The study is published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The scientists used a computer model developed at the Danish Centre for Earth System Science (DCESS) that analyses global changes extending 100,000 years into the future.
The DCESS model includes atmosphere, ocean, ocean-sediment, land-biosphere and lithosphere modules. According to the study, it reproduces 'observed evolutions since 1765 of key climate metrics including atmosphere and ocean warming, atmospheric gas contents and ocean and land-biosphere CO2 uptakes'.
Two emissions scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were evaluated: one with a moderate (3°C) temperature increase and one with a high (4.8°C) temperature rise. In both simulations, there was oxygen loss in the upper 500m of the ocean, largely in response to surface-layer warming. Importantly, overturning circulation in the deep ocean, which pulls oxygenated surface waters down to the depths of the ocean, decreased. The high-emissions scenario in particular predicted 'severe, long-term ocean oxygen depletion,' and it was clear that the suboxic regions of the ocean, which are void of fish and other larger creatures, would expand in both cases.
Observations in the oceans already show that suboxic areas are expanding as the atmosphere and ocean warm. In line with this and other supporting observations, the model projects a three- to seven-fold expansion in suboxic zones. The authors explain that as suboxic zones expand, different microbes and plankton take over. This forces a shift towards nitrogen fixers, which the researchers say would probably force large, unpredictable changes in ocean ecosystem structure and productivity, with serious consequences.
The study's conclusions are simple: 'Reduced fossil-fuel emissions would be needed to limit ongoing oxygen depletion and its long-term adverse effects.'
Extreme oceanic oxygen depletion events are thought to be behind some of the large extinction events in the Earth's history, including the largest such event 250 million years ago.
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
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