnell/University of Connecticut

Meeting is December 10-14, 2018 in Washington, DC; Abstract Deadline is August 1, 2018

Single cell genomic and transcriptomic evidence for the use of alternative nitrogen substrates by anammox bacteria

Abstract.

"Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) contributes substantially to ocean nitrogen loss, particularly in anoxic marine zones (AMZs). Ammonium is scarce in AMZs, raising the hypothesis that organic nitrogen compounds may be ammonium sources for anammox. Biochemical measurements suggest that the organic compounds urea and cyanate can support anammox in AMZs. [...]"

Source: The ISME Journal
Authors: Sangita Ganesh et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41396-018-0223-9

Read the full article here.


Early Palaeozoic ocean anoxia and global warming driven by the evolution of shallow burrowing

Abstract.

"The evolution of burrowing animals forms a defining event in the history of the Earth. It has been hypothesised that the expansion of seafloor burrowing during the Palaeozoic altered the biogeochemistry of the oceans and atmosphere. However, whilst potential impacts of bioturbation on the individual phosphorus, oxygen and sulphur cycles have been considered, combined effects have not been investigated, leading to major uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of the Earth system response to the evolution of bioturbation. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Sebastiaan van de Velde et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04973-4

Read the full article here.


Coupling of ocean redox and animal evolution during the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition

Abstract.

"The late Ediacaran to early Cambrian interval witnessed extraordinary radiations of metazoan life. The role of the physical environment in this biological revolution, such as changes to oxygen levels and nutrient availability, has been the focus of longstanding debate. Seemingly contradictory data from geochemical redox proxies help to fuel this controversy. As an essential nutrient, nitrogen can help to resolve this impasse by establishing linkages between nutrient supply, ocean redox, and biological changes. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Dan Wang et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04980-5

Read the full article here.


Oxygen minimum zones in the early Cambrian ocean

Abstract.

"The relationship between the evolution of early animal communities and oceanic oxygen levels remains unclear. In particular, uncertainty persists in reconstructions of redox conditions during the pivotal early Cambrian (541-510 million years ago, Ma), where conflicting datasets from deeper marine settings suggest either ocean anoxia or fully oxygenated conditions. By coupling geochemical palaeoredox proxies with a record of organic-walled fossils from exceptionally well-defined successions of the early Cambrian Baltic Basin, we provide evidence for the early establishment of modern-type oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). [...]"

Source: Geochemical Perspectives Letters 
Authors: R. Guilbaud et al.
DOI: 10.7185/geochemlet.1806

Read the full article here.


Ecology and evolution of seafloor and subseafloor microbial communities

Abstract.

"Vast regions of the dark ocean have ultra-slow rates of organic matter sedimentation, and their sediments are oxygenated to great depths yet have low levels of organic matter and cells. Primary production in the oxic seabed is supported by ammonia-oxidizing archaea, whereas in anoxic sediments, novel, uncultivated groups have the potential to produce H2 and CH4, which fuel anaerobic carbon fixation. [...]"

Source: Nature Reviews Microbiology
Authors: William D. Orsi
DOI: 10.1038/s41579-018-0046-8

Read the full article here.


Early Palaeozoic ocean anoxia and global warming driven by the evolution of shallow burrowing

Abstract.

"The evolution of burrowing animals forms a defining event in the history of the Earth. It has been hypothesised that the expansion of seafloor burrowing during the Palaeozoic altered the biogeochemistry of the oceans and atmosphere. However, whilst potential impacts of bioturbation on the individual phosphorus, oxygen and sulphur cycles have been considered, combined effects have not been investigated, leading to major uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of the Earth system response to the evolution of bioturbation. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Sebastiaan van de Velde et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04973-4

Read the full article here.


Nitrogen – ocean plastics pollution’s forgotten neighbour

"Tremendous – and deserved - attention has been paid for the last few years to the scourge of ocean plastics pollution, which we now know reaches the farthest depths of the ocean and can have impacts on ocean life from the smallest plankton to the largest whales.  We know (Jambeck et al., 2015) that some 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. UN Environment has estimated the socio-economic costs of ocean plastics pollution at about US$13 billion per year.  We are only beginning to explore and understand the potential human health impacts of plastics in the oceanic food chain. [...]"

Source: United Nations Development Programme
Author: Andrew Hudson

Read the full article here.


Annual plankton community metabolism in estuarine and coastal waters in Perth (Western Australia)

Abstract.

"The planktonic metabolic balance that is the balance between gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR) was determined in Matilda Bay (estuarine) and Woodman Point (coastal) in Perth, Western Australia. The rates of net community production (NCP = GPP – CR) and the ratio between GPP and CR (P/R) were assessed to evaluate whether the metabolic balance in the two coastal locations tends to be net autotrophic (production exceeding community respiration) or net heterotrophic (respiration exceeding production).  [...]"

Source: PeerJ
Authors: Susana Agusti, Lorena Vigoya, Carlos Manuel Duarte
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5081

Read the full article here.


Changing storminess and global capture fisheries

"Climate change-driven alterations in storminess pose a significant threat to global capture fisheries. Understanding how storms interact with fishery social-ecological systems can inform adaptive action and help to reduce the vulnerability of those dependent on fisheries for life and livelihood."

Source: Nature Climate Change
Authors: Nigel C. Sainsbury et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0206-x

Read the full article here.


Accurate estimation of net community production from O2/Ar measurements

Abstract.

"Under physically isolated conditions, net community production (NCP) can be accurately estimated from the rate of oxygen evasion to the atmosphere derived from local mixed layer oxygen/argon measurements. We use a simple box model to demonstrate that, when physical inputs are negligible, the sea‐to‐air flux of biological oxygen (bioflux) represents the average NCP exponentially weighted over the past several residence times of oxygen in the mixed layer. This new weighting scheme shows that there is no apparent lag between bioflux and exponentially‐weighted time‐averaged NCP.  [...]"

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: Lianna Teeter et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2017GB005874

Read the full article here.


Extensive marine anoxia during the terminal Ediacaran Period

Abstract.

"The terminal Ediacaran Period witnessed the decline of the Ediacara biota (which may have included many stem-group animals). To test whether oceanic anoxia might have played a role in this evolutionary event, we measured U isotope compositions (δ238U) in sedimentary carbonates from the Dengying Formation of South China to obtain new constraints on the extent of global redox change during the terminal Ediacaran. [...]"

Source: Science Advances
Authors: Feifei Zhang et al.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aan8983

Read the full article here.


Chesapeake Bay: Larger-than-average summer 'dead zone' forecast for 2018 after wet spring

"Ecologists from the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are forecasting a larger-than-average Chesapeake Bay "dead zone" in 2018, due to increased rainfall in the watershed this spring.
 

This summer's Chesapeake Bay hypoxic or dead zone, an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other aquatic life, is expected to be about 1.9 cubic miles (7.9 cubic kilometers), according to the forecast released today by the two universities. [...]"

Source: Phys.org

Read the full article here.


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