News

Hypoxia-tolerant zooplankton may reduce biological carbon pump efficiency in the Humboldt current system off Peru

Abstract.

"In the ocean, downward flux of particles produced in sunlit surface waters is the major component of the biological carbon pump, which sequesters atmospheric carbon dioxide and fuels deep-sea ecosystems. The efficiency of downward carbon transfer is expected to be particularly high in tropical upwelling systems where hypoxia occurring beneath the productive surface waters is thought to hamper particle consumption. However, observations of both particle feeders and carbon export in low-oxygen waters are scarce. Here, we provide evidence that hypoxia-tolerant zooplankton feed on sinking particles in the extensive Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) off Peru. [...]".

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Anja Engel et al. 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-01140-6

Read the full article here.


Butterfly effect of shallow-ocean deoxygenation on past marine biodiversity

Abstract.

"A geochemical study of an ancient mass-extinction event shows that only moderate expansion of oxygen-deficient waters along continental margins is needed to decimate marine biodiversity. This finding provides a stark warning of the possible consequences of human-driven ocean deoxygenation on life in Earth’s shallow oceans. [...]".

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Brian Kendall
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-023-01310-3

Read the full article here.


Spatial pattern of marine oxygenation set by tectonic and ecological drivers over the Phanerozoic

Abstract.

"Marine redox conditions (that is, oxygen levels) impact a wide array of biogeochemical cycles, but the main controls of marine redox since the start of the Phanerozoic about 538 million years ago are not well established. Here we combine supervised machine learning with shale-hosted trace metal concentrations to reconstruct a near-continuous record of redox conditions in major marine depositional settings. We find synchronously opposite redox changes in upper ocean versus deep shelf and (semi-)restricted basin settings ('redox anticouples', nomen novum) in several multi-million-year intervals, which can be used to track the positions of oxygen-minimum zones and the primary locations of organic burial through time. [...]".

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Xiangli Wang et al. 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-023-01296-y

Read the full article here.


Oxygen dynamics in marine productive ecosystems at ecologically relevant scales

Abstract.

"The decline of dissolved oxygen in the oceans could be detrimental to marine life and biogeochemical cycles. However, predicting future oxygen availability with models that mainly focus on temporal and spatial large-scale mean values could lead to incorrect predictions. Marine ecosystems are strongly influenced by short temporal- and small spatial-scale oxygen fluctuations. Large-scale modelling neglects fluctuations, which include the pervasive occurrence of high oxygen supersaturation on a daily time scale in productive ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests and the spatial heterogeneity in oxygen availability at microclimatic scales. [...]".

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Folco Giomi et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-023-01217-z

Read the full article here.


Increasing hypoxia on global coral reefs under ocean warming

Abstract. 

"Ocean deoxygenation is predicted to threaten marine ecosystems globally. However, current and future oxygen concentrations and the occurrence of hypoxic events on coral reefs remain underexplored. Here, using autonomous sensor data to explore oxygen variability and hypoxia exposure at 32 representative reef sites, we reveal that hypoxia is already pervasive on many reefs. Eighty-four percent of reefs experienced weak to moderate (≤153 µmol O2 kg−1to ≤92 µmol O2 kg−1) hypoxia and 13% experienced severe (≤61 µmol O2 kg−1) hypoxia. Under different climate change scenarios based on four Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) [...]".

 

Source: Nature 
Authors: Ariel K. Pezner et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-023-01619-2

Read the full article here.


Oxygenation of the Earth aided by mineral–organic carbon preservation

Abstract. 

"Photosynthesis produces molecular oxygen, but it is the burial of organic carbon in sediments that has allowed this O2 to accumulate in Earth’s atmosphere. Yet many direct controls on the preservation and burial of organic carbon have not been explored in detail. For modern Earth, it is known that reactive iron phases are important for organic carbon preservation, suggesting that the availability of particulate iron could be an important factor for the oxygenation of the oceans and atmosphere over Earth history. Here we develop a theoretical model to investigate the effect of mineral–organic preservation on the oxygenation of the Earth, supported by a proxy [...]".

 

Source: Nature 
Authors: Mingyu Zhao et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-023-01133-2

Read the full article here.


Subpolar gyre decadal variability explains the recent oxygenation in the Irminger Sea

Abstract. 

