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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; Cadule, P.; Cocco, V.; Doney, S. C.; Gehlen, M.; Lindsay, K.; Moore, J. K.; +2 more
    Project: EC | MEECE (212085), EC | EPOCA (211384)

    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.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Plach, Andreas; Vinther, Bo M.; Nisancioglu, Kerim H.; Vudayagiri, Sindhu; Blunier, Thomas;
    Project: EC | ICE2ICE (610055)

    This study presents simulations of Greenland surface melt for the Eemian interglacial period (∼130 000 to 115 000 years ago) derived from regional climate simulations with a coupled surface energy balance model. Surface melt is of high relevance due to its potential effect on ice core observations, e.g., lowering the preserved total air content (TAC) used to infer past surface elevation. An investigation of surface melt is particularly interesting for warm periods with high surface melt, such as the Eemian interglacial period. Furthermore, Eemian ice is the deepest and most compressed ice preserved on Greenland, resulting in our inability to identify melt layers visually. Therefore, simulating Eemian melt rates and associated melt layers is beneficial to improve the reconstruction of past surface elevation. Estimated TAC, based on simulated melt during the Eemian, could explain the lower TAC observations. The simulations show Eemian surface melt at all deep Greenland ice core locations and an average of up to ∼30 melt days per year at Dye-3, corresponding to more than 600 mm water equivalent (w.e.) of annual melt. For higher ice sheet locations, between 60 and 150 mmw.e.yr-1 on average are simulated. At the summit of Greenland, this yields a refreezing ratio of more than 25 % of the annual accumulation. As a consequence, high melt rates during warm periods should be considered when interpreting Greenland TAC fluctuations as surface elevation changes. In addition to estimating the influence of melt on past TAC in ice cores, the simulated surface melt could potentially be used to identify coring locations where Greenland ice is best preserved.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Turi, G.; Lachkar, Z.; Gruber, N.;
    Project: EC | CARBOCHANGE (264879)

    We quantify the CO2 source/sink nature of the California Current System (CalCS) and determine the drivers and processes behind the mean and spatiotemporal variability of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in the surface ocean. To this end, we analyze eddy-resolving, climatological simulations of a coupled physical–biogeochemical oceanic model on the basis of the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS). In the annual mean, the entire CalCS within 800 km of the coast and from ∼33° N to 46° N is essentially neutral with regard to atmospheric CO2: the model simulates an integrated uptake flux of −0.9 ± 3.6 Tg C yr−1, corresponding to an average flux density of −0.05 ± 0.20 mol C m−2 yr−1. This near zero flux is a consequence of an almost complete regional compensation between (i) strong outgassing in the nearshore region (first 100 km) that brings waters with high concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) to the surface and (ii) and a weaker, but more widespread uptake flux in the offshore region due to an intense biological reduction of this DIC, driven by the nutrients that are upwelled together with the DIC. The air–sea CO2 fluxes vary substantially in time, both on seasonal and sub-seasonal timescales, largely driven by variations in surface ocean pCO2. Most of the variability in pCO2 is associated with the seasonal cycle, with the exception of the nearshore region, where sub-seasonal variations driven by mesoscale processes dominate. In the regions offshore of 100 km, changes in surface temperature are the main driver, while in the nearshore region, changes in surface temperature, as well as anomalies in DIC and alkalinity (Alk) owing to changes in circulation, biological productivity and air–sea CO2 fluxes dominate. The prevalence of eddy-driven variability in the nearshore 100 km leads to a complex spatiotemporal mosaic of surface ocean pCO2 and air–sea CO2 fluxes that require a substantial observational effort to determine the source/sink nature of this region reliably.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Schuster, U.; McKinley, G. A.; Bates, N.; Chevallier, F.; Doney, S. C.; Fay, A. R.; González-Dávila, M.; Gruber, N.; Jones, S.; Krijnen, J.; +12 more
    Project: EC | GREENCYCLESII (238366), EC | COCOS (212196), EC | GEOCARBON (283080), EC | CARBOCHANGE (264879)

