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The far-future ocean: Warm yet oxygen-rich

"The oceans are losing oxygen. Numerous studies based on direct measurements in recent years have shown this. Since water can dissolve less gas as temperatures rise, these results were not surprising. In addition to global warming, factors such as eutrophication of the coastal seas also contribute to the ongoing deoxygenation. [...]"

Source: Phys.org

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Loss of fixed nitrogen causes net oxygen gain in a warmer future ocean

Abstract.

"Oceanic anoxic events have been associated with warm climates in Earth history, and there are concerns that current ocean deoxygenation may eventually lead to anoxia. Here we show results of a multi-millennial global-warming simulation that reveal, after a transitory deoxygenation, a marine oxygen inventory 6% higher than preindustrial despite an average 3 °C ocean warming. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Andreas Oschlies et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10813-w

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Microbial ecosystem dynamics drive fluctuating nitrogen loss in marine anoxic zones

Abstract.

"The dynamics of nitrogen (N) loss in the ocean’s oxygen-deficient zones (ODZs) are thought to be driven by climate impacts on ocean circulation and biological productivity. Here we analyze a data-constrained model of the microbial ecosystem in an ODZ and find that species interactions drive fluctuations in local- and regional-scale rates of N loss, even in the absence of climate variability. [...]"

Source: PNAS
Authors: Justin L. Penn et al.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818014116

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Seasonal and sub-seasonal oxygen and nutrient fluctuations in an embayment of an eastern boundary upwelling system: St Helena Bay

Abstract.

"Seasonal, sub-seasonal and spatial fluctuations in bottom dissolved oxygen (DO) were examined in St Helena Bay, South Africa’s largest and most productive embayment, between November 2013 and November 2014. Alongshore bay characteristics were assessed through comparison of variables along the 50-m depth contour. A mean coefficient of variation of 0.35 provided a measure of the relative variability of near-bottom DO concentrations along this contour. Consistently lower DO concentrations in the southern region of the bay in summer and autumn are attributed to enhanced retention. [...]"

Source: African Journal of Marine Science (2017)
Authors: GC Pitcher & TA Probyn
DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2017.1305989

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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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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

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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

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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.


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

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