Hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions in aquatic ecosystems increase in number, duration and extent due to global warming and eutrophication. Global warming will lead to degassing of oxygen, increased stratification, reduced deep-water circulation and changes in wind patterns affecting transport and mixing. Projected increases in hypoxia (e.g. doubling of “dead zones”) are accompanied by enhanced emission of greenhouse gases, losses in biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. A better understanding of global changes in oxygen depletion requires a global observation system continuously monitoring oxygen at high resolution, including assessment of the role of the seafloor in controlling the sensitivity of aquatic systems to and recovery from hypoxia. Here we propose to monitor oxygen depletion and associated processes in aquatic systems that differ in oxygen status or sensitivity towards change: open ocean, oxic with high sensitivity to global warming (Arctic), semi-enclosed with permanent anoxia (Black Sea, Baltic Sea) and seasonally or locally anoxic land-locked systems (fjords, lagoons, lakes) subject to eutrophication. We will improve the capacity to monitor oxygen depletion globally, by implementing reliable long-term sensors to different platforms for in situ monitoring; and locally by training and implementing competence around the Black Sea. Our work will contribute to GEOSS tasks in the water, climate, ecosystem and biodiversity work plans, and comply to GEOSS standards by sharing of observations and products with common standards and adaptation to user needs using a state of the art world data centre. We will connect this project to the GOOS Regional Alliances and the SCOR working group and disseminate our knowledge to local, regional and global organisations concerned with water and ecosystem health and management.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project