Anaerobic Activity Is a Big Contributor in Marine “Dead Zones”
Climate models that do not account for anaerobic microbial activity may underestimate future expansion of oxygen-depleted waters.
"Certain parts of Earth’s oceans are so oxygen depleted that they can hardly sustain life. Climate models predict that these “dead zones” will expand as global warming progresses, affecting ecosystems, fisheries, and the climate itself. Now Lengger et al. provide new evidence that such predictions do not adequately account for the activity of anaerobic microbes that consume inorganic carbon within dead zones. [...]"
Warming climate will impact dead zones in Chesapeake Bay
"In recent years, scientists have projected increasingly large summer dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay, areas where there is little or no oxygen for living things like crabs and fish to thrive, even as long-term efforts to reduce nutrient pollution continue. Researchers factored in local impacts of climate change to make projections of what the oxygen content of the Chesapeake Bay will look like in the future. [...]"
Source: Science Daily
Large ‘dead zone’ measured in Gulf of Mexico
Hurricane Barry dampens initial size predictions
"This year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone”— an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life — is approximately 6,952 square miles, according to NOAA-supported scientists. The measured size of the dead zone, also called the hypoxic zone, is the 8th largest in the 33-year record and exceeds the 5,770-square-mile average from the past five years. [...]"
Massive 8,000-mile 'dead zone' could be one of the gulf's largest
"JUST OFF THE coast of Louisiana and Texas where the Mississippi River empties, the ocean is dying. The cyclical event known as the dead zone occurs every year, but scientists predict that this year's could be one of the largest in recorded history. Annual spring rains wash the nutrients used in fertilizers and sewage into the Mississippi. That fresh water, less dense than ocean water, sits on top of the ocean, preventing oxygen from mixing through the water column. Eventually those freshwater nutrients can spur a burst of algal growth, which consumes oxygen as the plants decompose. [...]"
Source: National Geographic
NOAA forecasts very large ‘dead zone’ for Gulf of Mexico
"NOAA scientists are forecasting this summer’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone or ‘dead zone’ – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – to be approximately 7,829 square miles, or roughly the size of Massachusetts. The annual prediction is based on U.S. Geological Survey river flow and nutrient data. [...]"
Flooding Makes Big 'Dead Zone' Off Louisiana Coast Likely
"The year's widespread flooding has made it likely that a big, oxygen-starved "dead zone" off Louisiana's coast will form this summer, the head of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science said Thursday. Preliminary computer model runs "indicate a large to very large year," for the area where there's too little oxygen to support marine life, Steven Thur told the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force during a meeting livestreamed from Baton Rouge. [...]"
Source: The New York Times
Sri Lanka's marine protection agency calls for tougher laws against ocean pollution
General Manager of the Marine Environment Protection Authority, Dr. P.B. Teney told Xinhua that authorities had discovered the formation of a dead zone in the Bay of Bengal which had spread across a 6000 square kilometer area and was 100 meters to 400 meters in depth. [...]"
'Dead zone' volume more important than area to fish, fisheries
Dubravko Justic, the Texaco Distinguished Professor in the LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, and Research Associate Lixia Wang recently co-authored a study suggesting that measuring the volume rather than the area of the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone, is more appropriate for monitoring its effects on marine organisms.
"The dead zone, a hypoxic zone, is a region of low oxygen that results from runoff of high nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, often found in fertilizer, flowing from the Mississippi River into the coastal ocean. It is the largest recurring hypoxic zone in the U.S., occurring most summers, and is located off the coast of Louisiana. This nutrient pollution, coupled with other factors, is believed to have a negative impact on fisheries because it depletes the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom waters. [...]"
Source: Science Daily
Job Offer: Postdoctoral Researcher
Postdoctoral Researcher in the area of ocean physical and biogeochemical coupling to work with Professor Resplandy in the Princeton University Geosciences department. The postdoc will investigate the physical and biological processes at both global and local scale that control the evolution of the tropical Oxygen Minimum Zone in the Indian Ocean. Details of the project can be found at https://environment.princeton.edu/grandchallenges/research/energy/dead_zones. Ideally, candidates will have a strong background in numerical modeling, but candidates with the necessary background in geophysical fluid dynamics and/or ocean biogeochemistry will be given full consideration.
Applicants should include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae including a publication list, and contact information for three references by applying at https://www.princeton.edu/acad-positions/position/9941. Applications should be received by April 15, 2019.
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. [...]"