Ocean sciences articles within Nature Communications

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  • Article
    | Open Access

    Strong air-sea interactions during atmospheric rivers often lead to modest upper ocean heat changes. The authors show that interior ocean dynamics are compensating for these air-sea exchanges. These findings can help improve subseasonal forecasts.

    • Tien-Yiao Hsu
    • , Matthew R. Mazloff
    •  & Bruce D. Cornuelle
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study explores alternative stable states in microbial communities. Focusing on a respiratory tract community of 6 species, the authors identified four distinct stable states that are predicted to be driven by cooperative growth. The findings contrast with the common association between competitive interactions and multistability in microbial communities. Using a sample of a thousand eddies across the world’s oceans, this study examines the response of forage fauna detected by shipboard acoustics. The findings show that a minority of eddies exhibit significant effects on forage fauna, but that an oasis effect can sometimes occur. This highlights the need for further research to elucidate how eddies might attract marine predators.

    • Aurore Receveur
    • , Christophe Menkes
    •  & Simon Nicol
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Low-density microplastics with a size range of 10−200 µm may gain sufficient ballast via microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation and sink independently to the ocean floor due to small drag, explaining their enrichment in oceanic sediment.

    • Xiang-Fei Sun
    • , Yanxu Zhang
    •  & Eddy Y. Zeng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Sargasso Sea is a natural laboratory for understanding future conditions of warmer oceans and associated nutrient limitation. Here, the authors combined short- and long-read sequencing to survey Sargasso Sea viral communities.

    • Joanna Warwick-Dugdale
    • , Funing Tian
    •  & Ben Temperton
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using prey size measurements from ten Southern Ocean lanternfish species sampled across >10° of latitude, this study shows that higher temperatures were associated with smaller fish and an overall decrease in the size of fish relative to their prey. Ocean warming may therefore alter the diversity and size structuring of trophic interactions, reducing the stability of marine ecosystems.

    • Patrick Eskuche-Keith
    • , Simeon L. Hill
    •  & Eoin J. O’Gorman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors reveal a 3.9% intensification in the sea surface temperature seasonal cycle over the past four decades, with hotspot regions experiencing intensification of up to 10%. This intensification extends throughout the mixed layer, amplifying the seasonal cycle of upper-ocean oxygenation.

    • Fukai Liu
    • , Fengfei Song
    •  & Yiyong Luo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors describe an early synziphosurine from the Lower Ordovician Fezouata Shale of Morocco, which exhibits traits that elucidate the long-contentious relationships between crown euchelicerates and their sister taxa, and also clarifies euchelicerate body plan evolution.

    • Lorenzo Lustri
    • , Pierre Gueriau
    •  & Allison C. Daley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sperm whales use sequences of clicks to communicate. Here, the authors show that these vocalizations are significantly more complex than previously believed-the “sperm whale phonetic alphabet" has both combinatorial structure and call modulation dependent on the conversational context.

    • Pratyusha Sharma
    • , Shane Gero
    •  & Jacob Andreas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    SAR11 bacteria and their phages are abundant in the oceans. Here the authors quantify the number of phage-infected SAR11 cells using microscopy techniques and discover phage-infected cells without any detectable ribosomes. They hypothesize that ribosomal RNA may be used for the synthesis of phage genomes.

    • Jan D. Brüwer
    • , Chandni Sidhu
    •  & Bernhard M. Fuchs
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rhizaria are abundant protists in the ocean and likely important to biogeochemical cycling. In this study the authors assess the global distribution, biomass and biogeochemical significance of Rhizaria, finding that they play an important role in carbon flux attenuation and dominate silicon cycling in the mesopelagic zone.

    • Manon Laget
    • , Laetitia Drago
    •  & Tristan Biard
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Dinoflagellates are ecologically important and essential to corals and other cnidarians as phytosymbionts, but their photosystems had been underexplored. Recently, photosystem I (PSI) of dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. was structurally characterized using cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM). These analyses revealed a distinct organization of the PSI supercomplex, including two previously unidentified subunits, PsaT and PsaU, and shed light on interactions between light harvesting antenna proteins and the PSI core. These results have implications with respect to the evolution of dinoflagellates and their association with cnidarians.

