Ocean sciences

  • Article | | open

    Coccolithophores are one of the most abundant phytoplankton and calcifying organisms, well-known to produce intricate calcareous exoskeletons made of coccoliths. Here the authors show, by using X-ray nanotomography, the dependence of the grid size on the calcite nucleation site number and on the mass of coccoliths.

    • T. Beuvier
    • , I. Probert
    • , L. Beaufort
    • , B. Suchéras-Marx
    • , Y. Chushkin
    • , F. Zontone
    •  & A. Gibaud
  • Article | | open

    Ferromanganese minerals are abundant in marine environments but the extent of these minerals in subseafloor sediments remains unknown. Here the authors find abundant ferromanganese microparticles in oxic pelagic clays, accounting for 14–16% of the new estimate of the global manganese budget (9.2–47.4 Tt).

    • Go-Ichiro Uramoto
    • , Yuki Morono
    • , Naotaka Tomioka
    • , Shigeyuki Wakaki
    • , Ryoichi Nakada
    • , Rota Wagai
    • , Kentaro Uesugi
    • , Akihisa Takeuchi
    • , Masato Hoshino
    • , Yoshio Suzuki
    • , Fumito Shiraishi
    • , Satoshi Mitsunobu
    • , Hiroki Suga
    • , Yasuo Takeichi
    • , Yoshio Takahashi
    •  & Fumio Inagaki
  • Article | | open

    Changes in chlorophyll-a are used as an indirect proxy for monitoring global changes in marine phytoplankton. Here the authors show that remote sensing reflectance (RRS), such as the ratio of upwelling versus downwelling light at the ocean’s surface, has a stronger and earlier climate-change-driven signal over the 21st century.

    • Stephanie Dutkiewicz
    • , Anna E. Hickman
    • , Oliver Jahn
    • , Stephanie Henson
    • , Claudie Beaulieu
    •  & Erwan Monier
  • Article | | open

    The spatio-temporal distributions of these plastics are not fully characterized. Here the authors examined the sources, sinks and pathways and projected microplastic concentrations for 2066 and found that most plastics accumulate in the North Pacific, with the highest concentrations predicted in the East Asia Seas and central North Pacific.

    • Atsuhiko Isobe
    • , Shinsuke Iwasaki
    • , Keiichi Uchida
    •  & Tadashi Tokai
  • Article | | open

    Ocean warming contributes to the thinning of the Antarctic ice shelves, however, lack of observations has prevented a quantification of this contribution. Here the authors use geological records to show that 0.3–1.5 °C ocean warming has played a central role on regional ice shelf instability over the last 9000 years.

    • Johan Etourneau
    • , Giovanni Sgubin
    • , Xavier Crosta
    • , Didier Swingedouw
    • , Verónica Willmott
    • , Loïc Barbara
    • , Marie-Noëlle Houssais
    • , Stefan Schouten
    • , Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté
    • , Hugues Goosse
    • , Carlota Escutia
    • , Julien Crespin
    • , Guillaume Massé
    •  & Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Article | | open

    The extreme coastal El Niño of March 2017 caused devastating flooding in coastal Peru but its mechanism remains unclear. Here the authors investigate the physical processes using observations and model simulations and suggest that such extreme coastal flooding is predictable and will become more frequent as climate warms.

    • Qihua Peng
    • , Shang-Ping Xie
    • , Dongxiao Wang
    • , Xiao-Tong Zheng
    •  & Hong Zhang
  • Article | | open

    The upper-ocean warming, a consequence of anthropogenic global warming, is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger. Here the author show that global wave power has been increasing and can represent a climate change indicator.

    • Borja G. Reguero
    • , Iñigo J. Losada
    •  & Fernando J. Méndez
  • Article | | open

    In late 2016, there was a sudden and subsequently sustained decrease of Antarctic sea ice extent. Analyses of observations and a model simulation trace the causes to teleconnections from the tropics on the interannual timescale combined with decadal-timescale warming in the upper Southern Ocean.

    • Gerald A. Meehl
    • , Julie M. Arblaster
    • , Christine T. Y. Chung
    • , Marika M. Holland
    • , Alice DuVivier
    • , LuAnne Thompson
    • , Dongxia Yang
    •  & Cecilia M. Bitz
  • Article | | open

    Particulate optical backscattering is key to studying the oceanic carbon pump though it remains unclear what particles are detected. Here the authors show that complex particles larger than 1 µm help reproduce all the measured backscattering across the Atlantic Ocean and explain the majority of the signal.