    The Atlantic and Arctic Oceans are critical components of the global carbon cycle. Here we quantify the net sea–air CO2 flux, for the first time, across different methodologies for consistent time and space scales for the Atlantic and Arctic basins. We present the long-term mean, seasonal cycle, interannual variability and trends in sea–air CO2 flux for the period 1990 to 2009, and assign an uncertainty to each. We use regional cuts from global observations and modeling products, specifically a pCO2-based CO2 flux climatology, flux estimates from the inversion of oceanic and atmospheric data, and results from six ocean biogeochemical models. Additionally, we use basin-wide flux estimates from surface ocean pCO2 observations based on two distinct methodologies. Our estimate of the contemporary sea–air flux of CO2 (sum of anthropogenic and natural components) by the Atlantic between 40° S and 79° N is −0.49 ± 0.05 Pg C yr−1, and by the Arctic it is −0.12 ± 0.06 Pg C yr−1, leading to a combined sea–air flux of −0.61 ± 0.06 Pg C yr−1 for the two decades (negative reflects ocean uptake). We do find broad agreement amongst methodologies with respect to the seasonal cycle in the subtropics of both hemispheres, but not elsewhere. Agreement with respect to detailed signals of interannual variability is poor, and correlations to the North Atlantic Oscillation are weaker in the North Atlantic and Arctic than in the equatorial region and southern subtropics. Linear trends for 1995 to 2009 indicate increased uptake and generally correspond between methodologies in the North Atlantic, but there is disagreement amongst methodologies in the equatorial region and southern subtropics.

  • Restricted English
    Authors: 
    Tissot, Laurence; Cattanéo, Franck; Carrel, Georges; Veslot, Jacques; Baril, Dominique; Gouraud, Véronique;
    Publisher: 17-21 September 2012
    Country: Switzerland

    Fish communities are characterized by a high degree of variability in space and in time, which mostly results from the influence of physical processes. Identifying the main variables governing changes in fish communities, as well as quantifying their influence, are basic in an attempt to assess anthropogenetic impacts. In south-eastern France, the Durance River is a Mediterranean, highly regulated river. The water resource is used to fulfill various human needs, including hydropower generation, drinkable water supply, or irrigation for agriculture. The hydroelectric scheme of the Durance River, decided in 1955, now numbers 19 electricity generation plants all along the river course. Human influences are therefore huge on the ecosystem, and include multiple and combined stressors. Here, we focused on the relationships between changes in fish assemblage structure and flow variables that depend on the hydropower plants functioning. Fish were sampled by electrofishing at 6 sites along the medium and lower Durance River. Sampling spanned the years 2005-2011, and was performed annually at the end of summer or early autumn. Multivariate analyses were performed to analyze the spatial-temporal pattern of fish assemblage variation across the 6 sites for 7 years, and to test whether inter-annual changes in seasonal flow characteristics could explain part of the taxonomic structure of fish assemblages. Analyses revealed a strong spatial structure along the 6 sites, with 31.5 % of total inertia being due to the site effect. Assemblages through time were alternatively dominated by subsets of species, whose relative dominance significantly depended on the flood magnitude. Toxonomic responses were relevant with expectations based on our biological and ecological knowledge of these species. Such a multiple site and year approach helped understanding the consequences of flow regulation on biological assemblages in a large river, and allowed flow management guidelines to be suggested.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çagatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; +29 more
    Project: EC | HYPOX (226213)

    In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of the sediments demonstrate the effect of seasonally changing oxygen conditions on benthic mineralization pathways and fluxes. Data quality and access are crucial in hypoxia research. Technical issues are therefore also addressed, including the availability of suitable sensor technology to resolve the gradual changes in bottom-water oxygen in marine systems that can be expected as a result of climate change. Using cabled observatories as examples, we show how the benefit of continuous oxygen monitoring can be maximized by adopting proper quality control. Finally, we discuss strategies for state-of-the-art data archiving and dissemination in compliance with global standards, and how ocean observations can contribute to global earth observation attempts.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Turgeon, Katrine; Trottier, Gabrielle; Turpin, Christian; Bulle, Cécile; Margni, Manuele;
    Country: Switzerland

    Hydropower is often presented as a clean, reliable, and renewable energy source, but is also recognized for its potential impacts on aquatic ecosystem biodiversity. We used direct empirical data of change in fish species richness following impoundment to develop ecological indicators to be used in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and accounting for hydropower impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Data were collected on 89 sampling stations (63 stations located upstream, and 26 located downstream of a dam) distributed in 26 reservoirs from three biomes (boreal, temperate and tropical). Overall, the impact of hydropower on fish species richness was significant in the tropics, of smaller amplitude in temperate biome and minimal in boreal biome, stressing the need for regionalisation when developing indicators. The impact of hydropower was consistent across scales for a given biome (same directionality and statistical significance across sampling stations and reservoirs). However, the indicators were sensitive to the duration of the study (the period over which data have been collected after impoundment), which can underestimate the impacts. This result highlights the need to account for the duration of the transient dynamics to reach a steady state (rate of change in species richness = 0) before developing ecological indicators. By using the LCA approach, our suggested indicators contribute to fill a major gap in assisting decision-makers when evaluating the potential of alternative energy technologies, such as hydropower, to decarbonize the worldwide economy, while minimizing the impacts on aquatic ecosystems.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lambert, Fabrice; Bigler, Matthias; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Hutterli, Manuel A; Fischer, Hubertus;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | PAST4FUTURE (243908), SNSF | Klima- und Umweltphysik (135152)

