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Biogeochemistry

This category contains 71 posts

Deep Breathing Underwater

The Labrador Sea is one of the lungs of the ocean. A new study finds that it is taking an even deeper breath than expected—making it more vulnerable to climate change than thought. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I […]

Impact of Climate Change on Antarctic Waters

A recent study demonstrate the critical importance of Antarctic winds and meltwater to modeling the recent observed changes in Southern Ocean physical and biogeochemical properties. These results have implications for improving future climate projections. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use a combination of […]

Think global, act local: how lake microbes respond to their environments

How do microbes in lake sediments respond to small and large scale influences, and what does it have to do with climate change? Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study how small-scale physical processes at the air-sea interface – like waves – […]

Icebergs Fertilize Phytoplankton Growth

Icebergs contain iron, the limiting nutrient for phytoplankton in the polar regions. Icebergs, therefore, have the potential to stimulate biological productivity and carbon uptake. However, this will depend on the iceberg iron content, which is not well known. Therefore, a recent study sought to quantify the variability in iceberg iron content and subsequent carbon uptake. […]

A High-Flying Aquatic Robot

Inspired by the flying squid, researchers have built a robot that can launch itself from the water surface using water-reactive fuel. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

Key Role of Sea Ice in Glacial Cycles

A recent study using an idealized model finds that changes in Antarctic sea ice and circulation, triggered by atmospheric cooling, stimulate carbon drawdown and thus play a large role in glacial-interglacial transitions. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use a combination of numerical models, […]

Sunlight May Stimulate Breakdown of Ocean Plastic

A new study suggests that one form of plastic might not take as long to break down in the ocean as previously thought. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some […]

How important is carbon export by ocean eddies?

A recent paper uses an ocean model to investigate the relative importance of carbon sequestration by eddies transporting phytoplankton into the ocean interior. Results suggest that eddies may not be as important as we thought due to the compensation between transport by clockwise and counter-clockwise eddies. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps […]

Antarctic phytoplankton blooms linked to seafloor topography

A recent study uses observations from robotic floats to examine phytoplankton blooms in the Southern Ocean. The data show that biological productivity is closely linked to seafloor topography. This is because currents flowing over seamounts cause enhanced mixing that delivers nutrients to the sunlit upper ocean where phytoplankton grow. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD […]

The HyperDiver: A New, (Hyper-) Intelligent Way to Map the Ocean

Coral reefs are facing unprecedented change. A new high-tech, diver-operated imaging system promises to be the future of coral reef monitoring. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

Mixing Up Microalgae

A recent study shows that within the mixed layer—the region of the upper ocean where temperature and salinity are homogeneous—biological properties may not actually be well mixed. These results have implications for our understanding of phytoplankton biomass distribution. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I […]

Reduction in Deforestation Influencing Atmospheric CO2

Since 2000, atmospheric CO2 hasn’t been rising as quickly as we expected. It may be because plants on land have been taking up more CO2 than before – but why the change? A group of terrestrial biogeochemists show that recent deforestation rates may hold the answer. Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution […]

Evidence of the Ocean Releasing CO2

Starting 8,000 years ago, a modest but unusual rise in atmospheric CO2 has kept our planet livable and paved the way for ancient human innovations. Why atmospheric CO2 rose is still unclear, but geochemist Anja Studer and her colleagues provide new evidence suggesting that the ocean might be responsible. Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student […]

Seasonal Ice Melt Shows Signs of Blooms

Floats collected data underneath the ice during the winter and when the ice melted there were signs of phytoplankton blooms! Check this article out to learn more about why this occurs and how it was detected! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. […]

Sea Ice Modifies Biological Processes

A recent study investigates the relationship between sea ice variability and phytoplankton growth in climate models. Phytoplankton are responsible for most of the transfer of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the ocean, therefore this work can help us understand and predict how the ocean’s ability to regulate climate might change in the future.     Channing […]

Not So Organic Marine Snow

What happens when plastic pollution mixes into the ocean carbon cycle? Read to find out more about how plastic from the surface ocean might reach mussels living at the bottom of the sea! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots […]

Gassing Earth Out of the Ice Age: the North Pacific

Enhanced upwelling and CO2 degassing from the North Pacific during a warm climate event 14,000 years ago may have helped keep atmospheric CO2 levels high enough to propel the Earth out of the last ice age. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, with a minor in […]

Predicted Change to the Southern Ocean Silicate Front

The Southern Ocean Silicate Front (SF) is an important boundary separating waters that are silicate-rich and waters that are silicate-poor. The position of the SF determines where microorganisms like diatoms (that need silicate to form their shells) can grow. A new study predicts a poleward shift in the Southern Ocean Silicate Front by the end […]

Biofilms are a prominent first step in the colonization of wood-falls

A profound yet never-before-appreciated first step in the colonization of sulfur oxidizing bacteria on the surface of wood-debris in the deep-sea is attributed to sugars and other labile components of wood. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist who has been lucky to have had many roles […]

Warmer Waters Will Trap Nutrients Down Deep

Climate change is warming the ocean and altering how deep water is transported. Researchers in this study estimate that by the year 2300 these changes will have drastically altered where nutrients are available in the ocean causing up to a 15% decline in net primary production globally! Read more to see how this will happen […]

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