    • Emanuele Organelli
    • , Giorgio Dall’Olmo
    • , Robert J. W. Brewin
    • , Glen A. Tarran
    • , Emmanuel Boss
    •  & Annick Bricaud
  • Article | | open

    Locations in the ocean where CO2 naturally seeps from the seafloor can be used to infer potential responses to ocean acidification. Here the authors explore the functional composition of benthic communities along a natural CO2 gradient, showing a loss of functional diversity at high-CO2 sites.

    • Nuria Teixidó
    • , Maria Cristina Gambi
    • , Valeriano Parravacini
    • , Kristy Kroeker
    • , Fiorenza Micheli
    • , Sebastien Villéger
    •  & Enric Ballesteros
  • Article | | open

    Day-night cycles in the biochemical composition of phytoplankton remain poorly understood. Here, Becker et al. use lipidomic and transcriptomic data from the North Pacific subtropical gyre to describe a daily cycle of production and consumption of energy-rich lipids by eukaryotic phytoplankton.

    • Kevin W. Becker
    • , James R. Collins
    • , Bryndan P. Durham
    • , Ryan D. Groussman
    • , Angelicque E. White
    • , Helen F. Fredricks
    • , Justin E. Ossolinski
    • , Daniel J. Repeta
    • , Paul Carini
    • , E. Virginia Armbrust
    •  & Benjamin A. S. Van Mooy
  • Article | | open

    The rare noble gas isotope 39Ar is the ideal tracer to investigate the ventilation of the deep ocean in the time range of 50 to 1000 years. Here the authors constrain transit time distributions in the eastern Tropical Atlantic with 39Ar-measurements done on a sample size of 5 L of water utilising modern atom-optical techniques.

    • Sven Ebser
    • , Arne Kersting
    • , Tim Stöven
    • , Zhongyi Feng
    • , Lisa Ringena
    • , Maximilian Schmidt
    • , Toste Tanhua
    • , Werner Aeschbach
    •  & Markus K. Oberthaler
  • Article | | open

    Ocean circulation likely played a major role in past episodes of global warming. Here the authors show that converging neodymium isotope values indicate intensification of the Atlantic overturning circulation at 59 million years ago, which may have contributed to a more efficient distribution of heat over the planet.

    • S. J. Batenburg
    • , S. Voigt
    • , O. Friedrich
    • , A. H. Osborne
    • , A. Bornemann
    • , T. Klein
    • , L. Pérez-Díaz
    •  & M. Frank
  • Article | | open

    Gene pairs that are coexpressed across various environmental conditions in multiple species suggest functional similarity. Here the authors analyze patterns of gene expression co-evolution across diverse eukaryotes, and identify hundreds of protein complexes and pathways whose gene expression levels have co-evolved since their ancient divergence.

    • Trevor Martin
    •  & Hunter B. Fraser
  • Article | | open

    The Indian Ocean provides a unique environmental gradient to test underlying drivers of the elemental composition of particulate organic matter. Here the authors show that nutrient supply, over temperature and biodiversity changes, controls regional variation of elemental ratios in the tropical Indian Ocean.

    • Catherine A. Garcia
    • , Steven E. Baer
    • , Nathan S. Garcia
    • , Sara Rauschenberg
    • , Benjamin S. Twining
    • , Michael W. Lomas
    •  & Adam C. Martiny
  • Review Article | | open

    Short-lived three-dimensional submesoscale currents, responsible for swirling ocean color chlorophyll filaments, have long been thought to affect productivity. Current research suggests they may not be effective in enhancing phytoplankton growth, but may have important contributions to biodiversity.

    • Marina Lévy
    • , Peter J. S. Franks
    •  & K. Shafer Smith
  • Article | | open

    Marine sedimentary records and the proxies within play a central role in unlocking our understanding of past climates, yet interpreting the signals they contain can be complex. Here, the authors reveal and discuss the complex effects of hydrodynamics on carbon accumulation in the sediments off the Iberian margin.

    • Clayton R. Magill
    • , Blanca Ausín
    • , Pascal Wenk
    • , Cameron McIntyre
    • , Luke Skinner
    • , Alfredo Martínez-García
    • , David A. Hodell
    • , Gerald H. Haug
    • , William Kenney
    •  & Timothy I. Eglinton
  • Article | | open

    The Scotia Sea, located in the Southern Ocean, is a major hotspot for the drawdown of atmospheric CO2. Here, the authors show that the strength of the carbonate counter pump doubles when shelled pteropods dominate the plankton calcifier community, counteracting the amount of CO2 transferred to the deep ocean.

