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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Westermann, Sebastian;

    Arctic permafrost may be adversely affected by climate change in a number of ways, so that establishing a world-wide monitoring program seems imperative. This thesis evaluates possibilities for permafrost monitoring at the example of a permafrost site on Svalbard, Norway. An energy balance model for permafrost temperatures is developed that evaluates the different components of the surface energy budget in analogy to climate models. The surface energy budget, consisting of radiation components, sensible and latent heat fluxes as well as the ground heat flux, is measured over the course of one year, which has not been accomplished for arctic land areas so far. A considerable small-scale heterogeneity of the summer surface temperature is observed in long-term measurements with a thermal imaging system, which can be reproduced in the energy balance model. The model can also simulate the impact of different snow depths on the soil temperature, that has been documented in field measurements. Furthermore, time series of terrestrial surface temperature measurements are compared to satellite-borne measurements, for which a significant cold-bias is observed during winter. Finally, different possibilities for a world-wide monitoring scheme are assessed. Energy budget models can incorporate different satellite data sets as training data sets for parameter estimation, so that they may constitute an alternative to purely satellite-based schemes.

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    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
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      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ PANGAEA - Data Publi...arrow_drop_down
      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Felden, Janine; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Boetius, Antje;

    The Hakon Mosby Mud Volcano is a highly active methane seep hosting different chemosynthetic communities such as thiotrophic bacterial mats and siboglinid tubeworm assemblages. This study focuses on in situ measurements of methane fluxes to and from these different habitats, in comparison to benthic methane and oxygen consumption rates. By quantifying in situ oxygen, methane, and sulfide fluxes in different habitats, a spatial budget covering areas of 10-1000 -m diameter was established. The range of dissolved methane efflux (770-2 mmol m-2 d-1) from the center to the outer rim was associated with a decrease in temperature gradients from 46°C to < 1°C m-1, indicating that spatial variations in fluid flow control the distribution of benthic habitats and activities. Accordingly, total oxygen uptake (TOU) varied between the different habitats by one order of magnitude from 15 mmol m-2 d-1 to 161 mmol m-2 d-1. High fluid flow rates appeared to suppress benthic activities by limiting the availability of electron acceptors. Accordingly, the highest TOU was associated with the lowest fluid flow and methane efflux. This was most likely due to the aerobic oxidation of methane, which may be more relevant as a sink for methane as previously considered in submarine ecosystems.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ PANGAEA - Data Publi...arrow_drop_down
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      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Bartsch Annett; Widhalm Barbara; Kuhry Peter; Hugelius Gustaf; +2 Authors

    A new approach for the estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools north of the tree line has been developed based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR; ENVISAT Advanced SAR Global Monitoring mode) data. SOC values are directly determined from backscatter values instead of upscaling using land cover or soil classes. The multi-mode capability of SAR allows application across scales. It can be shown that measurements in C band under frozen conditions represent vegetation and surface structure properties which relate to soil properties, specifically SOC. It is estimated that at least 29 Pg C is stored in the upper 30 cm of soils north of the tree line. This is approximately 25 % less than stocks derived from the soil-map-based Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD). The total stored carbon is underestimated since the established empirical relationship is not valid for peatlands or strongly cryoturbated soils. The approach does, however, provide the first spatially consistent account of soil organic carbon across the Arctic. Furthermore, it could be shown that values obtained from 1 km resolution SAR correspond to accounts based on a high spatial resolution (2 m) land cover map over a study area of about 7 × 7 km in NE Siberia. The approach can be also potentially transferred to medium-resolution C-band SAR data such as ENVISAT ASAR Wide Swath with ∼ 120 m resolution but it is in general limited to regions without woody vegetation. Global Monitoring-mode-derived SOC increases with unfrozen period length. This indicates the importance of this parameter for modelling of the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon storage.

