News

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
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31824-5

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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Hazards of decreasing marine oxygen: the near-term and millennial-scale benefits of meeting the Paris climate targets

Abstract.

"Ocean deoxygenation is recognized as key ecosystem stressor of the future ocean and associated climate-related ocean risks are relevant for current policy decisions. In particular, benefits of reaching the ambitious 1.5 °C warming target mentioned by the Paris Agreement compared to higher temperature targets are of high interest. Here, we model oceanic oxygen, warming and their compound hazard in terms of metabolic conditions on multi-millennial timescales for a range of equilibrium temperature targets. [...]"

Source: Earth System Dynamics
Authors: Gianna Battaglia and Fortunat Joos
DOI: 10.5194/esd-9-797-2018

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Drivers and mechanisms of ocean deoxygenation

Abstract.

"Direct observations indicate that the global ocean oxygen inventory is decreasing. Climate models consistently confirm this decline and predict continuing and accelerating ocean deoxygenation. However, current models (1) do not reproduce observed patterns for oxygen changes in the ocean’s thermocline; (2) underestimate the temporal variability of oxygen concentrations and air–sea fluxes inferred from time-series observations; and (3) generally simulate only about half the oceanic oxygen loss inferred from observations. [...]"

Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: Andreas Oschlies et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0152-2

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Reversal of Increasing Tropical Ocean Hypoxia Trends With Sustained Climate Warming

Abstract.

"Dissolved oxygen (O2) is essential for the survival of marine animals. Climate change impacts on future oxygen distributions could modify species biogeography, trophic interactions, biodiversity, and biogeochemistry. The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models predict a decreasing trend in marine O2 over the 21st century.  [...]"

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: Weiwei Fu et al.
DOI: 10.1002/2017GB005788

 Read the full article here.


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