    • C. Manno
    • , F. Giglio
    • , G. Stowasser
    • , S. Fielding
    • , P. Enderlein
    •  & G. A. Tarling
  • Article | | open

    It has recently been found that stress hormones accumulate in the earwax of whales. Here, the authors use these signatures of stress along with time series of ocean warming and whaling pressure to demonstrate that both stressors were correlated with baleen whale stress over several decades.

    • Stephen J. Trumble
    • , Stephanie A. Norman
    • , Danielle D. Crain
    • , Farzaneh Mansouri
    • , Zach C. Winfield
    • , Richard Sabin
    • , Charles W. Potter
    • , Christine M. Gabriele
    •  & Sascha Usenko
  • Article | | open

    Mid-Holocene climate was characterized by strong summer solar heating that decreased Arctic sea ice cover. Here the authors show that this sea ice loss had profound effects on the climate system, distinct from direct effects of solar heating, over North America, northern Asia, and the North Atlantic.

    • Hyo-Seok Park
    • , Seong-Joong Kim
    • , Kyong-Hwan Seo
    • , Andrew L. Stewart
    • , Seo-Yeon Kim
    •  & Seok-Woo Son
  • Article | | open

    Pacific oyster mortality syndrome is a poorly understood cause of mortality in commercially important oyster species. Here, the authors use multiple infection experiments to show that the syndrome is caused by sequential infection by herpesvirus and opportunistic bacteria.

    • Julien de Lorgeril
    • , Aude Lucasson
    • , Bruno Petton
    • , Eve Toulza
    • , Caroline Montagnani
    • , Camille Clerissi
    • , Jeremie Vidal-Dupiol
    • , Cristian Chaparro
    • , Richard Galinier
    • , Jean-Michel Escoubas
    • , Philippe Haffner
    • , Lionel Dégremont
    • , Guillaume M. Charrière
    • , Maxime Lafont
    • , Abigaïl Delort
    • , Agnès Vergnes
    • , Marlène Chiarello
    • , Nicole Faury
    • , Tristan Rubio
    • , Marc A. Leroy
    • , Adeline Pérignon
    • , Denis Régler
    • , Benjamin Morga
    • , Marianne Alunno-Bruscia
    • , Pierre Boudry
    • , Frédérique Le Roux
    • , Delphine Destoumieux-Garzόn
    • , Yannick Gueguen
    •  & Guillaume Mitta
  • Article | | open

    The structure of turbidity currents has remained unresolved mainly due to lack of observations. Here the authors present data from a high-resolution monitoring array deployed for 18 months over Monterey Bay, that suggests turbidity currents are driven by dense near-bed layers.

    • Charles K. Paull
    • , Peter J. Talling
    • , Katherine L. Maier
    • , Daniel Parsons
    • , Jingping Xu
    • , David W. Caress
    • , Roberto Gwiazda
    • , Eve M. Lundsten
    • , Krystle Anderson
    • , James P. Barry
    • , Mark Chaffey
    • , Tom O’Reilly
    • , Kurt J. Rosenberger
    • , Jenny A. Gales
    • , Brian Kieft
    • , Mary McGann
    • , Steve M. Simmons
    • , Mike McCann
    • , Esther J. Sumner
    • , Michael A. Clare
    •  & Matthieu J. Cartigny
  • Article | | open

    The Southern Ocean is critically important for global climate yet poorly represented by climate models. Here the authors trace sea surface temperature biases in this region to cloud-related errors in atmospheric-model simulated surface heat fluxes and provide a pathway to improve the models.

    • Patrick Hyder
    • , John M. Edwards
    • , Richard P. Allan
    • , Helene T. Hewitt
    • , Thomas J. Bracegirdle
    • , Jonathan M. Gregory
    • , Richard A. Wood
    • , Andrew J. S. Meijers
    • , Jane Mulcahy
    • , Paul Field
    • , Kalli Furtado
    • , Alejandro Bodas-Salcedo
    • , Keith D. Williams
    • , Dan Copsey
    • , Simon A. Josey
    • , Chunlei Liu
    • , Chris D. Roberts
    • , Claudio Sanchez
    • , Jeff Ridley
    • , Livia Thorpe
    • , Steven C. Hardiman
    • , Michael Mayer
    • , David I. Berry
    •  & Stephen E. Belcher
  • Article | | open

    It has been suggested that deep coral reefs offer a refuge against warming and mass bleaching. Here Frade et al. look at the 2016 bleaching event in the northern Great Barrier Reef and found that deep reefs initially acted as thermal refuges, though this effect lessened in the late summer months.