"Accurate monitoring of the long-term trend of oxygen content at global scale requires a better knowledge of the regional oxygen variability at interannual to decadal time scale. Here, we combined the Argo dataset and repeated ship-based sections to investigate the drivers of the oxygen variability in the North Atlantic Ocean, a key region for the oxygen supply into the deep ocean. We focus on the Labrador Sea Water in the Irminger Sea over the period 1991–2018 and we show that the oxygen solubility explains less than a third of the oxygen variability. [...]".

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Charlène Feucher et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00570-y

Read the full article here.


Intermediate water circulation drives distribution of Pliocene Oxygen Minimum Zones

Abstract. 

"Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) play a critical role in global biogeochemical cycling and act as barriers to dispersal for marine organisms. OMZs are currently expanding and intensifying with climate change, however past distributions of OMZs are relatively unknown. Here we present evidence for widespread pelagic OMZs during the Pliocene (5.3-2.6 Ma), the most recent epoch with atmospheric CO2 analogous to modern (~400-450 ppm). The global distribution of OMZ-affiliated planktic foraminifer, Globorotaloides hexagonus, and Earth System and Species Distribution Models show [...]". 

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Catherine V. Davis et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-35083-x

Read the full article here. 


The Peruvian oxygen minimum zone was similar in extent but weaker during the Last Glacial Maximum than Late Holocene

Abstract. 

"Quantifying past oxygen concentrations in oceans is crucial to improving understanding of current global ocean deoxygenation. Here, we use a record of pore density of the epibenthic foraminifer Planulina limbata from the Peruvian Oxygen Minimum Zone to reconstruct oxygen concentrations in bottom waters from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Late Holocene at 17.5°S about 500 meters below the sea surface. We found that oxygen levels were 40% lower during the Last Glacial Maximum than during the Late Holocene (about 6.7 versus 11.1 µmol/kg, respectively). [...]".

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Nicolaas Glock et al. 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00635-y 

Read the full article here.


Volcanic trigger of ocean deoxygenation during Cordilleran ice sheet retreat

Abstract. 

"North Pacific deoxygenation events during the last deglaciation were sustained over millennia by high export productivity, but the triggering mechanisms and their links to deglacial warming remain uncertain. Here we find that initial deoxygenation in the North Pacific immediately after the Cordilleran ice sheet (CIS) retreat was associated with increased volcanic ash in seafloor sediments. Timing of volcanic inputs relative to CIS retreat suggests that regional explosive volcanism was initiated by ice unloading. […]".

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Jianghui Du et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05267-y

Read the full article here.


Seasonal nearshore ocean acidification and deoxygenation in the Southern California Bight

Abstract. 

"The California Current System experiences seasonal ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) owing to wind-driven upwelling, but little is known about the intensity, frequency, and depth distribution of OAH in the shallow nearshore environment. Here we present observations of OAH and dissolved inorganic carbon and nutrient parameters based on monthly transects from March 2017 to September 2018 extending from the surf zone to the ~ 40 m depth contour in La Jolla, California. Biologically concerning OAH conditions were observed at depths as shallow as 10 m and as close as 700 m to the shoreline. [...]".

 

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Samuel A. H. Kekuewa et al. 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-21831-y

Read the full article here.


Deglacial restructuring of the Eastern equatorial Pacific oxygen minimum zone

Abstract. 

"Oxygenation in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific is responsive to ongoing climate change in the modern ocean, although whether the region saw a deglacial change in extent or position of the Oxygen Minimum Zone remains poorly constrained. Here, stable isotopes from the shells of an Oxygen Minimum Zone-dwelling planktic foraminifer are used to reassess the position of the mid-water Oxygen Minimum Zone relative to both the thermocline and benthos. Oxygen isotopes record a rapid shoaling of the Oxygen Minimum Zone towards the thermocline associated with Heinrich Stadial 1 and persisting through the deglaciation. [...]". 

 

Source: Communications Earth & Environment
Authors: Catherine V. Davis
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00477-8

Read the full article here.


Mid-Cretaceous marine Os isotope evidence for heterogeneous cause of oceanic anoxic events

Abstract. 

