Ocean sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Submarine fans play an important role in routing sediment in continental and deep water settings. Here the authors develop a framework is to explain the shape of submarine fans using a numerical model framework which can either predict seafloor topography from turbidity current flow properties or infer these flow properties from seafloor topography.

    • Abdul Wahab
    • , David C. Hoyal
    •  & Kyle M. Straub
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Geochemical data from sedimentary rocks in Siberia indicate that members of the soft-bodied Ediacara biota (the earliest macroscopic life on Earth) were tolerant of low-oxygen conditions, suggesting they had the capacity for anaerobic metabolisms.

    • Lucas B. Cherry
    • , Geoffrey J. Gilleaudeau
    •  & Alan J. Kaufman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The burial of organic carbon in marine sediments regulates Earth’s carbon cycle and climate. Here, authors present ‘transfer efficiencies’ as a new framework for quantifying the sedimentary portion of the marine organic carbon cycle.

    • James A. Bradley
    • , Dominik Hülse
    •  & Sandra Arndt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In this study, the microbiota of multiple body sites from 101 marine fish species from Southern California were sampled and analysed. The authors compared diversity measures while also establishing a method to estimate microbial biomass. Body site is shown to be the strongest driver of microbial diversity and patterns of phylosymbiosis are observed across the gill, skin and hindgut.

    • Jeremiah J. Minich
    • , Andreas Härer
    •  & Eric E. Allen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nitrogen-fixing (diazotrophic) cyanobacteria provide a critical nutrient input to the ocean. Non-cyanobacterial diazotrophs are also thought to contribute, but they have not been observed to fix nitrogen. Using dual isotope labeling combined with nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry, this study demonstrates that putative non-cyanobacterial diazotrophs attached to particles can fix nitrogen.

    • Katie J. Harding
    • , Kendra A. Turk-Kubo
    •  & Jonathan P. Zehr
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A phase of unique turbulent oceanographic and tectonic circumstances during the Early Oligocene caused high productivity in the Australian Antarctic Basin and enabled the stabilization of colder global climates.

    • Katharina Hochmuth
    • , Joanne M. Whittaker
    •  & Joseph H. LaCasce
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How reduced seawater pH and increased carbon dioxide might affect the prominent nitrogen fixer Trichodesmium in phosphorus-limited oceans is poorly understood. This study used phosphate-limited chemostat experiments to show that Trichodesmium may fix less nitrogen for a given amount of phosphorus at low pH. Thus, marine productivity is likely to decline in a future, more acidic ocean.

    • Futing Zhang
    • , Zuozhu Wen
    •  & Dalin Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In addition to locally generated tidal mixing, remotely generated planetary (Kelvin and Rossby) waves and eddies are found to supply energy into the Indonesian Seas, sufficient to drive mixing in the upper ocean at rates inferred from observations.

    • Chengyuan Pang
    • , Maxim Nikurashin
    •  & Bernadette M. Sloyan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Increased extreme high sea level events and concurrence of marine heatwaves are observed along the Indian Ocean coast of Indonesia in the past decade due to the combined impact of anthropogenic warming and natural decadal climate variability.

    • Weiqing Han
    • , Lei Zhang
    •  & Wen Xing
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using high-resolution stable isotope and microstructure analyses of otoliths, this study reveals that sardine populations in the western and eastern North Pacific have different early life metabolic and growth rates that respond contrastingly to temperature variations. These findings could explain observations of different responses in these populations to decadal-scale temperature anomalies.

    • Tatsuya Sakamoto
    • , Motomitsu Takahashi
    •  & Tomihiko Higuchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    As glaciers terminate into the ocean, mass is lost through frontal ablation where the ice meets the ocean. Here the authors estimate decadal frontal ablation from 2000 to 2020 of 1496 glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere, and find that frontal ablation makes up 79% of ice discharge to the ocean.

    • William Kochtitzky
    • , Luke Copland
    •  & Francisco Navarro
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study uses a compilation of 58 population genetic studies of 47 phylogenetically divergent marine sedentary species over the Mediterranean basin to assess how genetic differentiation is predicted by different dispersal models. Multi-generation dispersal models reveal implicit links among siblings from a common ancestor (coalescent connectivity) that could improve spatial conservation planning.