    Ice core data from Antarctica provide detailed insights into the characteristics of past climate, atmospheric circulation, as well as changes in the aerosol load of the atmosphere. We present high-resolution records of soluble calcium (Ca2+), non-sea-salt soluble calcium (nssCa2+), and particulate mineral dust aerosol from the East Antarctic Plateau at a depth resolution of 1 cm, spanning the past 800 000 years. Despite the fact that all three parameters are largely dust-derived, the ratio of nssCa2+ to particulate dust is dependent on the particulate dust concentration itself. We used principal component analysis to extract the joint climatic signal and produce a common high-resolution record of dust flux. This new record is used to identify Antarctic warming events during the past eight glacial periods. The phasing of dust flux and CO2 changes during glacial-interglacial transitions reveals that iron fertilization of the Southern Ocean during the past nine glacial terminations was not the dominant factor in the deglacial rise of CO2 concentrations. Rapid changes in dust flux during glacial terminations and Antarctic warming events point to a rapid response of the southern westerly wind belt in the region of southern South American dust sources on changing climate conditions. The clear lead of these dust changes on temperature rise suggests that an atmospheric reorganization occurred in the Southern Hemisphere before the Southern Ocean warmed significantly.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Jeansson, E.; Bellerby, R. G. J.; Skjelvan, I.; Frigstad, H.; Ólafsdóttir, S. R.; Olafsson, J.;
    Publisher: Copernicus Publications
    Project: EC | EURO-BASIN (264933), EC | CARBOCHANGE (264879), EC | GREENSEAS (265294)

    This study evaluates long-term mean fluxes of carbon and nutrients to the upper 100 m of the Iceland Sea. The study utilises hydro-chemical data from the Iceland Sea time series station (68.00° N, 12.67° W), for the years between 1993 and 2006. By comparing data of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and nutrients in the surface layer (upper 100 m), and a sub-surface layer (100–200 m), we calculate monthly deficits in the surface, and use these to deduce the long-term mean surface layer fluxes that affect the deficits: vertical mixing, horizontal advection, air–sea exchange, and biological activity. The deficits show a clear seasonality with a minimum in winter, when the mixed layer is at the deepest, and a maximum in early autumn, when biological uptake has removed much of the nutrients. The annual vertical fluxes of DIC and nitrate amounts to 2.9 ± 0.5 and 0.45 ± 0.09 mol m−2 yr−1, respectively, and the annual air–sea uptake of atmospheric CO2 is 4.4 ± 1.1 mol C m−2 yr−1. The biologically driven changes in DIC during the year relates to net community production (NCP), and the net annual NCP corresponds to export production, and is here calculated as 7.3 ± 1.0 mol C m−2 yr−1. The typical, median C : N ratio during the period of net community uptake is 9.0, and clearly higher than the Redfield ratio, but is varying during the season.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Gladstone, Rupert Michael; Warner, Roland Charles; Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin Keith; Gagliardini, Olivier; Zwinger, Thomas; Greve, Ralf;
    Project: EC | CRAG (299035), AKA | Simulating Antarctic mari... (286587)

    Computer models are necessary for understanding and predicting marine ice sheet behaviour. However, there is uncertainty over implementation of physical processes at the ice base, both for grounded and floating glacial ice. Here we implement several sliding relations in a marine ice sheet flow-line model accounting for all stress components and demonstrate that model resolution requirements are strongly dependent on both the choice of basal sliding relation and the spatial distribution of ice shelf basal melting.Sliding relations that reduce the magnitude of the step change in basal drag from grounded ice to floating ice (where basal drag is set to zero) show reduced dependence on resolution compared to a commonly used relation, in which basal drag is purely a power law function of basal ice velocity. Sliding relations in which basal drag goes smoothly to zero as the grounding line is approached from inland (due to a physically motivated incorporation of effective pressure at the bed) provide further reduction in resolution dependence.A similar issue is found with the imposition of basal melt under the floating part of the ice shelf: melt parameterisations that reduce the abruptness of change in basal melting from grounded ice (where basal melt is set to zero) to floating ice provide improved convergence with resolution compared to parameterisations in which high melt occurs adjacent to the grounding line.Thus physical processes, such as sub-glacial outflow (which could cause high melt near the grounding line), impact on capability to simulate marine ice sheets. If there exists an abrupt change across the grounding line in either basal drag or basal melting, then high resolution will be required to solve the problem. However, the plausible combination of a physical dependency of basal drag on effective pressure, and the possibility of low ice shelf basal melt rates next to the grounding line, may mean that some marine ice sheet systems can be reliably simulated at a coarser resolution than currently thought necessary.