Marine chemistry

Definition

Marine chemistry is the study of the chemical composition and chemical processes of the world’s oceans. Some of the key processes studied are the cycling of: inorganic and organic carbon; nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus; and trace elements, such as iron.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The marine carbonate system is changing as uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere causes ocean acidification. Now, analysis of repeat observations demonstrates that the rate and extent of Arctic Ocean acidification is enhanced through increased transport from the North Pacific.

    • Richard G. J. Bellerby
  • Editorial |

    Iron is an essential fuel for life in the oceans. The influence of this element on biogeochemistry — and nitrogen cycling in particular — varies across environments and time.

  • News and Views |

    Dissolved iron is mysteriously pervasive in deep ocean hydrothermal plumes. An analysis of gas, metals and particles from a 4,000 km plume transect suggests that dissolved iron is maintained by rapid and reversible exchanges with sinking particles.

    • William B. Homoky
    Nature Geoscience 10, 162–163
  • News and Views |

    There are over four billion tonnes of uranium in the oceans that could be harvested for nuclear fuel, but current capture methods have limited performance and reusability. Now, an electrochemical method using modified carbon electrodes is shown to be promising for the extraction of uranium from seawater.

    • Costas Tsouris
    Nature Energy 2, 17022
  • News and Views |

    Atmospheric oxygen was maintained at low levels throughout huge swathes of Earth's early history. Estimates of phosphorus availability through time suggest that scavenging from anoxic, iron-rich oceans stabilized this low-oxygen world.

    • Simon W. Poulton
    Nature Geoscience 10, 75–76
  • News and Views |

    Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in the ocean, but its biogeochemical behaviour is elusive. Size–age–composition relations now quantify the production of tiny organic molecules as a major pathway for carbon sequestration.

    • Rainer M. W. Amon
    Nature Geoscience 9, 864–865