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  • Authors: Martin, Marjolaine;

    Macroalgae, and particularly their lignin-free polysaccharides, are increasingly used for their gelling and therapeutic properties and for the production of biofuels and renewable chemical compounds. To extract, hydrolyze and purify this biomass, algae hydrolyzing enzymes are needed. Our work aims to identify and characterize algal biomass hydrolyzing enzymes expressed by microorganisms living on the surface of algae, by functional metagenomics. Therefore, a microbial DNA extraction method was developed to isolate the gDNA from the microorganisms of the brown algae Ascophyllum nodosum and a metagenomic library was constructed in Escherichia coli. The library was screened for diverse enzymatic activities (esterases, xylanases, cellulases, α-amylases, arabinanases, caseinases and β-glucosidases) on agar plates with specific enzymes substrates. Several new microbial enzymes (esterases, β-glucosidases, α-amylases and cellulases) were identified revealing the wealth of our library. Furthermore, those enzymes had less than 50% sequence identity with known protein sequences; meaning that our approach allows to identify new microbial enzymes expressed by uncultured microorganisms. Plate tests for medium-throughput screening of specific enzymes hydrolyzing algal polysaccharides (agarases, carrageenases and alginate lyases) are currently being developed. Our approach will probably allow us to identify new families of those ill-known enzymes, with particular enzymatic activities.

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  • image/svg+xml Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Closed Access logo, derived from PLoS Open Access logo. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Closed_Access_logo_transparent.svg Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao
    Authors: Batenburg Sietske J; De Vleeschouwer David; Sprovieri Mario; Hilgen Frederik J; +6 Authors

    The oceans at the time of the Cenomanian–Turonian transition were abruptly perturbed by a period of bottom-water anoxia. This led to the brief but widespread deposition of black organic-rich shales, such as the Livello Bonarelli in the Umbria–Marche Basin (Italy). Despite intensive studies, the origin and exact timing of this event are still debated. In this study, we assess leading hypotheses about the inception of oceanic anoxia in the Late Cretaceous greenhouse world by providing a 6 Myr long astronomically tuned timescale across the Cenomanian–Turonian boundary. We procure insights into the relationship between orbital forcing and the Late Cretaceous carbon cycle by deciphering the imprint of astronomical cycles on lithologic, physical properties, and stable isotope records, obtained from the Bottaccione, Contessa and Furlo sections in the Umbria–Marche Basin. The deposition of black shales and cherts, as well as the onset of oceanic anoxia, is related to maxima in the 405 kyr cycle of eccentricity-modulated precession. Correlation to radioisotopic ages from the Western Interior (USA) provides unprecedented age control for the studied Italian successions. The most likely tuned age for the base of the Livello Bonarelli is 94.17 ± 0.15 Ma (tuning 1); however, a 405 kyr older age cannot be excluded (tuning 2) due to uncertainties in stratigraphic correlation, radioisotopic dating, and orbital configuration. Our cyclostratigraphic framework suggests that the exact timing of major carbon cycle perturbations during the Cretaceous may be linked to increased variability in seasonality (i.e. a 405 kyr eccentricity maximum) after the prolonged avoidance of seasonal extremes (i.e. a 2.4 Myr eccentricity minimum). Volcanism is probably the ultimate driver of oceanic anoxia, but orbital periodicities determine the exact timing of carbon cycle perturbations in the Late Cretaceous. This unites two leading hypotheses about the inception of oceanic anoxia in the Late Cretaceous greenhouse world.

    image/svg+xml Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Closed Access logo, derived from PLoS Open Access logo. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Closed_Access_logo_transparent.svg Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Portsmouth Research ...arrow_drop_down
    image/svg+xml Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Closed Access logo, derived from PLoS Open Access logo. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Closed_Access_logo_transparent.svg Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao
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      image/svg+xml Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Closed Access logo, derived from PLoS Open Access logo. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Closed_Access_logo_transparent.svg Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Portsmouth Research ...arrow_drop_down
      image/svg+xml Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Closed Access logo, derived from PLoS Open Access logo. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Closed_Access_logo_transparent.svg Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao
  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Talbot, Helen M; Handley, Luke; Spencer-Jones, Charlotte L; Dinga, Bienvenu Jean; +6 Authors