"During the mid-Cretaceous, the Earth experienced several environmental perturbations, including an extremely warm climate and Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs). Submarine volcanic episodes associated with formation of large igneous provinces (LIPs) may have triggered these perturbations. The osmium isotopic ratio (187Os/188Os) is a suitable proxy for tracing hydrothermal activity associated with the LIPs formation, but 187Os/188Os data from the mid-Cretaceous are limited to short time intervals. Here we provide a continuous high-resolution marine 187Os/188Os record covering all mid-Cretaceous OAEs. Several OAEs (OAE1a, Wezel and Fallot events, and OAE2) correspond to unradiogenic 187Os/188Os shifts, suggesting that they were triggered by massive submarine volcanic episodes. However, minor OAEs (OAE1c and OAE1d), which do not show pronounced unradiogenic 187Os/188Os shifts, were likely caused by enhanced monsoonal activity. [...]".

 

Source: Nature Communications 

Authors: Hironao Matsumoto et al.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27817-0

Read the full article here.


GO-SHIP Easy Ocean: Gridded ship-based hydrographic section of temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen

Abstract.

"Despite technological advances over the last several decades, ship-based hydrography remains the only method for obtaining high-quality, high spatial and vertical resolution measurements of physical, chemical, and biological parameters over the full water column essential for physical, chemical, and biological oceanography and climate science. The Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP) coordinates a network of globally sustained hydrographic sections. These data provide a unique data set that spans four decades, comprised of more than 40 cross-ocean transects. The section data are, however, difficult to use owing to inhomogeneous format. The purpose of this new temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen data product is to combine, reformat and grid these data measured by Conductivity-Temperature-Depth-Oxygen (CTDO) profilers in order to facilitate their use by a wider audience. [...]".

 

Source: Nature Scientific Data

Authors: Katsuro Katsumata et al.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-022-01212-w

Read the full article here.


A committed fourfold increase in ocean oxygen loss

Abstract.

"Less than a quarter of ocean deoxygenation that will ultimately be caused by historical CO2 emissions is already realized, according to millennial-scale model simulations that assume zero CO2 emissions from year 2021 onwards. About 80% of the committed oxygen loss occurs below 2000 m depth, where a more sluggish overturning circulation will increase water residence times and accumulation of respiratory oxygen demand. According to the model results, the deep ocean will thereby lose more than 10% of its pre-industrial oxygen content even if CO2 emissions and thus global warming[...]"

 

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Andreas Oschlies 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22584-4

Read the full article here.


Pervasive distribution of polyester fibres in the Arctic Ocean is driven by Atlantic inputs

Abstract.

"Microplastics are increasingly recognized as ubiquitous global contaminants, but questions linger regarding their source, transport and fate. We document the widespread distribution of microplastics in near-surface seawater from 71 stations across the European and North American Arctic - including the North Pole. We also characterize samples to a depth of 1,015 m in the Beaufort Sea. Particle abundance correlated with longitude, with almost three times more particles in the eastern Arctic compared to the west. Polyester comprised[...]"

 

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Peter S. Ross et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20347-1

Read the full article here.


Status and trends of Arctic Ocean environmental change and its impacts on marine biogeochemistry: Findings from the ArCS project

Abstract.

"Ocean observation research theme under ArCS project, “Theme 4: Observational research on Arctic Ocean environmental changes”, aimed to elucidate the status and trends of ongoing Arctic Ocean environmental changes and to evaluate their impacts on Arctic marine ecosystem and the global climate system. For these purposes, we conducted field observations, mooring observations, laboratory experiments, numerical modeling, and international collaborative research focusing on the Pacific Arctic[...]"

 

Source: Science Direct
Authors: Takashi Kikuchi et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polar.2021.100639

Read the full article here.


Glacial deep ocean deoxygenation driven by biologically mediated air–sea disequilibrium

Abstract.

"Deep ocean deoxygenation inferred from proxies has been used to support the hypothesis that a lower atmospheric carbon dioxide during glacial times was due to an increase in the strength of the ocean’s biological pump. This relies on the assumption that surface ocean oxygen (O2) is equilibrated with the atmosphere such that any O2 deficiency observed in deep waters is a result of organic matter respiration, which consumes O2 and produces dissolved inorganic carbon. However, this assumption has been shown to be imperfect because of disequilibrium. Here we used an Earth system[...]"

 

Source: Nature Geoscience 
Authors: Ellen Cliff et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-00667-z

Read the full article here.


Phosphorus-limited conditions in the early Neoproterozoic ocean maintained low levels of atmospheric oxygen

Abstract.

