In changing climate, tundra is expected to turn into shrubs and trees, diminishing reindeer pasture and increasing risks of tick-borne diseases. However, this transition may require a disturbance. Fires in Siberia are increasingly widespread. We studied wildfire dynamics and tundra–forest transition over 60 years in northwest Siberia near the Arctic Circle. Based on satellite data analysis, we found that transition occurs in 40 %–85 % of burned tundra compared to 5 %–15 % in non-disturbed areas.
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategy involving soil amendments with silicate rock dust. Over 15 years, a small silicate application led to net CDR of 8.5–11.5 t CO2/ha in an acid-rain-impacted New Hampshire forest. We accounted for the total carbon cost of treatment and compared effects with an adjacent, untreated forest. Our results suggest ERW can improve the greenhouse gas balance of similar forests in addition to mitigating acid rain effects.
Understanding controls on the persistence of organic matter in soils is essential to constrain its role in the carbon cycle. Emerging concepts suggest that the soil carbon pool is predominantly comprised of stabilized microbial residues. To test this hypothesis we isolated microbial membrane lipids from two Swiss soil profiles and measured their radiocarbon age. We find that the ages of these compounds are in the range of millenia and thus provide evidence for stabilized microbial mass in soils.
This paper examines the question of what causes the rapid spring growth of microscopic marine algae (phytoplankton) in the ice-covered ocean surrounding Antarctica. One prominent hypothesis proposes that the melting of sea ice is the primary cause, while our results suggest that this is only part of the explanation. In particular, we show that phytoplankton are able to start growing before the sea ice melts appreciably, much earlier than previously thought.
We developed a 1 km satellite-data-driven permafrost carbon model to evaluate soil respiration sensitivity to recent snow cover changes in Alaska. Results show earlier snowmelt enhances growing-season soil respiration and reduces annual carbon uptake, while early cold-season soil respiration is linked to the number of snow-free days after the land surface freezes. Our results also show nonnegligible influences of subgrid variability in surface conditions on model-simulated CO2 seasonal cycles.
The 4 per 1000 initiative aims to restore carbon storage in soils to both mitigate climate change and contribute to food security. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research conducted a study to determine the carbon storage potential in French soils and associated costs. This paper is a part of that study. It reviews recent advances concerning the mechanisms that controls C stabilization in soils. Synthetic figures integrating new concepts should be of pedagogical interest.
Lennart Thomas Bach, Allanah Joy Paul, Tim Boxhammer, Elisabeth von der Esch, Michelle Graco, Kai Georg Schulz, Eric Achterberg, Paulina Aguayo, Javier Arístegui, Patrizia Ayón, Isabel Baños, Avy Bernales, Anne Sophie Boegeholz, Francisco Chavez, Gabriela Chavez, Shao-Min Chen, Kristin Doering, Alba Filella, Martin Fischer, Patricia Grasse, Mathias Haunost, Jan Hennke, Nauzet Hernández-Hernández, Mark Hopwood, Maricarmen Igarza, Verena Kalter, Leila Kittu, Peter Kohnert, Jesus Ledesma, Christian Lieberum, Silke Lischka, Carolin Löscher, Andrea Ludwig, Ursula Mendoza, Jana Meyer, Judith Meyer, Fabrizio Minutolo, Joaquin Ortiz Cortes, Jonna Piiparinen, Claudia Sforna, Kristian Spilling, Sonia Sanchez, Carsten Spisla, Michael Sswat, Mabel Zavala Moreira, and Ulf Riebesell
The eastern boundary upwelling system off Peru is among Earth's most productive ocean ecosystems, but the factors that control its functioning are poorly constrained. Here we used mesocosms, moored ~ 6 km offshore Peru, to investigate how processes in plankton communities drive key biogeochemical processes. We show that nutrient and light co-limitation keep productivity and export at a remarkably constant level while stoichiometry changes strongly with shifts in plankton community structure.
Ensemble simulations of an Earth system model reveal that ocean acidity extremes have increased in the past few decades and are projected to increase further in terms of frequency, intensity, duration, and volume extent. The increase is not only caused by the long-term ocean acidification due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2, but also due to changes in short-term variability. The increase in ocean acidity extremes may enhance the risk of detrimental impacts on marine organisms.
Jordi Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Patrizia Ney, Oscar Hartogensis, Hugo de Boer, Kevin van Diepen, Dzhaner Emin, Geiske de Groot, Anne Klosterhalfen, Matthias Langensiepen, Maria Matveeva, Gabriela Miranda-García, Arnold F. Moene, Uwe Rascher, Thomas Röckmann, Getachew Adnew, Nicolas Brüggemann, Youri Rothfuss, and Alexander Graf
The CloudRoots field experiment has obtained an open comprehensive observational data set that includes soil, plant, and atmospheric variables to investigate the interactions between a heterogeneous land surface and its overlying atmospheric boundary layer, including the rapid perturbations of clouds in evapotranspiration. Our findings demonstrate that in order to understand and represent diurnal variability, we need to measure and model processes from the leaf to the landscape scales.
Carbon dioxide is produced by soil microbes through respiration, which is particularly fast when soils are moistened by rain. Will respiration increase with future more intense rains and longer dry spells? With a mathematical model, we show that wetter conditions increase respiration. In contrast, if rainfall totals stay the same, but rain comes all at once after long dry spells, the average respiration will not change, but the contribution of the respiration bursts after rain will increase.
Ocean acidification is the process by which the oceans are changing due to carbon dioxide emissions from human activities. Studying this process in the Arctic Ocean is essential as this ocean and its ecosystems are more vulnerable to the effects of acidification. Water chemistry measurements made in recent years show that waters in and around the Canadian Arctic Archipelago are considerably affected by this process and show dynamic conditions that might have an impact on local marine organisms.