    Methane (CH4) is a strong greenhouse gas known to have perturbed global climate in the past, especially when released in large quantities over short time periods from continental or marine sources. It is therefore crucial to understand and, if possible, quantify the individual and combined response of these variable methane sources to natural climate variability. However, past changes in the stability of greenhouse gas reservoirs remain uncertain and poorly constrained by geological evidence. Here, we present a record from the Congo fan of a highly specific bacteriohopanepolyol (BHP) biomarker for aerobic methane oxidation (AMO), 35-aminobacteriohopane-30,31,32,33,34-pentol (aminopentol), that identifies discrete periods of increased AMO as far back as 1.2 Ma. Fluctuations in the concentration of aminopentol, and other 35-aminoBHPs, follow a pattern that correlates with late Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate cycles, with highest concentrations during warm periods. We discuss possible sources of aminopentol, and the methane consumed by the precursor methanotrophs, within the context of the Congo River setting, including supply of methane oxidation markers from terrestrial watersheds and/or marine sources (gas hydrate and/or deep subsurface gas reservoir). Compound-specific carbon isotope values of -30 per mil to -40 per mil for BHPs in ODP 1075 and strong similarities between the BHP signature of the core and surface sediments from the Congo estuary and floodplain wetlands from the interior of the Congo River Basin, support a methanotrophic and likely terrigenous origin of the 35-aminoBHPs found in the fan sediments. This new evidence supports a causal connection between marine sediment BHP records of tropical deep sea fans and wetland settings in the feeding river catchments, and thus tropical continental hydrology. Further research is needed to better constrain the different sources and pathways of methane emission. However, this study identifies the large potential of aminoBHPs, in particular aminopentol, to trace and, once better calibrated and understood, quantify past methane sources and fluxes from terrestrial and potentially also marine sources.

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    Authors: Tangunan, Deborah N; Berke, Melissa A; Cartagena-Sierra, Alejandra; Flores, José Abel; +11 Authors

    In the southern Indian Ocean, the position of the subtropical front – the boundary between colder, fresher waters to the south and warmer, saltier waters to the north – has a strong influence on the upper ocean hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry. Here we analyse a sedimentary record from the Agulhas Plateau, located close to the modern position of the subtropical front and use alkenones and coccolith assemblages to reconstruct oceanographic conditions over the past 300,000 years. We identify a strong glacial-interglacial variability in sea surface temperature and productivity associated with subtropical front migration over the Agulhas Plateau, as well as shorter-term high frequency variability aligned with variations in high latitude insolation. Alkenone and coccolith abundances, in combination with diatom and organic carbon records indicate high glacial export productivity. We conclude that the biological pump was more efficient and strengthened during glacial periods, which could partly account for the reported reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

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    Authors: Hansen, B.; Larsen, K. M. H.; Hátún, H.; Kristiansen, R.; +2 Authors

    The flow of warm and saline water from the Atlantic Ocean, across the Greenland–Scotland Ridge, into the Nordic Seas – the Atlantic inflow – is split into three separate branches. The most intense of these branches is the inflow between Iceland and the Faroe Islands (Faroes), which is focused into the Faroe Current, north of the Faroes. The Atlantic inflow is an integral part of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC), which is projected to weaken during the 21st century and might conceivably reduce the oceanic heat and salt transports towards the Arctic. Since the mid-1990s, hydrographic properties and current velocities of the Faroe Current have been monitored along a section extending north from the Faroe shelf. From these in situ observations, time series of volume, heat, and salt transport have previously been reported, but the high variability of the transport has made it difficult to establish whether there are trends. Here, we present results from a new analysis of the Faroe Current where the in situ observations have been combined with satellite altimetry. For the period 1993 to 2013, we find the average volume transport of Atlantic water in the Faroe Current to be 3.8 ± 0.5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1) with a heat transport relative to 0 °C of 124 ± 15 TW (1 TW = 1012 W). Consistent with other results for the Northeast Atlantic component of the THC, we find no indication of weakening. The transports of the Faroe Current, on the contrary, increased. The overall increase over the 2 decades of observation was 9 ± 8 % for volume transport and 18 ± 9 % for heat transport (95 % confidence intervals). During the same period, the salt transport relative to the salinity of the deep Faroe Bank Channel overflow (34.93) more than doubled, potentially strengthening the feedback on thermohaline intensity. The increased heat and salt transports are partly caused by the increased volume transport and partly by increased temperatures and salinities of the Atlantic inflow, which have been claimed mainly to be caused by the weakened subpolar gyre.

