Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For decades, scientists have witnessed the oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) in the tropical oceans expanding, reducing the habitat of some types of fish in the process, and now they finally know...
Latest Oxygen minimum zone Stories
As the complex story of climate change unfolds, many of the endings are grim. But there are exceptions. Predictions that the lowest-oxygen environments in the ocean would get worse may not come to pass.
More than four months from November 2012 to March 2013 Kiel ocean scientists investigated on the German research vessel METEOR the oxygen-poor upwelling regions in the tropical Pacific off Peru.
How is vital oxygen supplied to the tropical ocean? For the first time, oceanographers at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel were able to make quantitative statements regarding this question.
Tiny marine organisms called zooplankton can use specialized adaptations that allow them to hide from predators in areas of the ocean where oxygen levels are so low that almost nothing can survive, but they may run into trouble as these areas expand due to climate change.
Some regions of the deep ocean floor support abundant populations of organisms, despite being overlain by water that contains very little oxygen, but global warming is likely to exacerbate oxygen depletion and thereby reduce biodiversity in these regions, they warn.
Among the many changes in the ocean is the expansion of oxygen-deficient or oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), also known as dead zones, which affect the processes by which carbon is captured and sequestered on the seafloor and alter the microbial activities that impact the rate and magnitude of ocean carbon sequestration.
After more than a decade of inquiry, a Princeton-led team of scientists has turned the tables on a long-standing controversy to re-establish an old truth about nitrogen mixing in the oceans.
A team of Danish researchers have now shown that unchecked global warming would lead to a dramatic expansion of low-oxygen areas zones in the global ocean by a factor of 10 or more.
Researchers warn that as the oceans are heated by global warming, low-oxygen zones are threatening sea life, making it difficult for some to survive.
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