    • Térence Legrand
    • , Anne Chenuil
    •  & Vincent Rossi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Based on coupled climate model simulations the authors show that changes to the Earth’s surface energy balance following global-scale forestation and deforestation may change the strength of the jet stream, the Hadley cell, and the ocean circulation, which alters remote climate patterns across the globe

    • Raphael Portmann
    • , Urs Beyerle
    •  & Sebastian Schemm
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sedimentary ancient DNA can indicate ecosystem-wide changes. Here, the authors show association between warm phases and high diatom abundance in the Antarctic Scotia Sea, in addition to presenting ancient eukaryote sedimentary DNA spanning the last approximately 1 million years.

    • Linda Armbrecht
    • , Michael E. Weber
    •  & Xufeng Zheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Vertical exchange in the ocean is an important conduit connecting the surface to the deep and influences the distributions of gases, nutrients, pollutants, and other tracers. Here the authors using high-resolution observations and numerical simulations of the ocean fronts in the Northern Gulf of Mexico reveal that the interaction between the fronts and land-sea breeze creates slantwise pathways for water parcels and induces significant subduction of surface water and upwelling of bottom water.

    • Lixin Qu
    • , Leif N. Thomas
    •  & Jonathan D. Nash
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors present an approach to underwater imaging, which does not require tethering or batteries. The low-power camera uses power from harvested acoustic energy and communicates colour images wirelessly via acoustic backscatter.

    • Sayed Saad Afzal
    • , Waleed Akbar
    •  & Fadel Adib
  • Article
    | Open Access

    One of the main challenges in the tsunami inundation prediction is related to the real-time computational efforts done under restrictive time constraints. Here the authors show that using machine learning-based model, we can achieve comparable accuracy to the physics-based model with ~99% computational cost reduction.

    • Iyan E. Mulia
    • , Naonori Ueda
    •  & Kenji Satake
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ocean spatial scale analysis has struggled to capture the vast dynamic range at planetary scales. Here the authors employ a method to probe circulation patterns in the World Ocean, thus opening a promising new window for measuring and understanding the ocean’s role in Earth’s climate system.

    • Benjamin A. Storer
    • , Michele Buzzicotti
    •  & Hussein Aluie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study improves on limitations of the most commonly used spin-up approach for ocean-sea ice models. The authors find that, over the last 50 years, atmospheric changes over the Southern Ocean have driven almost all of the global ocean heat uptake.

    • Maurice F. Huguenin
    • , Ryan M. Holmes
    •  & Matthew H. England
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Reproduction in numerous marine organisms is timed to specific moon phases, but the mechanisms for sensing moon phases are incompletely understood. Here the authors report that an ancient, light-sensitive protein L-Cryptochrome in a marine bristle worm can discriminate between sun- and moonlight, enabling the animals to properly decode moon phases.

    • Birgit Poehn
    • , Shruthi Krishnan
    •  & Kristin Tessmar-Raible
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Our understanding of ancient organic carbon cycling in marine environments is limited. Here the authors developed a method to reconstruct upper ocean organic carbon chemistry in the geological past, which when applied, can help to create a better understanding of the evolution of the carbon cycle.

    • Babette A. A. Hoogakker
    • , Caroline Anderson
    •  & Victoria L. Peck
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Compound extreme events in two or more oceanic ecosystem stressors are increasingly considered as a major concern for marine life. Here the authors present a first global analysis on compound marine heatwave and ocean acidity extreme events, identifying hotspots, drivers, and projecting future changes.

    • Friedrich A. Burger
    • , Jens Terhaar
    •  & Thomas L. Frölicher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fluids released from progressive breakdown of minerals at increasing pressure within a mélange may explain the trace element systematics and stable thallium isotope data of the Kamchatka arc lavas from volcanic front to back arc.

    • Yunchao Shu
    • , Sune G. Nielsen
    •  & Maureen Auro
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ocean CO2 uptake at mid-latitudes counteracts CO2 release in the tropics, but we know little about the effects of marine heatwaves that modulate this process. Here, the authors use joint analysis of satellite measurements, in situ observation, reconstructions derived from machine learning algorithms, numerical model of the global ocean, and find that areas where PMHWs most frequently occur coincide with the regions that are the most critical for the oceanic carbon cycle.

    • Alexandre Mignot
    • , Karina von Schuckmann
    •  & Tristan Amm
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The mechanism driving past Laurentide Ice-Sheet instabilities remains elusive Here, the authors present a sediment record from the subpolar western North Atlantic and show that massive warming of the upper interior ocean was the likely trigger for repeated collapses of the Laurentide Ice-Sheet and iceberg discharge into the North Atlantic, known as Heinrich Events.