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  • Authors: Gattuso Jean-Pierre; Payri Claude E; Pichon Michel; Delesalle Bruno; +1 Authors

    Community metabolism and air-sea carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were investigated in July 1992 on a fringing reef at Moorea (French Polynesia). The benthic community was dominated by macroalgae (85% substratum cover) and comprised of Phaeophyceae Padina tenuis (Bory), Turbinaria ornata (Turner) J. Agardh, and Hydroclathrus clathratus Bory (Howe); Chlorophyta Halimeda incrassata f. ovata J. Agardh (Howe); and Ventricaria ventricosa J. Agardh (Olsen et West), as well as several Rhodophyta (Actinotrichia fragilis Forskal (Borgesen) and several species of encrusting coralline algae). Algal biomass was 171 g dry weight·m-2. Community gross production (P(g)), respiration (R), and net calcification (G) were measured in an open top enclosure. P(g) and R were respectively 248 and 240 mmol CO2·m-2·d-1, and there was a slight net dissolution of CaCO3 (0.8 mmol·m-2·d-1). This site was a sink for atmospheric CO2 (10 ± 4 mmol CO2·m-2·d-1), and the analysis of data from the literature suggests that this is a general feature of algal-dominated reefs. Measurement of air-sea CO2 fluxes in open water close to the enclosure demonstrated that changes in small-scale hydrodynamics can lead to misleading conclusions. Net CO2 evasion to the atmosphere was measured on the fringing reef due to changes in the current pattern that drove water from the barrier reef (a CO2 source) to the study site.

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    Authors: Westermann, Sebastian;

    Arctic permafrost may be adversely affected by climate change in a number of ways, so that establishing a world-wide monitoring program seems imperative. This thesis evaluates possibilities for permafrost monitoring at the example of a permafrost site on Svalbard, Norway. An energy balance model for permafrost temperatures is developed that evaluates the different components of the surface energy budget in analogy to climate models. The surface energy budget, consisting of radiation components, sensible and latent heat fluxes as well as the ground heat flux, is measured over the course of one year, which has not been accomplished for arctic land areas so far. A considerable small-scale heterogeneity of the summer surface temperature is observed in long-term measurements with a thermal imaging system, which can be reproduced in the energy balance model. The model can also simulate the impact of different snow depths on the soil temperature, that has been documented in field measurements. Furthermore, time series of terrestrial surface temperature measurements are compared to satellite-borne measurements, for which a significant cold-bias is observed during winter. Finally, different possibilities for a world-wide monitoring scheme are assessed. Energy budget models can incorporate different satellite data sets as training data sets for parameter estimation, so that they may constitute an alternative to purely satellite-based schemes.

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    Authors: Felden, Janine; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Boetius, Antje;

    The Hakon Mosby Mud Volcano is a highly active methane seep hosting different chemosynthetic communities such as thiotrophic bacterial mats and siboglinid tubeworm assemblages. This study focuses on in situ measurements of methane fluxes to and from these different habitats, in comparison to benthic methane and oxygen consumption rates. By quantifying in situ oxygen, methane, and sulfide fluxes in different habitats, a spatial budget covering areas of 10-1000 -m diameter was established. The range of dissolved methane efflux (770-2 mmol m-2 d-1) from the center to the outer rim was associated with a decrease in temperature gradients from 46°C to < 1°C m-1, indicating that spatial variations in fluid flow control the distribution of benthic habitats and activities. Accordingly, total oxygen uptake (TOU) varied between the different habitats by one order of magnitude from 15 mmol m-2 d-1 to 161 mmol m-2 d-1. High fluid flow rates appeared to suppress benthic activities by limiting the availability of electron acceptors. Accordingly, the highest TOU was associated with the lowest fluid flow and methane efflux. This was most likely due to the aerobic oxidation of methane, which may be more relevant as a sink for methane as previously considered in submarine ecosystems.

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    Authors: Bartsch Annett; Widhalm Barbara; Kuhry Peter; Hugelius Gustaf; +2 Authors

    A new approach for the estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools north of the tree line has been developed based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR; ENVISAT Advanced SAR Global Monitoring mode) data. SOC values are directly determined from backscatter values instead of upscaling using land cover or soil classes. The multi-mode capability of SAR allows application across scales. It can be shown that measurements in C band under frozen conditions represent vegetation and surface structure properties which relate to soil properties, specifically SOC. It is estimated that at least 29 Pg C is stored in the upper 30 cm of soils north of the tree line. This is approximately 25 % less than stocks derived from the soil-map-based Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD). The total stored carbon is underestimated since the established empirical relationship is not valid for peatlands or strongly cryoturbated soils. The approach does, however, provide the first spatially consistent account of soil organic carbon across the Arctic. Furthermore, it could be shown that values obtained from 1 km resolution SAR correspond to accounts based on a high spatial resolution (2 m) land cover map over a study area of about 7 × 7 km in NE Siberia. The approach can be also potentially transferred to medium-resolution C-band SAR data such as ENVISAT ASAR Wide Swath with ∼ 120 m resolution but it is in general limited to regions without woody vegetation. Global Monitoring-mode-derived SOC increases with unfrozen period length. This indicates the importance of this parameter for modelling of the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon storage.