    • Senjie Lin
    • , Shuaishuai Wu
    •  & Arthur R. Grossman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is useful to be able to equip marine animals with sensors, but it can be challenging to attach these to soft marine organisms. Here, the authors use an adhesive hydrogel to achieve rapid attachment of sensors to marine life including jellyfish, squid and lobster.

    • Camilo Duque Londono
    • , Seth F. Cones
    •  & Xuanhe Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Little is known about viral communities in deep-sea seamounts. In this study, the authors performed metagenomic and virome analysis from sediments in the western Pacific Ocean and characterize the diversity, distribution and potential ecological roles of viruses in deep-sea seamount sediments.

    • Meishun Yu
    • , Menghui Zhang
    •  & Min Jin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Interactions between meltwater flow and ice shelf basal channels are studied using a 3D boundary current model. Deep channels are found to significantly enhance channelized basal melting, meltwater channeling, and warming and salinization of channel flow.

    • Chen Cheng
    • , Adrian Jenkins
    •  & Chengyan Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This paper presents quantitative evaluation of the role of different continental mountains in shaping the global meridional overturning circulation. The Tibetan Plateau is likely to have been crucial in molding the global thermohaline circulation.

    • Haijun Yang
    • , Rui Jiang
    •  & Jiangping Huang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This work leverages a new diet database and six long term monitoring efforts of 361 taxa to build comparable pre- and post-heatwave ecosystem models. The study provides empirical demonstration of changes in ecosystem-wide patterns of energy flux and biomass in response to marine heatwaves.

    • Dylan G. E. Gomes
    • , James J. Ruzicka
    •  & Joshua D. Stewart
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global warming targets are considered inadequate to protect coral reefs, but this prognosis is based on models with similar approaches. This systematic review of studies that project coral responses to climate change found that divergent modelling methodologies had discrepancies in coral reef outcomes, and that those used for climate change syntheses may project more severe consequences than other methods.

    • Shannon G. Klein
    • , Cassandra Roch
    •  & Carlos M. Duarte
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The summer jet stream above East Asia has become more variable in recent decades, leading to weather and climate extremes across Eurasia. The authors show that a Scandinavian Pattern in preceding February is driving the strong variability.

    • Lifei Lin
    • , Chundi Hu
    •  & Dake Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change is shifting species distribution globally. Here, the authors track four decades of changes in the thermal affinity of 1,817 marine species across European seas, showing that most communities have responded to ongoing ocean warming via increases of warm-water species or decreases of cold-water species.

    • Guillem Chust
    • , Ernesto Villarino
    •  & Martin Lindegren
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors show that the deep thermocline and strong stratification of the North Equatorial Current of the western North Pacific cause rapid intensification and maintain tropical cyclones, as with 2018 Mangkhut, the longest Category-5 super typhoon in record.

    • Sok Kuh Kang
    • , Sung-Hun Kim
    •  & Brian Ward
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study identifies the key roles of tides and topographic waves in forming Antarctic bottom water in different regions. The Antarctic coastline is divided into four overflow dynamical regimes, providing guidance for future observations.

    • Xianxian Han
    • , Andrew L. Stewart
    •  & Arnold L. Gordon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A new study shows that deforestation of Amazon mangroves releases up to four times more carbon dioxide when compared to emissions arising from terrestrial biomes. This study set a foundation for the use of mangroves in Brazil’s international policy agreements.

    • Angelo F. Bernardino
    • , Ana Carolina A. Mazzuco
    •  & J. Boone Kauffman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For satellite data, noisy observations can often be ignored in favour of smooth trends and signals. Here, the authors developed a method to quantify the complexity of chlorophyll-α time series on a global scale, which led to the discovery of greater differences among regions than previously recognized.

    • Vitul Agarwal
    • , Jonathan Chávez-Casillas
    •  & Colleen B. Mouw
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study shows that ice loss and human water use models explain global and regional satellite-observed ocean mass changes since 2003 and thereby pinpoint the main cause of sea level rise, with a negligible role coming from natural variability.

    • Carsten Bjerre Ludwigsen
    • , Ole Baltazar Andersen
    •  & Matt A. King
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate simulations of the Last Interglacial show that Antarctic ice loss induces warming of East Antarctica. Meltwater equivalent to the ice loss induces warming of the subsurface. Both effects can further enhance Antarctic ice sheet deterioration

    • David K. Hutchinson
    • , Laurie Menviel
    •  & Andrew McC. Hogg