Results of the first globally resolved simulations of terrestrial carbon and nitrogen (N) cycling and N2O emissions over the past 21 000 years are compared with reconstructed N2O emissions. Modelled and reconstructed emissions increased strongly during past abrupt warming events. This evidence appears consistent with a dynamic response of biological N fixation to increasing N demand by ecosystems, thereby reducing N limitation of plant productivity and supporting a land sink for atmospheric CO2.
Seamounts are globally abundant submarine structures that offer great potential to study the impacts and interactions of environmental gradients at a single geographic location. In an exemplary way, we describe potential mechanisms by which a seamount can affect the structure of pelagic and benthic (sponge-)associated microbial communities. We conclude that the geology, physical oceanography, biogeochemistry, and microbiology of seamounts are even more closely linked than currently appreciated.
Lester Kwiatkowski, Olivier Torres, Laurent Bopp, Olivier Aumont, Matthew Chamberlain, James R. Christian, John P. Dunne, Marion Gehlen, Tatiana Ilyina, Jasmin G. John, Andrew Lenton, Hongmei Li, Nicole S. Lovenduski, James C. Orr, Julien Palmieri, Yeray Santana-Falcón, Jörg Schwinger, Roland Séférian, Charles A. Stock, Alessandro Tagliabue, Yohei Takano, Jerry Tjiputra, Katsuya Toyama, Hiroyuki Tsujino, Michio Watanabe, Akitomo Yamamoto, Andrew Yool, and Tilo Ziehn
We assess 21st century projections of marine biogeochemistry in the CMIP6 Earth system models. These models represent the most up-to-date understanding of climate change. The models generally project greater surface ocean warming, acidification, subsurface deoxygenation, and euphotic nitrate reductions but lesser primary production declines than the previous generation of models. This has major implications for the impact of anthropogenic climate change on marine ecosystems.
Industrial-scale mining of deep-sea polymetallic nodules will remove nodules in large areas of the sea floor. We describe community composition of microbes associated with nodules of the Peru Basin. Our results show that nodules provide a unique ecological niche, playing an important role in shaping the diversity of the benthic deep-sea microbiome and potentially in element fluxes. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to expanding our knowledge of the impact associated with mining.
Andrew H. MacDougall, Thomas L. Frölicher, Chris D. Jones, Joeri Rogelj, H. Damon Matthews, Kirsten Zickfeld, Vivek K. Arora, Noah J. Barrett, Victor Brovkin, Friedrich A. Burger, Micheal Eby, Alexey V. Eliseev, Tomohiro Hajima, Philip B. Holden, Aurich Jeltsch-Thömmes, Charles Koven, Nadine Mengis, Laurie Menviel, Martine Michou, Igor I. Mokhov, Akira Oka, Jörg Schwinger, Roland Séférian, Gary Shaffer, Andrei Sokolov, Kaoru Tachiiri, Jerry Tjiputra, Andrew Wiltshire, and Tilo Ziehn
The Zero Emissions Commitment (ZEC) is the change in global temperature expected to occur following the complete cessation of CO2 emissions. Here we use 18 climate models to assess the value of ZEC. For our experiment we find that ZEC 50 years after emissions cease is between −0.36 to +0.29 °C. The most likely value of ZEC is assessed to be close to zero. However, substantial continued warming for decades or centuries following cessation of CO2 emission cannot be ruled out.
To closely monitor the state of our planet, we require systems that can monitor
the observation of many different properties at the same time. We create
indicators that resemble the behavior of many different simultaneous
observations. We apply the method to create indicators representing the
Earth's biosphere. The indicators show a productivity gradient and a water
gradient. The resulting indicators can detect a large number of changes and
extremes in the Earth system.
Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2) is supersaturated in many aquatic settings (e.g., seawater) on modern Earth but does not precipitate directly from the fluid, a fact known as the dolomite problem. The widely acknowledged concept of dolomite precipitation involves microbial extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) and anoxic conditions as important drivers. In contrast, results from Lake Neusiedl support an alternative concept of Ca–Mg carbonate precipitation under aerobic and alkaline conditions.
Martin Jung, Christopher Schwalm, Mirco Migliavacca, Sophia Walther, Gustau Camps-Valls, Sujan Koirala, Peter Anthoni, Simon Besnard, Paul Bodesheim, Nuno Carvalhais, Frédéric Chevallier, Fabian Gans, Daniel S. Goll, Vanessa Haverd, Philipp Köhler, Kazuhito Ichii, Atul K. Jain, Junzhi Liu, Danica Lombardozzi, Julia E. M. S. Nabel, Jacob A. Nelson, Michael O'Sullivan, Martijn Pallandt, Dario Papale, Wouter Peters, Julia Pongratz, Christian Rödenbeck, Stephen Sitch, Gianluca Tramontana, Anthony Walker, Ulrich Weber, and Markus Reichstein
We test the approach of producing global gridded carbon fluxes based on combining machine learning with local measurements, remote sensing and climate data. We show that we can reproduce seasonal variations in carbon assimilated by plants via photosynthesis and in ecosystem net carbon balance. The ecosystem’s mean carbon balance and carbon flux trends require cautious interpretation. The analysis paves the way for future improvements of the data-driven assessment of carbon fluxes.
Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) are ocean areas severely depleted in oxygen as a result of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Biologically, organic material is produced in the sea surface and exported to deeper waters, where it respires. In the Bay of Bengal (BoB), an OMZ is present, but there are traces of oxygen left. Our study now suggests that this is because one key process, nitrogen fixation, is absent in the BoB, thus preventing primary production and consecutive respiration.
Phytoplankton are an essential component of the marine food web and earth's carbon cycle. We use observations, ecological theory and a unique trait-based ecosystem model to explain controls on patterns of marine phytoplankton biodiversity. We find that different dimensions of diversity (size classes, biogeochemical functional groups, thermal norms) are controlled by a disparate combination of mechanisms. This may explain why previous studies of phytoplankton diversity had conflicting results.