"The redox chemistry of anoxic continental margin settings evolved from widespread sulfide-containing (euxinic) conditions to a global ferruginous (iron-containing) state in the early Neoproterozoic era (from ~1 to 0.8 billion years ago). Ocean redox chemistry exerts a strong control on the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus, a limiting nutrient, and hence on primary production, but the response of the phosphorus cycle to this major ocean redox transition has not been investigated. Here, we use a geochemical[...]"

 

Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: Romain Guilbaud et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0548-7

Read the full article here.

 


Subseafloor life and its biogeochemical impacts

Abstract.

"Subseafloor microbial activities are central to Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. They control Earth’s surface oxidation and major aspects of ocean chemistry. They affect climate on long timescales and play major roles in forming and destroying economic resources. In this review, we evaluate present understanding of subseafloor microbes and their activities, identify research gaps, and recommend approaches to filling those gaps. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Steven D’Hondt et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11450-z

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.


Climate and marine biogeochemistry during the Holocene from transient model simulations

Abstract.

"Climate and marine biogeochemistry changes over the Holocene are investigated based on transient global climate and biogeochemistry model simulations over the last 9500 years. The simulations are forced by accelerated and non-accelerated orbital parameters, respectively, and atmospheric pCO2, CH4, and N2O. The analysis focusses on key climatic parameters of relevance to the marine biogeochemistry, and on the physical and biogeochemical processes that drive atmosphere–ocean carbon fluxes and changes in the oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Joachim Segschneider, Birgit Schneider, and Vyacheslav Khon
DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-3243-2018

Read the full article here.


A Sixteen-year Decline in Dissolved Oxygen in the Central California Current

Abstract.

"A potential consequence of climate change is global decrease in dissolved oxygen at depth in the oceans due to changes in the balance of ventilation, mixing, respiration, and photosynthesis. We present hydrographic cruise observations of declining dissolved oxygen collected along CalCOFI Line 66.7 (Line 67) off of Monterey Bay, in the Central California Current region, and investigate likely mechanisms.  [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Alice S. Ren et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-25341-8

Read the full article here.


Coupling of oceanic carbon and nitrogen facilitates spatially resolved quantitative reconstruction of nitrate inventories

Abstract.

"Anthropogenic impacts are perturbing the global nitrogen cycle via warming effects and pollutant sources such as chemical fertilizers and burning of fossil fuels. Understanding controls on past nitrogen inventories might improve predictions for future global biogeochemical cycling. Here we show the quantitative reconstruction of deglacial bottom water nitrate concentrations from intermediate depths of the Peruvian upwelling region, using foraminiferal pore density. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Nicolaas Glock et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03647-5

Read the full article here.


Global niche of marine anaerobic metabolisms expanded by particle microenvironments

Abstract.

"In ocean waters, anaerobic microbial respiration should be confined to the anoxic waters found in coastal regions and tropical oxygen minimum zones, where it is energetically favourable. However, recent molecular and geochemical evidence has pointed to a much broader distribution of denitrifying and sulfate-reducing microbes. [...]"

Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: Daniele Bianchi et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0081-0

Read the full article here.


Nitrogen fixation sustained productivity in the wake of the Palaeoproterozoic Great Oxygenation Event

Abstract.

"The marine nitrogen cycle is dominated by redox-controlled biogeochemical processes and, therefore, is likely to have been revolutionised in response to Earth-surface oxygenation. The details, timing, and trajectory of nitrogen cycle evolution, however, remain elusive. Here we couple nitrogen and carbon isotope records from multiple drillcores through the Rooihoogte–Timeball Hill Formations from across the Carletonville area of the Kaapvaal Craton where the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) and its aftermath are recorded. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Genming Luo
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03361-2

Read the full article here.


Persistent spatial structuring of coastal ocean acidification in the California Current System

Abstract.

"The near-term progression of ocean acidification (OA) is projected to bring about sharp changes in the chemistry of coastal upwelling ecosystems. The distribution of OA exposure across these early-impact systems, however, is highly uncertain and limits our understanding of whether and how spatial management actions can be deployed to ameliorate future impacts. Through a novel coastal OA observing network, we have uncovered a remarkably persistent spatial mosaic in the penetration of acidified waters into ecologically-important nearshore habitats across 1,000 km of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.  [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: F. Chan et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-02777-y

Full article


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