    • Pedro R. Frade
    • , Pim Bongaerts
    • , Norbert Englebert
    • , Alice Rogers
    • , Manuel Gonzalez-Rivero
    •  & Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
  • Article | | open

    The mechanisms responsible for the burial of vast quantities of organic matter during Ocean Anoxic Event remain unclear. Here, the authors combine biogeochemical analysis and modeling and show that sulfurization could play a critical role in facilitating globally elevated burial of organic matter.

    • Morgan Reed Raven
    • , David A. Fike
    • , Maya L. Gomes
    • , Samuel M. Webb
    • , Alexander S. Bradley
    •  & Harry-Luke O. McClelland
  • Article | | open

    Methane venting is a widespread phenomenon at the Cascadia margin, however a comprehensive database of methane vents at this margin is lacking. Here the authors show that the margin-wide average methane flow-rate ranges from ~4 × 106 to ~1590 × 106 kg y−1 and is on average around 88 ± 6 × 106 kg y−1.

    • M. Riedel
    • , M. Scherwath
    • , M. Römer
    • , M. Veloso
    • , M. Heesemann
    •  & G. D. Spence
  • Article | | open

    Discharge from Greenland is known to deliver nutrients to the marine environment. Here, the authors show that the majority of the nutrients fueling summertime productivity downstream of Greenland’s glaciers seemingly originate from entrainment in subglacial discharge plumes rather than from meltwater itself.

    • M. J. Hopwood
    • , D. Carroll
    • , T. J. Browning
    • , L. Meire
    • , J. Mortensen
    • , S. Krisch
    •  & E. P. Achterberg
  • Article | | open

    The role ice sheets play in the silica cycle over glacial−interglacial timescales remains unclear. Here, based on the measurement of silica isotopes in Greenland meltwater and a nearby marine sediment core, the authors suggest expanding ice sheets considerably increased isotopically light silica in the oceans.

    • Jon R. Hawkings
    • , Jade E. Hatton
    • , Katharine R. Hendry
    • , Gregory F. de Souza
    • , Jemma L. Wadham
    • , Ruza Ivanovic
    • , Tyler J. Kohler
    • , Marek Stibal
    • , Alexander Beaton
    • , Guillaume Lamarche-Gagnon
    • , Andrew Tedstone
    • , Mathis P. Hain
    • , Elizabeth Bagshaw
    • , Jennifer Pike
    •  & Martyn Tranter
  • Article | | open

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in aquatic systems is among the most complex molecular mixtures known. Here the authors show that a major component in DOM is molecularly indistinguishable in marine and freshwater environments, which could reflect universal mechanisms behind long-term DOM turnover.

    • Maren Zark
    •  & Thorsten Dittmar
  • Article | | open

    The relative impacts of changes in North Pacific and North Atlantic sea surface temperature on Arctic climate are not well defined. Here the authors find that Arctic surface temperatures are more sensitive to changes in North Pacific heat flux as a result of stronger modulations in poleward moisture and latent heat transport.

    • Summer Praetorius
    • , Maria Rugenstein
    • , Geeta Persad
    •  & Ken Caldeira
  • Article | | open

    Low frequency intrinsic ocean variability has an unknown impact on Antarctic ice shelves, yet can arise even in the absence of varying climate forcing. Here, the authors show that this variability significantly affects modelled basal melting under the Totten Ice Shelf, with implications for the attribution of change.

    • David E. Gwyther
    • , Terence J. O’Kane
    • , Benjamin K. Galton-Fenzi
    • , Didier P. Monselesan
    •  & Jamin S. Greenbaum
  • Article | | open

    The means by which planktonic cyanobacteria were able to persist through the Archean despite high fluxes of UV radiation are unclear. Here, the authors show that Fe(III)-Si rich precipitates in the Archean photic zone could have provided early planktonic cyanobacteria an effective shield against UV-C radiation.

    • Aleksandra M. Mloszewska
    • , Devon B. Cole
    • , Noah J. Planavsky
    • , Andreas Kappler
    • , Denise S. Whitford
    • , George W. Owttrim
    •  & Kurt. O Konhauser
  • Article | | open

    The termination of the Marinoan snowball Earth event marks one of the most drastic transitions in Earth history, but the oceanic response remains unclear. Here, the authors’ integrated analysis demonstrates that the ocean experienced transient but widespread euxinia following this Snowball Earth event.

