News

Ocean phosphorus inventory: large uncertainties in future projections on millennial timescales and their consequences for ocean deoxygenation

Abstract.

"Previous studies have suggested that enhanced weathering and benthic phosphorus (P) fluxes, triggered by climate warming, can increase the oceanic P inventory on millennial timescales, promoting ocean productivity and deoxygenation. In this study, we assessed the major uncertainties in projected P inventories and their imprint on ocean deoxygenation using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity for the same business-as-usual carbon dioxide (CO2) emission scenario until the year 2300 and subsequent linear decline to zero emissions until the year 3000. [...]"

Source: Earth System Dynamics
Authors: Tronje P. Kemena et al.
DOI: 10.5194/esd-10-539-2019

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Linking the progressive expansion of reducing conditions to a stepwise mass extinction event in the late Silurian oceans

Abstract.

"The late Ludlow Lau Event was a severe biotic crisis in the Silurian, characterized by resurgent microbial facies and faunal turnover rates otherwise only documented during the "big five" mass extinctions. This asynchronous late Silurian marine extinction event preceded an associated positive carbon isotope excursion (CIE), the Lau CIE, although a mechanism for this temporal offset remains poorly constrained. [...]"

Source: GeoScienceWorld
Authors: Chelsie N. Bowman et al.
DOI: 10.1130/G46571.1

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Oxygen depletion in ancient oceans caused major mass extinction

"For years, scientists struggled to connect a mechanism to this mass extinction, one of the 10 most dramatic ever recorded in Earth's history. Now, researchers have confirmed that this event, referred to by scientists as the Lau/Kozlowskii extinction, was triggered by an all-too-familiar culprit: rapid and widespread depletion of oxygen in the global oceans. [...]"

Source: ScienceDaily

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The Sensitivity of Future Ocean Oxygen to Changes in Ocean Circulation

Abstract.

"A decline in global ocean oxygen concentrations has been observed over the twentieth century and is predicted to continue under future climate change. We use a unique modeling framework to understand how the perturbed ocean circulation may influence the rate of ocean deoxygenation in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 and associated global warming. [...]"

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: Jaime B. Palter and David S. Trossman
DOI: 10.1002/2017GB005777

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Powering Ocean Giants: The Energetics of Shark and Ray Megafauna

Abstract.

"Energetics studies have illuminated how animals partition energy among essential life processes and survive in extreme environments or with unusual lifestyles. There are few bioenergetics measurements for elasmobranch megafauna; the heaviest elasmobranch for which metabolic rate has been measured is only 47.7 kg, despite many weighing >1000 kg. Bioenergetics models of elasmobranch megafauna would answer fundamental ecological questions surrounding this important and vulnerable group, and enable an understanding of how they may respond to changing environmental conditions, such as ocean warming and deoxygenation. [...]"

Source: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Authors: Christopher L. Lawson et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2019.07.001

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Gulf Dead Zone Looms Large in 2019

"In 2019, predictions indicate that the Gulf of Mexico will retain the dubious distinction of having the second-largest low-oxygen dead zone on Earth (the Baltic Sea remains firmly in first place). By the end of the summer, the hypoxic region on the seafloor at the mouth of the Mississippi River is expected to occupy over 22,000 square kilometers—an area the size of the state of Massachusetts. [...]

Source: Earth & Space Science News
Author: Mary Caperton Morton
DOI: 10.1029/2019EO128019

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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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Will giant polar amphipods be first to fare badly in an oxygen-poor ocean? Testing hypotheses linking oxygen to body size

Abstract.

"It has been suggested that giant Antarctic marine invertebrates will be particularly vulnerable to declining O2 levels as our ocean warms in line with current climate change predictions. Our study provides some support for this oxygen limitation hypothesis, with larger body sizes being generally more sensitive to O2 reductions than smaller body sizes. [...]"

Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
Authors: John I. Spicer  and Simon A. Morley
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0034

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The complex fate of Antarctic species in the face of a changing climate

"Researchers have presented support for the theory that marine invertebrates with larger body size are generally more sensitive to reductions in oxygen than smaller animals, and so will be more sensitive to future global climate change. However, evolutionary innovation can to some extent offset any respiratory disadvantages of large body size. [...]"

Source: Science Daily / University of Plymouth

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