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  • Authors: Martin, Marjolaine;

    Macroalgae, and particularly their lignin-free polysaccharides, are increasingly used for their gelling and therapeutic properties and for the production of biofuels and renewable chemical compounds. To extract, hydrolyze and purify this biomass, algae hydrolyzing enzymes are needed. Our work aims to identify and characterize algal biomass hydrolyzing enzymes expressed by microorganisms living on the surface of algae, by functional metagenomics. Therefore, a microbial DNA extraction method was developed to isolate the gDNA from the microorganisms of the brown algae Ascophyllum nodosum and a metagenomic library was constructed in Escherichia coli. The library was screened for diverse enzymatic activities (esterases, xylanases, cellulases, α-amylases, arabinanases, caseinases and β-glucosidases) on agar plates with specific enzymes substrates. Several new microbial enzymes (esterases, β-glucosidases, α-amylases and cellulases) were identified revealing the wealth of our library. Furthermore, those enzymes had less than 50% sequence identity with known protein sequences; meaning that our approach allows to identify new microbial enzymes expressed by uncultured microorganisms. Plate tests for medium-throughput screening of specific enzymes hydrolyzing algal polysaccharides (agarases, carrageenases and alginate lyases) are currently being developed. Our approach will probably allow us to identify new families of those ill-known enzymes, with particular enzymatic activities.

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  • image/svg+xml Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao Closed Access logo, derived from PLoS Open Access logo. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Closed_Access_logo_transparent.svg Jakob Voss, based on art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina and Beao
    Authors: Batenburg Sietske J; De Vleeschouwer David; Sprovieri Mario; Hilgen Frederik J; +6 Authors

    The oceans at the time of the Cenomanian–Turonian transition were abruptly perturbed by a period of bottom-water anoxia. This led to the brief but widespread deposition of black organic-rich shales, such as the Livello Bonarelli in the Umbria–Marche Basin (Italy). Despite intensive studies, the origin and exact timing of this event are still debated. In this study, we assess leading hypotheses about the inception of oceanic anoxia in the Late Cretaceous greenhouse world by providing a 6 Myr long astronomically tuned timescale across the Cenomanian–Turonian boundary. We procure insights into the relationship between orbital forcing and the Late Cretaceous carbon cycle by deciphering the imprint of astronomical cycles on lithologic, physical properties, and stable isotope records, obtained from the Bottaccione, Contessa and Furlo sections in the Umbria–Marche Basin. The deposition of black shales and cherts, as well as the onset of oceanic anoxia, is related to maxima in the 405 kyr cycle of eccentricity-modulated precession. Correlation to radioisotopic ages from the Western Interior (USA) provides unprecedented age control for the studied Italian successions. The most likely tuned age for the base of the Livello Bonarelli is 94.17 ± 0.15 Ma (tuning 1); however, a 405 kyr older age cannot be excluded (tuning 2) due to uncertainties in stratigraphic correlation, radioisotopic dating, and orbital configuration. Our cyclostratigraphic framework suggests that the exact timing of major carbon cycle perturbations during the Cretaceous may be linked to increased variability in seasonality (i.e. a 405 kyr eccentricity maximum) after the prolonged avoidance of seasonal extremes (i.e. a 2.4 Myr eccentricity minimum). Volcanism is probably the ultimate driver of oceanic anoxia, but orbital periodicities determine the exact timing of carbon cycle perturbations in the Late Cretaceous. This unites two leading hypotheses about the inception of oceanic anoxia in the Late Cretaceous greenhouse world.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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    Authors: Talbot, Helen M; Handley, Luke; Spencer-Jones, Charlotte L; Dinga, Bienvenu Jean; +6 Authors