    • Xianguo Lang
    • , Bing Shen
    • , Yongbo Peng
    • , Shuhai Xiao
    • , Chuanming Zhou
    • , Huiming Bao
    • , Alan Jay Kaufman
    • , Kangjun Huang
    • , Peter W. Crockford
    • , Yonggang Liu
    • , Wenbo Tang
    •  & Haoran Ma
  • Article | | open

    The exact timing and magnitude of past changes in Atlantic Ocean circulation, and its relation to abrupt climate changes remains elusive. Here, the authors show a spatially coherent picture of western Atlantic circulation changes, which reveals a two-step AMOC slowdown at the beginning of the deglacial period.

    • Hong Chin Ng
    • , Laura F. Robinson
    • , Jerry F. McManus
    • , Kais J. Mohamed
    • , Allison W. Jacobel
    • , Ruza F. Ivanovic
    • , Lauren J. Gregoire
    •  & Tianyu Chen
  • Article | | open

    The Greenland Ice Sheet has increasingly lost mass over the past few decades, yet the contribution from glaciers in Northeast Greenland is difficult to quantify. Here, the authors show that the floating part of 79 North Glacier has continuously lost mass since at least 2001, with a very high annual variability.

    • Christoph Mayer
    • , Janin Schaffer
    • , Tore Hattermann
    • , Dana Floricioiu
    • , Lukas Krieger
    • , Paul A. Dodd
    • , Torsten Kanzow
    • , Carlo Licciulli
    •  & Clemens Schannwell
  • Article | | open

    Changes in the sea-level annual cycle have a profound effect on the coast, yet little is known about their drivers. Here the authors show a considerable variability in the amplitude of the cycle along the United States Gulf and Southeast coasts and relate it to Atlantic Rossby waves.

    • Francisco M. Calafat
    • , Thomas Wahl
    • , Fredrik Lindsten
    • , Joanne Williams
    •  & Eleanor Frajka-Williams
  • Article | | open

    The extent to which the onset of bioturbation affected global biogeochemistry during the Palaeozoic remains unclear. Here, the authors integrate bioturbation into the COPSE model, compare output with geochemical proxies, and suggest shallow burrowing contributed to a global low oxygen state during the early Cambrian.

    • Sebastiaan van de Velde
    • , Benjamin J. W. Mills
    • , Filip J. R. Meysman
    • , Timothy M. Lenton
    •  & Simon W. Poulton
  • Article | | open

    Ocean acidification due to the industrial era is a major marine environmental concern, yet little is known on the historical ocean pH changes prior to human influence. Here, Wu et al. show that tropical South Pacific seawater pH is linked to ENSO pacing and has recently been decreasing rapidly.

    • Henry C. Wu
    • , Delphine Dissard
    • , Eric Douville
    • , Dominique Blamart
    • , Louise Bordier
    • , Aline Tribollet
    • , Florence Le Cornec
    • , Edwige Pons-Branchu
    • , Arnaud Dapoigny
    •  & Claire E. Lazareth
  • Article | | open

    Despite advances in ENSO modeling, super El Niño events remain largely unpredictable. Hameed et al. postulate that ENSO-IOD interaction is crucial for super El Niño development and identify a self-limiting factor that constrains ENSO dynamics from generating these extreme events on their own.

    • Saji N. Hameed
    • , Dachao Jin
    •  & Vishnu Thilakan
  • Article | | open

    Despite decades of research, the sequence of events leading to the deglacial atmospheric CO2 rise remains unclear. Menviel et al. show that Southern Ocean convection driven by intensified Southern Hemisphere westerlies during Heinrich stadial 1 can explain the abrupt pCO2 rise and changes in atmosphere and ocean carbon isotopes.

    • L. Menviel
    • , P. Spence
    • , J. Yu
    • , M. A. Chamberlain
    • , R. J. Matear
    • , K. J. Meissner
    •  & M. H. England
  • Article | | open

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet sits atop an extensional rift system with volcano-like features, yet we do not know if any of these volcanoes are active, because identifying subglacial volcanism remains a challenge. Here, the authors find evidence in helium isotopes that a large volcanic heat source is emanating from beneath the fast-melting Pine Island Ice Glacier.

    • Brice Loose
    • , Alberto C. Naveira Garabato
    • , Peter Schlosser
    • , William J. Jenkins
    • , David Vaughan
    •  & Karen J. Heywood
  • Article | | open

    Extreme sea levels are a flood risk along the world’s coastlines. Here the authors carry out probabilistic projections of extreme sea levels and show that for the present century coastal flood hazards will increase significantly along most of the global coastlines.

    • Michalis I. Vousdoukas
    • , Lorenzo Mentaschi
    • , Evangelos Voukouvalas
    • , Martin Verlaan
    • , Svetlana Jevrejeva
    • , Luke P. Jackson
    •  & Luc Feyen