    • Lars Max
    • , Dirk Nürnberg
    •  & Stefan Mulitza
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate model simulations show that for 1970-2017 externally-forced sea surface temperature increases in the Gulf Stream explain up to 56% of the sea-ice decline in the Barents-Kara Sea during winter via poleward oceanic heat transport.

    • Yoko Yamagami
    • , Masahiro Watanabe
    •  & Jun Ono
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dissolved carbon concentrations in the ocean interior are computed by a deep-learning model using ocean surface data. In the Southern Ocean, they decreased in the 1990s-2000s and increased since 2010, reducing anthropogenic carbon uptake potential.

    • Varvara E. Zemskova
    • , Tai-Long He
    •  & Nicolas Grisouard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using CRISPR-Cas9 mediated-knockout and overexpression analyses, this study shows that a trypsin in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum promotes phosphorus uptake and inhibits nitrogen uptake but its expression is downregulated under nitrogen stress and upregulated under phosphorus stress. Together, the findings suggest this trypsin is a coordinate regulator of nutrient homeostasis.

    • Yanchun You
    • , Xueqiong Sun
    •  & Senjie Lin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Over the past half century, both the Indian Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean exhibit strong warming trends like a global mean surface temperature. In this study, the authors show that not only an increase of greenhouse gases, but also atmospheric teleconnections boost the observed warming trends.

    • Young-Min Yang
    • , Jae-Heung Park
    •  & Bin Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The causes of long-lasting behaviors of multi-year El Niño are still not fully understood. Here, the authors find that persistent two-way teleconnections between the North Pacific Oscillation and the tropical Pacific constitute a key source of multi-year El Niño.

    • Ruiqiang Ding
    • , Yu‐Heng Tseng
    •  & Feifei Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using cold-water corals, this work identifies a deep outflow of Pacific waters via the Tasman Sea during the last ice age, thus highlighting the role of this area for the interoceanic exchange of water masses on climatic time scales.

    • Torben Struve
    • , David J. Wilson
    •  & Tina van de Flierdt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Powerful avalanches were recorded for the first time in an underwater canyon that lies 100 s of km from land. This challenges a long-held view and indicates > 1000 similar canyons worldwide actively pump sediment and pollutants into the deep-sea.

    • M. S. Heijnen
    • , F. Mienis
    •  & M. A. Clare
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Weddell Sea dense water formation facilitates carbon sequestration on centennial time scales. The authors show that for a high-emission scenario, carbon sequestration is reduced by 2100 due to water-mass property changes on the continental shelf.

    • Cara Nissen
    • , Ralph Timmermann
    •  & Judith Hauck
  • Article
    | Open Access

    From modern seasonal to the deep time, global data show that continental hydrology has a direct and consistent effect on river and marine Li isotope compositions, highlighting a crucial role of climate on Earth’s weathering and the carbon cycle.

    • Fei Zhang
    • , Mathieu Dellinger
    •  & Zhangdong Jin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Plastic pollution in seas is widespread, but some areas lack the high concentrations of plastic debris. Here the authors identified places where large amounts of plastic debris pass in the Mediterranean Sea thus helping to study plastic dispersion in regions where plastic debris does not accumulate, and a tool for mitigation strategies.

    • Alberto Baudena
    • , Enrico Ser-Giacomi
    •  & Maria Luiza Pedrotti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Advances in climate prediction mean that the state of the ocean and the drivers of shifts can be skilfully forecast up to a decade ahead. This study applies decadal-scale climate predictions to forecast shifts in the habitat and distribution of marine fish species, providing information relevant to stakeholders and a tool to foresee and adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.

    • Mark R. Payne
    • , Gokhan Danabasoglu
    •  & Stephen G. Yeager
  • Article
    | Open Access

    New experiments suggest that the Petermann Ice Shelf in northwest Greenland is unlikely to recover once a breakup occurs in the future. If this is not unique to this ice shelf, continued ocean warming may lead to high discharge from polar ice sheets.

    • Henning Åkesson
    • , Mathieu Morlighem
    •  & Martin Jakobsson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study uses multispecies modelling to show that the management of a coral predator, the crown-of-thorns starfish, could help corals recover following bleaching events. They show that management was most effective when heat stress severity for corals was low to moderate, when corals had lower heat sensitivity and when the recruitment rate of starfish was high.

    • Jacob G. D. Rogers
    •  & Éva E. Plagányi