Permafrost temperatures increased substantially at a global scale, potentially altering microbial assemblages involved in carbon mobilization before permafrost thaws. We used Arctic Shelf submarine permafrost as a natural laboratory to investigate the microbial response to long-term permafrost warming. Our work shows that millennia after permafrost warming by > 10 °C, microbial community composition and population size reflect the paleoenvironment rather than a direct effect through warming.
A combination of gas chromatography and X-ray CT reveals the microscale processes that govern soil respiration. Aerobic and anaerobic respiration in microbial hotspots depends not only on the quality and quantity of soil organic matter, but also on the spatial distribution of hotspots. Denitrification kinetics are mainly governed by hotspot architecture due to local competition for oxygen during growth. Cumulative behavior is mainly governed by water saturation due to the overall supply with O2.
Atmospheric methane has risen rapidly since 2008 and has become more depleted in 13C, in contrast to the trend towards more 13C enrichment in the late 20th century. Many have used this isotopic evidence to infer an increased biogenic source. Here I analyze the 13C trend with the consideration that methane from shale gas is somewhat depleted in 13C compared to other fossil fuels. I conclude that shale gas may be responsible for a third of the global increase from all sources.
Surface soils interact strongly with both climate and biota and provide fundamental ecosystem services. However, the quantitative linkages between soil, climate, and biota remain unclear at a global scale. By compiling a large global soil database, we mapped eight major soil properties based on machine learning algorithms and developed a global soil–climate–biome diagram. Our results suggest shifts in soil properties under global climate and land cover change.
In this article, we present the variability and characteristics of dissolved organic matter at the fluvial–marine transition in the Laptev Sea from a unique dataset collected during 11 Arctic expeditions. We develop a new relationship between dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and coloured dissolved organic matter absorption, which is used to estimate surface water DOC concentration from space. We believe that our findings help current efforts to monitor ongoing changes in the Arctic carbon cycle.
To elucidate the potential effects of crushed nodule particle deposition on abyssal meiobenthos, we covered abyssal soft sediment in the Peru Basin (4200 m depth) with approximately 2 cm of this nodule material for 11 d. About half of the meiobenthos migrated from the sediment into the added material, and nematode feeding type proportions in that added layer were altered. These results considerably contribute to our understanding of the short-term responses of deep-sea meiobenthos to burial.
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions trigger complex climate feedbacks. Output form Earth system models provides a basis for related political decision-making. One challenge is to arrive at reliable model parameter estimates for the ocean biogeochemistry module. We illustrate pitfalls through which flaws in the ocean module are masked by wrongly tuning the biogeochemistry and discuss ensuing uncertainties in climate projections.
Katja Fennel, Simone Alin, Leticia Barbero, Wiley Evans, Timothée Bourgeois, Sarah Cooley, John Dunne, Richard A. Feely, Jose Martin Hernandez-Ayon, Xinping Hu, Steven Lohrenz, Frank Muller-Karger, Raymond Najjar, Lisa Robbins, Elizabeth Shadwick, Samantha Siedlecki, Nadja Steiner, Adrienne Sutton, Daniela Turk, Penny Vlahos, and Zhaohui Aleck Wang
We review and synthesize available information on coastal ocean carbon fluxes around North America (NA). There is overwhelming evidence, compiled and discussed here, that the NA coastal margins act as a sink. Our synthesis shows the great diversity in processes driving carbon fluxes in different coastal regions, highlights remaining gaps in observations and models, and discusses current and anticipated future trends with respect to carbon fluxes and acidification.
Soil water is a medium from which microbes acquire resources and within which they are able to move. Occupancy and availability of water and oxygen gas in soils are mutually exclusive. In addition, as soil dries the remaining water is held with an increasing degree of adhesive energy, which restricts microbes' ability to extract resources from water. We introduce a mathematical model that describes these interacting effects and organic matter decomposition.
Globally, C is added to the atmosphere from fossil fuels and deforestation, balanced by ocean uptake and atmospheric increase. The difference (residual sink) is equated to plant uptake. But this omits cement carbonation; transport to oceans by dust; riverine organic C and volatile organics; and increased C in plastic, bitumen, wood, landfills, and lakes. Their inclusion reduces the residual sink from 3.6 to 2.1 GtC yr-1 and thus the inferred ability of the biosphere to alter human C emissions.
Multicellular cable bacteria form long filaments that can reach lengths of several centimeters. They affect the chemistry and mineralogy of their surroundings and vice versa. How the surroundings affect the cable bacteria is investigated. They show three different types of biomineral formation: (1) a polymer containing phosphorus in their cells, (2) a sheath of clay surrounding the surface of the filament and (3) the encrustation of a filament via a solid phase containing iron and phosphorus.
Mount Kilimanjaro is an iconic environmental asset under serious threat due to increasing human pressures and climate change constraints. We studied variations in the stable isotopic composition of carbon and nitrogen in plant, litter, and soil material sampled along a strong land-use and altitudinal gradient. Our results show that, besides management, increasing temperatures in a changing climate may promote carbon and nitrogen losses, thus altering the stability of Kilimanjaro ecosystems.
Benjamin Gaubert, Britton B. Stephens, Sourish Basu, Frédéric Chevallier, Feng Deng, Eric A. Kort, Prabir K. Patra, Wouter Peters, Christian Rödenbeck, Tazu Saeki, David Schimel, Ingrid Van der Laan-Luijkx, Steven Wofsy, and Yi Yin
We have compared global carbon budgets calculated from numerical inverse models and CO2 observations, and evaluated how these systems reproduce vertical gradients in atmospheric CO2 from aircraft measurements. We found that available models have converged on near-neutral tropical total fluxes for several decades, implying consistent sinks in intact tropical forests, and that assumed fossil fuel emissions and predicted atmospheric growth rates are now the dominant axes of disagreement.
The carbon cycle is a key control for the Earth's climate. Every year rivers deliver a lot of organic carbon to coastal seas, but we do not know what happens to this carbon, particularly in the tropics. We show that rivers in Borneo deliver carbon from peat swamps to the sea with at most minimal biological or chemical alteration in estuaries, but sunlight can rapidly oxidise this carbon to CO2. This means that south-east Asian seas are likely hotspots of terrestrial carbon decomposition.
Xi Wen, Viktoria Unger, Gerald Jurasinski, Franziska Koebsch, Fabian Horn, Gregor Rehder, Torsten Sachs, Dominik Zak, Gunnar Lischeid, Klaus-Holger Knorr, Michael E. Böttcher, Matthias Winkel, Paul L. E. Bodelier, and Susanne Liebner
Rewetting drained peatlands may lead to prolonged emission of the greenhouse gas methane, but the underlying factors are not well described. In this study, we found two rewetted fens with known high methane fluxes had a high ratio of microbial methane producers to methane consumers and a low abundance of methane consumers compared to pristine wetlands. We therefore suggest abundances of methane-cycling microbes as potential indicators for prolonged high methane emissions in rewetted peatlands.
Northern forests enhanced their productivity during and before the 2010 Russian mega heatwave. We scrutinize this issue with a novel type of multivariate extreme event detection approach. Forests compensate for 54 % of the carbon losses in agricultural ecosystems due to vulnerable conditions in spring and better water management in summer. The findings highlight the importance of forests in mitigating climate change, while not alleviating the consequences of extreme events for food security.
Stefano Manzoni, Petr Čapek, Philipp Porada, Martin Thurner, Mattias Winterdahl, Christian Beer, Volker Brüchert, Jan Frouz, Anke M. Herrmann, Björn D. Lindahl, Steve W. Lyon, Hana Šantrůčková, Giulia Vico, and Danielle Way
Carbon fixed by plants and phytoplankton through photosynthesis is ultimately stored in soils and sediments or released to the atmosphere during decomposition of dead biomass. Carbon-use efficiency is a useful metric to quantify the fate of carbon – higher efficiency means higher storage and lower release to the atmosphere. Here we summarize many definitions of carbon-use efficiency and study how this metric changes from organisms to ecosystems and from terrestrial to aquatic environments.
Audrey Lallement, Ludovic Besaury, Elise Tixier, Martine Sancelme, Pierre Amato, Virginie Vinatier, Isabelle Canet, Olga V. Polyakova, Viatcheslay B. Artaev, Albert T. Lebedev, Laurent Deguillaume, Gilles Mailhot, and Anne-Marie Delort
The main objective of this work was to evaluate the potential degradation of phenol, a highly toxic pollutant, by cloud microorganisms. Phenol concentrations measured on five cloud samples collected at the PUY station in France were from 0.15 to 0.74 µg L−1. Metatranscriptomic analysis suggested that phenol could be biodegraded directly in clouds, likely by Gammaproteobacteria. A large screening showed that 93 % of 145 bacterial strains isolated from clouds were able to degrade phenol.
The investigation of water mass transport pathways and timescales is important to understand the global ocean circulation. Following earlier studies, we use artificial radionuclides introduced to the oceans in the 1950s to investigate the water transport in the subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA). For the first time, we combine measurements of the long-lived iodine-129 and uranium-236 to confirm earlier findings/hypotheses and to better understand shallow and deep ventilation processes in the SPNA.
It is of great interest to know whether croplands act as a net source or sink of atmospheric CO2 and if soil carbon (C) stocks are preserved over long timescales due to the role of C in soil fertility. For a cropland in Switzerland it was found that managing the field under the Swiss framework of the Proof of Ecological Performance (PEP) resulted in soil C losses of 18.0 %. Additional efforts are needed to bring Swiss management practices closer to the goal of preserving soil C in the long term.
Cheryl M. Zurbrick, Edward A. Boyle, Richard J. Kayser, Matthew K. Reuer, Jingfeng Wu, Hélène Planquette, Rachel Shelley, Julia Boutorh, Marie Cheize, Leonardo Contreira, Jan-Lukas Menzel Barraqueta, François Lacan, and Géraldine Sarthou
During a French cruise in the northern North Atlantic Ocean in 2014, seawater samples were collected for dissolved Pb and Pb isotope analysis. Lead concentrations were highest in subsurface water flowing out of the Mediterranean Sea. The recently formed Labrador Sea Water (LSW) is much lower in Pb concentration than older LSW found in the West European Basin. Comparison of North Atlantic data from 1981 to 2014 shows decreasing Pb concentrations down to ~ 2500 m depth.
Daniel D. Richter, Sharon A. Billings, Peter M. Groffman, Eugene F. Kelly, Kathleen A. Lohse, William H. McDowell, Timothy S. White, Suzanne Anderson, Dennis D. Baldocchi, Steve Banwart, Susan Brantley, Jean J. Braun, Zachary S. Brecheisen, Charles W. Cook, Hilairy E. Hartnett, Sarah E. Hobbie, Jerome Gaillardet, Esteban Jobbagy, Hermann F. Jungkunst, Clare E. Kazanski, Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Daniel Markewitz, Katherine O'Neill, Clifford S. Riebe, Paul Schroeder, Christina Siebe, Whendee L. Silver, Aaron Thompson, Anne Verhoef, and Ganlin Zhang
As knowledge in biology and geology explodes, science becomes increasingly specialized. Given the overlap of the environmental sciences, however, the explosion in knowledge inevitably creates opportunities for interconnecting the biogeosciences. Here, 30 scientists emphasize the opportunities for biogeoscience collaborations across the world’s remarkable long-term environmental research networks that can advance science and engage larger scientific and public audiences.
Mary E. Whelan, Sinikka T. Lennartz, Teresa E. Gimeno, Richard Wehr, Georg Wohlfahrt, Yuting Wang, Linda M. J. Kooijmans, Timothy W. Hilton, Sauveur Belviso, Philippe Peylin, Róisín Commane, Wu Sun, Huilin Chen, Le Kuai, Ivan Mammarella, Kadmiel Maseyk, Max Berkelhammer, King-Fai Li, Dan Yakir, Andrew Zumkehr, Yoko Katayama, Jérôme Ogée, Felix M. Spielmann, Florian Kitz, Bharat Rastogi, Jürgen Kesselmeier, Julia Marshall, Kukka-Maaria Erkkilä, Lisa Wingate, Laura K. Meredith, Wei He, Rüdiger Bunk, Thomas Launois, Timo Vesala, Johan A. Schmidt, Cédric G. Fichot, Ulli Seibt, Scott Saleska, Eric S. Saltzman, Stephen A. Montzka, Joseph A. Berry, and J. Elliott Campbell
Measurements of the trace gas carbonyl sulfide (OCS) are helpful in quantifying photosynthesis at previously unknowable temporal and spatial scales. While CO2 is both consumed and produced within ecosystems, OCS is mostly produced in the oceans or from specific industries, and destroyed in plant leaves in proportion to CO2. This review summarizes the advancements we have made in the understanding of OCS exchange and applications to vital ecosystem water and carbon cycle questions.
The temperature sensitivity of soil carbon loss is a critical parameter for projecting future CO2. Isolating soil temperature response in the field is challenging due to difficulties isolating root and microbial respiration. We use a database of direct-warming soil carbon changes to generate a new global temperature sensitivity. Incorporating this into Earth system models reduces projected soil carbon. But it also shows that variation due to this parameter is as high as all other causes.
The Southern Ocean accounts for a large portion of the variability in oceanic CO2 uptake. However, the drivers of these changes are not understood due to a lack of observations. In this study, we used an ensemble of gap-filling methods to estimate surface CO2. We found that winter was a more important driver of longer-term variability driven by changes in wind stress. Summer variability of CO2 was driven primarily by increases in primary production.
Daniel Cossa, Lars-Eric Heimbürger, Fiz F. Pérez, Maribel I. García-Ibáñez, Jeroen E. Sonke, Hélène Planquette, Pascale Lherminier, Julia Boutorh, Marie Cheize, Jan Lukas Menzel Barraqueta, Rachel Shelley, and Géraldine Sarthou
We first report the mercury distribution in the water section across the subpolar and subtropical gyres of the North Atlantic Ocean (GEOTRACES-GA01 transect). It allows the characterisation of various seawater types in terms of mercury content and the quantification of mercury transport associated with the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. It shows the nutrient-like biogeochemical behaviour of mercury in this ocean.
The origin of organic matter in the oldest rocks on Earth is commonly ambiguous (biotic vs. abiotic). This problem culminates in the case of hydrothermal chert veins that contain abundant organic matter. Here we demonstrate a microbial origin of kerogen embedded in a 3.5 Gyr old hydrothermal chert vein. We explain this finding with the large-scale redistribution of biomass by hydrothermal fluids, emphasizing the interplay between biological and abiological processes on the early Earth.
Using satellite technology and a life-size experiment, we analysed the impact of oyster reefs on mats of microscopic algae that develop within coastal mudflats. We showed that the relationship between microalgae and oysters is not limited to a one-way process where microalgae are a food source to oysters, but that oysters also promote microalgae mats development, presumably by providing nutrients to them. This might yield new insights into coastal ecosystem management.
This study provides a demonstration that a biogeochemical/ecosystem/optical computer model which explicitly captures how light is radiated at the surface of the ocean and can be used as a laboratory to explore products (such as Chl a) that are derived from satellite measurements of ocean colour. It explores uncertainties that arise from data input used to derive the algorithms for the products, and issues arising from the interplay between optically important constituents in the ocean.
Organic carbon processing at the seafloor is studied by geologists to better understand the sedimentary record, by biogeochemists to quantify burial and respiration, by organic geochemists to elucidate compositional changes, and by ecologists to follow carbon transfers within food webs. These disciplinary approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. This award talk provides a synthesis, highlights the role of animals in sediment carbon processing and presents some new concepts.
We use the aquatic eddy covariance technique – developed first for benthic O2 flux measurements – right below the air–water interface (~ 4 cm) to determine gas exchange rates and coefficients. This use of the technique is particularly useful in studies of gas exchange and its dynamics and controls. The approach can thus help reduce the recognized problem of large uncertainties linked to gas exchange estimates in traditional aquatic ecosystem studies.
Susan L. Brantley, David M. Eissenstat, Jill A. Marshall, Sarah E. Godsey, Zsuzsanna Balogh-Brunstad, Diana L. Karwan, Shirley A. Papuga, Joshua Roering, Todd E. Dawson, Jaivime Evaristo, Oliver Chadwick, Jeffrey J. McDonnell, and Kathleen C. Weathers
This review represents the outcome from an invigorating workshop discussion that involved tree physiologists, geomorphologists, ecologists, geochemists, and hydrologists and developed nine hypotheses that could be tested. We argue these hypotheses point to the essence of issues we must explore if we are to understand how the natural system of the earth surface evolves, and how humans will affect its evolution. This paper will create discussion and interest both before and after publication.
Many climate change mitigation scenarios require negative emissions from land management. However, environmental side effects are often not considered. Here, we use projections of future land use from two land-use models as input to a vegetation model. We show that carbon removal via bioenergy production or forest maintenance and expansion affect a range of ecosystem functions. Largest impacts are found for crop production, nitrogen losses, and emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds.
This investigation characterizes the variability of pathways involved in N loss in the water column over the continental shelf off central Chile during the development of the upwelling season. Our results highlight the links between several pathways involved in N removal, and considering the extreme variation in oxygen observed could help to understand the ecological and biogeochemical implications due to global warming when intensification and/or expansion of the oceanic OMZs are projected.
This paper briefly reviews data assimilation techniques in carbon cycle data assimilation and the requirements of data assimilation systems on observations. We provide a non-exhaustive overview of current observations and their uncertainties for use in terrestrial carbon cycle data assimilation, focussing on relevant space-based observations.
We find that a big portion of the phytoplankton, zooplankton, and detrital organic matter produced near the northern African coast is laterally transported towards the open North Atlantic. This offshore flux sustains a relevant part of the biological activity in the open sea and reaches as far as the middle of the North Atlantic. Our results, obtained with a state-of-the-art model, highlight the fundamental role of the narrow but productive coastal ocean in sustaining global marine life.
We report regional-scale erosion of coral reef ecosystems in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific oceans determined by measuring changes in seafloor elevation. The magnitude of seafloor elevation loss has increased local sea level rise, causing water depths not predicted until near 2100, placing coastal communities at elevated and accelerating risk from hazards such as waves, storms, and tsunamis. Our results have broad implications for coastal resource and safety management.
We ran a global ocean model to understand manganese (Mn), a biologically essential element. Our model shows that (i) in the deep ocean, dissolved [Mn] is mostly homogeneous ~0.10—0.15 nM. The model reproduces this with a threshold on MnO2 of 25 pM, suggesting a minimal particle concentration is needed before aggregation and removal become efficient.
(ii) The observed distinct hydrothermal signals are produced by assuming both a strong source and a strong removal of Mn near hydrothermal vents.
The results of this study on the organic carbon (OC) stocks of tidal marshes show that variations in OC stocks along estuaries are important and should be taken into account to make accurate estimates of the total amount of OC stored in these ecosystems. Moreover, our results clearly show that most studies underestimate the variation in OC stocks along estuaries due to a shallow sampling depth, neglecting the variation in OC decomposition after burial along estuaries.
Emlyn M. Jones, Mark E. Baird, Mathieu Mongin, John Parslow, Jenny Skerratt, Jenny Lovell, Nugzar Margvelashvili, Richard J. Matear, Karen Wild-Allen, Barbara Robson, Farhan Rizwi, Peter Oke, Edward King, Thomas Schroeder, Andy Steven, and John Taylor
Marine biogeochemical models are often used to understand water quality, nutrient and blue-carbon dynamics at scales that range from estuaries and bays, through to the global ocean. We introduce a new methodology allowing for the assimilation of observed remote sensing reflectances, avoiding the need to use empirically derived chlorophyll-a concentrations. This method opens up the possibility to assimilate of reflectances from a variety of missions and potentially non-satellite platforms.
Kristian Spilling, Kai G. Schulz, Allanah J. Paul, Tim Boxhammer, Eric P. Achterberg, Thomas Hornick, Silke Lischka, Annegret Stuhr, Rafael Bermúdez, Jan Czerny, Kate Crawfurd, Corina P. D. Brussaard, Hans-Peter Grossart, and Ulf Riebesell
We performed an experiment in the Baltic Sea in order to investigate the consequences of the increasing CO2 levels on biological processes in the free water mass. There was more accumulation of organic carbon at high CO2 levels. Surprisingly, this was caused by reduced loss processes (respiration and bacterial production) in a high-CO2 environment, and not by increased photosynthetic fixation of CO2. Our carbon budget can be used to better disentangle the effects of ocean acidification.
Adrienne J. Sutton, Christopher L. Sabine, Richard A. Feely, Wei-Jun Cai, Meghan F. Cronin, Michael J. McPhaden, Julio M. Morell, Jan A. Newton, Jae-Hoon Noh, Sólveig R. Ólafsdóttir, Joseph E. Salisbury, Uwe Send, Douglas C. Vandemark, and Robert A. Weller
Ocean carbonate observations from surface buoys reveal that marine life is currently exposed to conditions outside preindustrial bounds at 12 study locations around the world. Seasonal conditions in the California Current Ecosystem and Gulf of Maine also exceed thresholds that may impact shellfish larvae. High-resolution observations place long-term change in the context of large natural variability: a necessary step to understand ocean acidification impacts under real-world conditions.
We investigated the bloom onset in the Nordic Seas using 6 bio-optical floats. We found that the float data are consistent with two possible scenarios for the onset of blooms in the Nordic Seas. The Nordic Seas blooms could have started either when the light became sufficiently abundant that the division rates exceeded the loss rates, or when the photoperiod, the number of daily light hours experienced by phytoplankton, exceeded a critical value.
Future increases are predicted in the amount of nitrogen produced as manure or used as synthetic fertilizer in agriculture. However, the impact of climate on the subsequent fate of this nitrogen has not been evaluated. Here we describe, analyze and evaluate the FAN (flows of agricultural nitrogen) process model that simulates the the climate-dependent flows of nitrogen from agriculture. The FAN model is suitable for use within a global terrestrial climate model.
We simulated both fire pulses and stable fire regimes and found the resulting climatic impacts to be irreconcilable with equivalent amounts of CO2 emissions produced by fossil fuel combustion. Consequently, side-by-side comparisons of fire and fossil fuel CO2 emissions—implicitly implying that they have similar effects—should be avoided. Our study calls for the explicit representation of fire in climate models in order to improve our understanding of its impacts in the Earth system.
Drifting sediment traps were deployed in the oxygen-deficient waters of the Arabian Sea, where the sinking flux is less attenuated than in more oxic waters. Six mechanisms that might explain this "enhanced flux" were evaluated using literature and data. In the upper 500 m, evidence was found supporting an oxygen effect and/or changes in the efficiency of the microbial loop, including the addition of chemoautotrophic carbon to the sinking flux.
We investigate the properties of soils and sediments in a particular and ancient Siberian permafrost landscape. We critically examine statements from a recent study that specific permafrost landforms affected by thawed permafrost (alases) in this region contain very large quantities of peat that previous studies had failed to include because of data set biases. We conclude that there is no evidence to suggest biases in existing data sets or that alas deposits increase the northern peatland pool.
We present stable isotope proxy data and calcification records from fossil reef corals. The corals investigated derive from the Florida carbonate platform and are of middle Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. From the data we infer an environment subject to intermittent upwelling on annual to decadal timescales. Calcification rates were enhanced during periods of upwelling. This is likely an effect of dampened SSTs during the upwelling.
