News

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

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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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Acid coastal seas off US putting common fish species at risk

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

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

Source: Phys.org

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Deglacial upwelling, productivity and CO2 outgassing in the North Pacific Ocean

Abstract.

"The interplay between ocean circulation and biological productivity affects atmospheric CO2 levels and marine oxygen concentrations. During the warming of the last deglaciation, the North Pacific experienced a peak in productivity and widespread hypoxia, with changes in circulation, iron supply and light limitation all proposed as potential drivers. [...]"

Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: William R. Gray et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0108-6

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Oceanic crustal carbon cycle drives 26-million-year atmospheric carbon dioxide periodicities

Abstract.

"Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) data for the last 420 million years (My) show long-term fluctuations related to supercontinent cycles as well as shorter cycles at 26 to 32 My whose origin is unknown. Periodicities of 26 to 30 My occur in diverse geological phenomena including mass extinctions, flood basalt volcanism, ocean anoxic events, deposition of massive evaporites, sequence boundaries, and orogenic events and have previously been linked to an extraterrestrial mechanism. [...]

Source: Science Advances
Authors: R. Dietmar Müller and Adriana Dutkiewicz
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaq0500

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As CO2 Goes Up, Ocean Health Goes Down

"June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day to raise awareness of the ocean’s importance to the planet. 93 percent of the excess heat absorbed by the climate system goes into our oceans, creating major consequences. While more extreme storms and rising sea levels are some of the impacts of warmer oceans, rising CO2 levels and the resulting warmer oceans are impacting ocean health itself. The most well­known effects are coral bleaching and ocean acidification, but an emerging issue is the decreasing oxygen levels in the warming waters. [...]"

Source: Climate Central

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Enhanced CO2 uptake at a shallow Arctic Ocean seep field overwhelms the positive warming potential of emitted methane

Abstract.

"Continued warming of the Arctic Ocean in coming decades is projected to trigger the release of teragrams (1 Tg = 106 tons) of methane from thawing subsea permafrost on shallow continental shelves and dissociation of methane hydrate on upper continental slopes. On the shallow shelves (<100 m water depth), methane released from the seafloor may reach the atmosphere and potentially amplify global warming. On the other hand, biological uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) has the potential to offset the positive warming potential of emitted methane, a process that has not received detailed consideration for these settings. Continuous sea−air gas flux data collected over a shallow ebullitive methane seep field on the Svalbard margin reveal atmospheric CO2 uptake rates (−33,300 ± 7,900 μmol m−2⋅d−1) twice that of surrounding waters and ∼1,900 times greater than the diffusive sea−air methane efflux (17.3 ± 4.8 μmol m−2⋅d−1).  [...]"

Source: Proceedings of the Nathional Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Authors: John W. Pohlman et al.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1618926114

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