Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Taking a deep breath in the North Atlantic
by Staff Writers
Kiel, Germany (SPX) Sep 07, 2017

Long-term observing station K1 in the Labrador Sea. Image courtesy GEOMAR.

The Labrador Sea in the North Atlantic is one of the few areas in the world ocean where cold, saline seawater sinks to large depths and forms deep water. This convection process also transports oxygen into the deep sea.

A team of scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (San Diego, California), Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada) and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have now published the analysis of data obtained from the mooring K1 in the international scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. The results show that in winter 2014/2015 an unusually high amount of oxygen was absorbed by the ocean in the region.

The actual oxygen uptake at the sea surface is very difficult to determine directly, but the scientists were able to derive the oxygen uptake from the oxygen content measured throughout the water column,. One of the questions the scientists were concerned with: Can the strong oxygen uptake in the Labrador Sea compensate the global oxygen loss of the ocean?

The ocean surface, in constant gas exchange with the atmosphere, takes up oxygen from it.

"In the ocean, in particular the temperature and air bubbles influence the oxygen uptake," says Dr. Johannes Karstensen, oceanographer at GEOMAR and co-author of the study. If the ocean surface cools down, the water mass becomes denser and heavier. Thus, the water mass starts to sink to greater depth, including the absorbed dissolved oxygen. At the same time, water rises from deeper layers and gets enriched with oxygen again." Sometimes this process is compared to a waterfall but in reality it is somewhat different," says Dr. Johannes Karstensen.

"It is rather a re-layering where cooler, denser water sinks and the underlying lighter water rises, is then cooled down, sinks again, and so on".

As the data from the long-term measuring station K1 in the Labrador Sea show, an unusually high amount of oxygen was absorbed in the particularly cold and stormy winter of 2014/2015. On one hand, this was due to the fact that the vertical turnover process extended to depths of more than 1,700 meters.

On the other hand, the scientists were able to show from the observational data that the observed oxygen increase can only be explained by taking into account the inflow of air bubbles at the surface. This result is particularly important for the correct modelling of oxygen uptake in deep-convection areas and also serves to improve climate prediction.

More recently, GEOMAR researchers have published a study on the temporal evolution of the oxygen concentration in the world ocean. It shows that the oxygen content of the world's oceans has decreased by more than two percent over the last 50 years.

An obvious question is: Can the increased oxygen uptake in the Labrador Sea compensate the observed oxygen loss of the world oceans? "Even if we assume that the water formed in 2014/2015 will be transported out of that region without any losses, only about one hundredth of the world's oceanic oxygen loss can be compensated", says Dr.

Johannes Karstensen. "In particular, the decrease in oxygen content in the surface water caused by global warming cannot be compensated." On the other hand, the data from the Labrador Sea also contribute to a better understanding of the global circulation processes. "This allows better predictions of the future development of oxygen in the oceans," emphasizes the oceanographer from Kiel.

Koeling, J., D. W. R. Wallace, U. Send, and J. Karstensen, 2017: Intense oceanic uptake of oxygen during 2014-15 winter convection in the Labrador Sea. Geophys. Res. Lett.

More 'losers' than 'winners' predicted for Southern Ocean seafloor animals
London, UK (SPX) Sep 07, 2017
A new study of the marine invertebrates living in the seas around Antarctica reveals there will be more 'losers' than 'winners' over the next century as the Antarctic seafloor warms. The results are published in the journal Nature Climate Change this week (Monday 4 September). A team at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) examined the potential distribution of over 900 species of shelf-dwelling ... read more

Related Links
Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

America asks: How did eight people die in Florida nursing home?

Trump views flooding's aftermath in hurricane-ravaged Florida

France's hurricane-hit St Martin on guard for health threats

Russia plays up role as peacemaker, donor in Syria

Dormant, Yet Always-Alert Sensor Awakes Only in the Presence of a Signal of Interest

Air Force activates new satellites for tracking space objects

'Peel-and-go' printable structures fold themselves

Ultrathin spacecraft will collect, deposit orbital debris

Taking a deep breath in the North Atlantic

130-tonne 'monster fatberg' clogs London sewer

Old fish are rare in today's heavily fished oceans

NASA team find evidence of sea level 'fingerprints'

Bleak outlook for Asian glaciers

Study shows Arctic sea ice continues to melt considerably

Reindeer grazing protects tundra plant diversity in a warming climate

Warm Antarctic caves harbour secret life: scientists

Foodies cheesed off as China says 'non' to France's finest

EU chamber urges China to lift cheese ban

Parched Jordan starts growing vegetables in

Research finds roots use chemical 'photos' to coordinate growth

Niger floods leave at least 54 dead, 200,000 displaced

Norma weakens near Mexican resort, Maria threatens Caribbean

Niger flooding kills 50, displaces over 100,000 since June

Three dead as Typhoon Doksuri lashes central Vietnam

Pro-Biafra supporters clash with Nigerian troops

HRW accuses Mali, Burkina troops of sweeping rights abuses

DRCongo troops chasing reporter 'force entry' at UN base

Angolans vote as Dos Santos ends 38-year rule

Large-scale study of genetic data shows humans still evolving

Groups are more likely to lie than individuals, new study shows

Human settlement in the Americas may have occurred in the late Pleistocene

Humans are still evolving, study suggests

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement