News & Events

Monday Seminar: Losing breath: The future of ocean oxygen

Monday, November 27, 2017, 12:15PM - 1:15PM


Matthew Long



SEEC room S228 (Sievers room)

4001 Discovery Drive, Boulder

The loss of oxygen from the ocean, termed deoxygenation, is a consequence of climate warming. As the ocean warms, it loses oxygen due to the direct effect of temperature on gas solubility: warmer waters hold less oxygen. Additionally, reductions in vertical mixing associated with enhanced upper-ocean buoyancy stratification cause respiration-driven oxygen depletion at depth. The ocean as a whole is expected to lose about 3–4% of its oxygen inventory by the year 2100 under a “business-as-usual” scenario (RCP8.5) with most of this loss concentrated in the upper 1000 m where species richness and abundance is highest. In this talk, I examine the mechanisms driving dissolved oxygen variability in the present climate and present an analysis of future projections using Earth system models. I will examine the uncertainty in these projections and discuss implications for marine ecosystems.


Free and open to the public.