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.
Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
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13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding