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High-resolution records of Oceanic Anoxic Event 2:

Insights into the timing, duration and extent of environmental perturbations from the palaeo-South Pacific Ocean

Abstract.

"Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE 2), which took place around the Cenomanian–Turonian boundary (∼94 Ma), is associated with extreme perturbations to the global carbon cycle, affected ocean basins worldwide and was associated with significant biological turnover. Although this event has been well studied in the northern hemisphere, the evolution and character of OAE 2, particularly in terms of the vertical and lateral extent of anoxia, is poorly constrained in the palaeo-Pacific Ocean. [...]"

Source: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Authors: S. K. Gangl et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.04.028

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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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Biomarker evidence for the occurrence of anaerobic ammonium oxidation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea during Quaternary and Pliocene sapropel formati

Abstract.

"The eastern Mediterranean Sea sedimentary record is characterised by intervals of organic rich sediment (sapropels), indicating periods of severe anoxia triggered by astronomical forcing. It has been hypothesized that nitrogen fixation was crucial in injecting the Mediterranean Sea with bioavailable nitrogen (N) during sapropel events. However, the evolution of the N biogeochemical cycle of sapropels is poorly understood. For example, the role of the complementary removal reaction, anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), has not been investigated because the traditional lipid biomarkers for anammox, ladderane fatty acids, are not stable over long periods in the sedimentary record. [...]

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Darci Rush et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-2019-27

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Southern Hemisphere sea-surface temperatures during the Cenomanian–Turonian: Implications for the termination of Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

Abstract.

"Mesozoic oceanic anoxic events (OAEs) were major perturbations of the Earth system, associated with high CO2 concentrations in the oceans and atmosphere, high temperatures, and widespread organic-carbon burial. Models for explaining OAEs and other similar phenomena in Earth history make specific predictions about the role and pattern of temperature change, which can be tested through comparison with the geological record. Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE 2) occurred ~94 m.y. ago and is commonly considered as the type example of an OAE. [...]"

Source: Geology 
Authors: Stuart A. Robinson et al.
DOI: 10.1130/G45842.1

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Organic carbon burial during OAE2 driven by changes in the locus of organic matter sulfurization

Abstract.

"Ocean Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) was a period of dramatic disruption to the global carbon cycle when massive amounts of organic matter (OM) were buried in marine sediments via complex and controversial mechanisms. Here we investigate the role of OM sulfurization, which makes OM less available for microbial respiration, in driving variable OM preservation in OAE2 sedimentary strata from Pont d’Issole (France). We find correlations between the concentration, S:C ratio, S-isotope composition, and sulfur speciation of OM suggesting that sulfurization facilitated changes in carbon burial at this site as the chemocline moved in and out of the sediments during deposition. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Morgan Reed Raven et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05943-6

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Transient cooling episodes during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events with special reference to OAE 1a (Early Aptian)

Abstract.

"The two major oceanic anoxic events of the Cretaceous, those of the Early Aptian (OAE 1a) and the Cenomanian–Turonian boundary (OAE 2), registered some of the highest temperatures reconstructed for the Cretaceous Period, and are thought to be related to the input of volcanically derived carbon dioxide from one or more Large Igneous Provinces. Widely distributed deposition of marine organic matter, the hallmark of OAEs, and intensified silicate weathering in response to a globally accelerated hydrological cycle and/or reaction of seawater with freshly extruded basalt, are both potential mechanisms whereby the content of atmospheric carbon dioxide could have been drawn down to promote cooling, on the assumption that this potential effect was not offset by increased addition of this volcanically derived greenhouse gas. [...]"

Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Author: Hugh C. Jenkyns
DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2017.0073

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Lipids as indicators of nitrogen cycling in present and past anoxic oceans

Summary.

"Nitrogen (N) cycling influences primary production in the ocean and, hence, the global climate. It is performed by a variety of microorganisms, including eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea in oxic, suboxic, and anoxic waters. Our knowledge of the reactions involved in marine N cycling and its associated microorganisms has greatly increased in the last decade due to the development of multiple culture-independent methods. Among them are gene and lipid biomarkers, which hold taxonomic potential and can be successfully applied in modern day and paleoenvironmental studies. However, many aspects of N cycling and their long-term implications for the marine environment and the global climate still require more study, especially in suboxic and anoxic waters, including the oxygen-deficient zones (ODZs), which are expanding in the modern oceans.

Author: Martina Sollai

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Uranium isotope evidence for two episodes of deoxygenation during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

Abstract.

"Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE 2), occurring ∼94 million years ago, was one of the most extreme carbon cycle and climatic perturbations of the Phanerozoic Eon. It was typified by a rapid rise in atmospheric CO2, global warming, and marine anoxia, leading to the widespread devastation of marine ecosystems. However, the precise timing and extent to which oceanic anoxic conditions expanded during OAE 2 remains unresolved. [...]"

Source: PNAS
Authors: Matthew O. Clarkson et al.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1715278115

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Oxygen loss could be a huge issue for oceans

"A major study into an ancient climate change event that affected a significant percentage of Earth’s oceans has brought into sharp focus a lesser-known villain in global warming: oxygen depletion. 

The study, just published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), examined a past period of global warming around 94 million years ago, when oceans became de-oxygenated.

This famous period in Earth’s geological history, known as an Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE), was more severe and on much longer timescales than the current changes. But it has given the scientists studying this period an extreme case-study to help understand how the oceans are effected by high atmospheric CO2 emissions. [...]"

Source: University of Exeter News

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