In this study, we combine phytoplankton pigment data with particulate inorganic carbon and chlorophyll measurements from the satellite record to assess recent trends in phytoplankton dynamics in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, with a focus on coccolithophores. We show that coccolithophores in the North Atlantic have been increasing in abundance. Correlations suggest that they are responding positively to increasing inorganic carbon from anthropogenic inputs in the upper mixed layer.
Our interdisciplinary research brings together methodologies from hydrology, soil science and biogeochemistry to address key questions about the transport of cattle slurry in the environment. The paper provides a novel approach to trace dissolved and particulate components of cattle slurry through an experimental hillslope system. This work provides one of the first examples of using biomarkers to assess the effects of slope gradient and rainfall intensity on the movement of slurry derived-OM.
The waters of the tropical Atlantic Open Ocean usually contain comparably high concentrations of oxygen. Now, it became clear that there are watermasses related to eddies that are nearly anoxic. We surveyed one of those eddies and found a biosphere that largely differed from the usual biosphere present in this area with a specific community responsible for primary production and for degradation processes. Further, we found the very first indication for active nitrogen loss in the open Atlantic.
C. Rödenbeck, D. C. E. Bakker, N. Gruber, Y. Iida, A. R. Jacobson, S. Jones, P. Landschützer, N. Metzl, S. Nakaoka, A. Olsen, G.-H. Park, P. Peylin, K. B. Rodgers, T. P. Sasse, U. Schuster, J. D. Shutler, V. Valsala, R. Wanninkhof, and J. Zeng
This study investigates variations in the CO2 uptake of the ocean from year to year. These variations have been calculated from measurements of the surface-ocean carbon content by various different interpolation methods. The equatorial Pacific is estimated to be the region with the strongest year-to-year variations, tied to the El Nino phase. The global ocean CO2 uptake gradually increased from about the year 2000. The comparison of the interpolation methods identifies these findings as robust.
J. E. Vonk, S. E. Tank, W. B. Bowden, I. Laurion, W. F. Vincent, P. Alekseychik, M. Amyot, M. F. Billet, J. Canário, R. M. Cory, B. N. Deshpande, M. Helbig, M. Jammet, J. Karlsson, J. Larouche, G. MacMillan, M. Rautio, K. M. Walter Anthony, and K. P. Wickland
In this review, we give an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects aquatic systems. We describe the general impacts of thaw on aquatic ecosystems, pathways of organic matter and contaminant release and degradation, resulting emissions and burial, and effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. We conclude with an overview of potential climate effects and recommendations for future research.
We found that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in arctic soils and aquatic systems is increasingly degradable with increasing permafrost extent. Also, DOC seems less degradable when moving down the fluvial network in continuous permafrost regions, i.e. from streams to large rivers, suggesting that highly bioavailable DOC is lost in headwater streams. We also recommend a standardized DOC incubation protocol to facilitate future comparison on processing and transport of DOC in a changing Arctic.
We investigated the ability of cold-water corals to deal with changes in ocean pH. We uniquely combined morphological assessment with boron isotope analysis to determine if changes in growth are related to changes in control of calcification pH. We found that the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa can maintain the skeletal morphology, growth patterns as well as internal calcification pH. This has important implications for their future occurrence and explains their cosmopolitan distribution.
We investigated an unusual ice type, called hair ice. It grows on the surface of dead wood of broad-leaf trees at temperatures slightly below 0°C. We describe this phenomenon and present our biological, physical, and chemical investigations to gain insight in the properties and processes related to hair ice: we found, that a winter-acive fungus in the wood is required. Ice segregation is the common mechanism. Chemical analyses show a complex mixture of several thousand lignin/tannin compounds.
Eleven years (2003-2013) of satellite data were processed to observe the variations in suspended particulate matter concentrations at the mouth of the Mackenzie River and estimate the fluxes exported into the Canadian Arctic Ocean.
Results show that these concentrations at the river mouth, in the delta zone and in the river plume have increased by 46%, 71% and 33%, respectively, since 2003. This corresponds to a more than 50% increase in particulate export from the river into the Beaufort Sea.
A large initial-condition ensemble suite of simulations with an Earth system model is applied to evaluate emergence characteristics of four ocean ecosystem drivers under climate change. The drivers considered are warming, acidification, deoxygenation, and perturbations to biological productivity. The spatial and temporal hierarchies of the emergence of these drivers are considered, using concepts of both time of emergence (ToE) and confidence intervals.
We investigated the origin and mechanisms of the natural iron fertilization that sustains a phytoplankton bloom downstream of the Kerguelen Islands. We used radium isotopes to trace the fate of shelf waters that may transport iron and other micronutrients towards offshore waters. We show that shelf waters are rapidly transferred offshore and may be transported across the polar front (PF). The PF may thus not be a strong physical barrier for chemical elements released by the shelf sediments.
Production of calcium carbonate by coral reefs is important in the global carbon cycle. Using a global framework we evaluate four models of reef calcification against observed values. The temperature-only model showed significant skill in reproducing coral calcification rates. The absence of any predictive power for whole reef systems highlights the importance of coral cover and the need for an ecosystem modelling approach accounting for population dynamics in terms of mortality and recruitment.
This paper introduces a novel rainfall reduction experiment to investigate drought effects on soil-forest-understory-ecosystems. An annual drought with a return period of 40 years was imposed, while other ecosystem variables (humidity, air & soil temperature) remained unaffected. The first year of drought showed considerable changes in soil moisture dynamics, which affected leaf stomatal conductance of understory species as well as evapotranspiration rates of the forest understory ecosystem.
Different observational-based estimates of CO2 uptake and resulting
acidification of the Mediterranean Sea vary widely. A new study finds
that even the smallest of those are an upper limit because the approach
used assumes air-sea CO2 equilibrium. Then with a lower limit from new
fine-scale numerical model simulations, the authors bracket
Mediterranean Sea CO2 uptake and acidification rates. They conclude that
its rate of surface acidifcation is much like that for typical ocean
This article describes a low-cost, easily set-up ocean acidification simulation system that reliably mimics the effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide on seawater chemistry. The accessible design of this system, along with our suggestions for the validation of pH control and characterisation of seawater chemistry, will enable researchers on a limited budget to generate high-quality, repeatable data documenting the response of marine organisms to ocean acidification.