    Methane (CH4) is a strong greenhouse gas known to have perturbed global climate in the past, especially when released in large quantities over short time periods from continental or marine sources. It is therefore crucial to understand and, if possible, quantify the individual and combined response of these variable methane sources to natural climate variability. However, past changes in the stability of greenhouse gas reservoirs remain uncertain and poorly constrained by geological evidence. Here, we present a record from the Congo fan of a highly specific bacteriohopanepolyol (BHP) biomarker for aerobic methane oxidation (AMO), 35-aminobacteriohopane-30,31,32,33,34-pentol (aminopentol), that identifies discrete periods of increased AMO as far back as 1.2 Ma. Fluctuations in the concentration of aminopentol, and other 35-aminoBHPs, follow a pattern that correlates with late Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate cycles, with highest concentrations during warm periods. We discuss possible sources of aminopentol, and the methane consumed by the precursor methanotrophs, within the context of the Congo River setting, including supply of methane oxidation markers from terrestrial watersheds and/or marine sources (gas hydrate and/or deep subsurface gas reservoir). Compound-specific carbon isotope values of -30 per mil to -40 per mil for BHPs in ODP 1075 and strong similarities between the BHP signature of the core and surface sediments from the Congo estuary and floodplain wetlands from the interior of the Congo River Basin, support a methanotrophic and likely terrigenous origin of the 35-aminoBHPs found in the fan sediments. This new evidence supports a causal connection between marine sediment BHP records of tropical deep sea fans and wetland settings in the feeding river catchments, and thus tropical continental hydrology. Further research is needed to better constrain the different sources and pathways of methane emission. However, this study identifies the large potential of aminoBHPs, in particular aminopentol, to trace and, once better calibrated and understood, quantify past methane sources and fluxes from terrestrial and potentially also marine sources.

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    Authors: Tangunan, Deborah N; Berke, Melissa A; Cartagena-Sierra, Alejandra; Flores, José Abel; +11 Authors

    In the southern Indian Ocean, the position of the subtropical front – the boundary between colder, fresher waters to the south and warmer, saltier waters to the north – has a strong influence on the upper ocean hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry. Here we analyse a sedimentary record from the Agulhas Plateau, located close to the modern position of the subtropical front and use alkenones and coccolith assemblages to reconstruct oceanographic conditions over the past 300,000 years. We identify a strong glacial-interglacial variability in sea surface temperature and productivity associated with subtropical front migration over the Agulhas Plateau, as well as shorter-term high frequency variability aligned with variations in high latitude insolation. Alkenone and coccolith abundances, in combination with diatom and organic carbon records indicate high glacial export productivity. We conclude that the biological pump was more efficient and strengthened during glacial periods, which could partly account for the reported reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

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      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ PANGAEA - Data Publi...arrow_drop_down
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    Authors: Hansen, B.; Larsen, K. M. H.; Hátún, H.; Kristiansen, R.; +2 Authors

    The flow of warm and saline water from the Atlantic Ocean, across the Greenland–Scotland Ridge, into the Nordic Seas – the Atlantic inflow – is split into three separate branches. The most intense of these branches is the inflow between Iceland and the Faroe Islands (Faroes), which is focused into the Faroe Current, north of the Faroes. The Atlantic inflow is an integral part of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC), which is projected to weaken during the 21st century and might conceivably reduce the oceanic heat and salt transports towards the Arctic. Since the mid-1990s, hydrographic properties and current velocities of the Faroe Current have been monitored along a section extending north from the Faroe shelf. From these in situ observations, time series of volume, heat, and salt transport have previously been reported, but the high variability of the transport has made it difficult to establish whether there are trends. Here, we present results from a new analysis of the Faroe Current where the in situ observations have been combined with satellite altimetry. For the period 1993 to 2013, we find the average volume transport of Atlantic water in the Faroe Current to be 3.8 ± 0.5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1) with a heat transport relative to 0 °C of 124 ± 15 TW (1 TW = 1012 W). Consistent with other results for the Northeast Atlantic component of the THC, we find no indication of weakening. The transports of the Faroe Current, on the contrary, increased. The overall increase over the 2 decades of observation was 9 ± 8 % for volume transport and 18 ± 9 % for heat transport (95 % confidence intervals). During the same period, the salt transport relative to the salinity of the deep Faroe Bank Channel overflow (34.93) more than doubled, potentially strengthening the feedback on thermohaline intensity. The increased heat and salt transports are partly caused by the increased volume transport and partly by increased temperatures and salinities of the Atlantic inflow, which have been claimed mainly to be caused by the weakened subpolar gyre.

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