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Biogeochemistry

This category contains 62 posts

Why Are Some Icebergs Green?

If someone asked you to imagine an iceberg, chances are you’d picture something big and white. However icebergs actually come in a range of colors from white, to blue, and even green. A recent study looks into what gives certain icebergs a unique green coloration. They find that iron oxide minerals are responsible, which could […]

Antarctic Ice Key to the Carbon Cycle

A recent study suggests that nutrients from glacial melt and icebergs supports a significant portion of the biological production in the Antarctic. This in turn has implications for the global carbon cycle, since photosynthesis by microorganisms is one of the ways the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD […]

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 […]

Let it Sludge!

Marine snow has a lot in common with particles that form during waste water treatment. Read on to find out how and why this happens! Laura ZinkeI am a PhD student studying sediment geomicrobiology at the University of Southern California. My primary research interests lie deep under the sea studying how microorganisms survive in dark […]

Fate of Dissolved Carbon in the Antarctic

The ocean surrounding Antarctica, called the Southern Ocean, accounts for about 40% of the total global ocean carbon uptake. This study assesses the relative importance of the mechanisms impacting carbon concentrations in the upper ocean. Their results help us understand and predict how the ocean’s ability to regulate climate might change in the future. Channing […]

What happens to CO2 levels during El Niño?

Thanks to NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite, we now know when and where CO2 levels change during El Niño, and can pinpoint the culprit of rising CO¬2 levels during El Niño events. Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Her focus is on biogeochemistry, which, as […]

The Subtle Response of Plants to Rising CO2 Levels

Plants need carbon dioxide. What do they do when there’s more and more of it in the atmosphere? Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Her focus is on biogeochemistry, which, as the name suggests, centers on the combined effects of biological, geological and chemical processes on […]

New Evidence of Erosion, Weathering and CO2 Together Regulating Glacier Formation

Ice cover on earth extends and recedes over thousands of years. But what drives these fluctuations? Moreover, what guarantees that our planet never settles into a single permanent state? Using samples of water from glaciers, Torres and his colleagues show that chemical reactions occurring on rocks might hold part of the answer. Julia DohnerJulia is […]

An arsenic surprise: How our buried past will catch up with us

Global sea level is expected to rise 0.8 to 1 meter by 2100 and may release arsenic trapped in soil. Researchers investigated how this arsenic release would impact the biogeochemical cycling of coastal water systems as they are inundated with water due to sea level rise. Victoria TreadawayI am a PhD candidate at the Graduate […]

Suffocating crabs and a one-way street for carbon

Seafloor life is in danger of running out of oxygen as the ocean warms, but this may actually help to mitigate climate change. Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes where they are in the seafloor, and what […]

Methane on the dinner menu

Bacteria in coastal waters can eat methane, a greenhouse gas – but just how much and how fast can they eat? Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes where they are in the seafloor, and what are they […]

Funny happenings in the tropical Pacific

Nitrous oxide is a powerful greenhouse gas made by environmental microbes. In the ocean, microbes making this greenhouse gas live in zones with little to no oxygen. Scientists always thought that Bacteria were making this gas. Recently, a team from the UK set out to explore this hypothesis in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and found […]

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