We examine and discuss the portion of ocean alkalinity that varies in response to carbonate cycling and riverine alkalinity inputs using a new tracer, Alk*. We use this tracer to quantify the controls on marine carbonate saturation: at depth, we find carbonate cycling to be a minor control relative to organic matter cycling and pressure changes. In well-equilibrated surface water, we find carbonate cycling to be less important than temperature changes and freshwater cycling.
G. Hugelius, J. Strauss, S. Zubrzycki, J. W. Harden, E. A. G. Schuur, C.-L. Ping, L. Schirrmeister, G. Grosse, G. J. Michaelson, C. D. Koven, J. A. O'Donnell, B. Elberling, U. Mishra, P. Camill, Z. Yu, J. Palmtag, and P. Kuhry
This study provides an updated estimate of organic carbon stored in the northern permafrost region. The study includes estimates for carbon in soils (0 to 3 m depth) and deeper sediments in river deltas and the Yedoma region. We find that field data is still scarce from many regions. Total estimated carbon storage is ~1300 Pg with an uncertainty range of between 1100 and 1500 Pg. Around 800 Pg carbon is perennially frozen, equivalent to all carbon dioxide currently in the Earth's atmosphere.
A time series of nine oceanic parameters from the coastal time series station Boknis Eck (BE, southwestern Baltic Sea) in the period of 1957-2013 is analysed with respect to seasonal cycles and long-term trends. Most striking was a paradoxical decreasing trend in oxygen with a simultaneous decline in eutrophication. Possible reasons for this paradox, e.g. processes related to warming temperatures such as increased decomposition of organic matter or altered ventilation, are discussed.
G. E. Hofmann, T. G. Evans, M. W. Kelly, J. L. Padilla-Gamiño, C. A. Blanchette, L. Washburn, F. Chan, M. A. McManus, B. A. Menge, B. Gaylord, T. M. Hill, E. Sanford, M. LaVigne, J. M. Rose, L. Kapsenberg, and J. M. Dutton
R. M. Rees, J. Augustin, G. Alberti, B. C. Ball, P. Boeckx, A. Cantarel, S. Castaldi, N. Chirinda, B. Chojnicki, M. Giebels, H. Gordon, B. Grosz, L. Horvath, R. Juszczak, Å. Kasimir Klemedtsson, L. Klemedtsson, S. Medinets, A. Machon, F. Mapanda, J. Nyamangara, J. E. Olesen, D. S. Reay, L. Sanchez, A. Sanz Cobena, K. A. Smith, A. Sowerby, M. Sommer, J. F. Soussana, M. Stenberg, C. F. E. Topp, O. van Cleemput, A. Vallejo, C. A. Watson, and M. Wuta
H. J. M. van Grinsven, H. F. M. ten Berge, T. Dalgaard, B. Fraters, P. Durand, A. Hart, G. Hofman, B. H. Jacobsen, S. T. J. Lalor, J. P. Lesschen, B. Osterburg, K. G. Richards, A.-K. Techen, F. Vertès, J. Webb, and W. J. Willems
S. L. Piao, A. Ito, S. G. Li, Y. Huang, P. Ciais, X. H. Wang, S. S. Peng, H. J. Nan, C. Zhao, A. Ahlström, R. J. Andres, F. Chevallier, J. Y. Fang, J. Hartmann, C. Huntingford, S. Jeong, S. Levis, P. E. Levy, J. S. Li, M. R. Lomas, J. F. Mao, E. Mayorga, A. Mohammat, H. Muraoka, C. H. Peng, P. Peylin, B. Poulter, Z. H. Shen, X. Shi, S. Sitch, S. Tao, H. Q. Tian, X. P. Wu, M. Xu, G. R. Yu, N. Viovy, S. Zaehle, N. Zeng, and B. Zhu
T. R. Feldpausch, J. Lloyd, S. L. Lewis, R. J. W. Brienen, M. Gloor, A. Monteagudo Mendoza, G. Lopez-Gonzalez, L. Banin, K. Abu Salim, K. Affum-Baffoe, M. Alexiades, S. Almeida, I. Amaral, A. Andrade, L. E. O. C. Aragão, A. Araujo Murakami, E. J. M. M. Arets, L. Arroyo, G. A. Aymard C., T. R. Baker, O. S. Bánki, N. J. Berry, N. Cardozo, J. Chave, J. A. Comiskey, E. Alvarez, A. de Oliveira, A. Di Fiore, G. Djagbletey, T. F. Domingues, T. L. Erwin, P. M. Fearnside, M. B. França, M. A. Freitas, N. Higuchi, E. Honorio C., Y. Iida, E. Jiménez, A. R. Kassim, T. J. Killeen, W. F. Laurance, J. C. Lovett, Y. Malhi, B. S. Marimon, B. H. Marimon-Junior, E. Lenza, A. R. Marshall, C. Mendoza, D. J. Metcalfe, E. T. A. Mitchard, D. A. Neill, B. W. Nelson, R. Nilus, E. M. Nogueira, A. Parada, K. S.-H. Peh, A. Pena Cruz, M. C. Peñuela, N. C. A. Pitman, A. Prieto, C. A. Quesada, F. Ramírez, H. Ramírez-Angulo, J. M. Reitsma, A. Rudas, G. Saiz, R. P. Salomão, M. Schwarz, N. Silva, J. E. Silva-Espejo, M. Silveira, B. Sonké, J. Stropp, H. E. Taedoumg, S. Tan, H. ter Steege, J. Terborgh, M. Torello-Raventos, G. M. F. van der Heijden, R. Vásquez, E. Vilanova, V. A. Vos, L. White, S. Willcock, H. Woell, and O. L. Phillips