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Centennial changes in North Pacific anoxia linked to tropical trade winds
Deutsch, C.; Berelson, W.; Thunell, R.; Weber, T.; Tems, C.; McManus, J.; Crusius, J.; Ito, T.; Baumgartner, T.; Ferreira, V.; Mey, J.; van Geen, A. (2014). Centennial changes in North Pacific anoxia linked to tropical trade winds. Science (Wash.) 345(6197): 665-668. 10.1126/science.1252332
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Deutsch, C.
  • Berelson, W.
  • Thunell, R.
  • Weber, T.
  • Tems, C.
  • McManus, J.
  • Crusius, J.
  • Ito, T.
  • Baumgartner, T.
  • Ferreira, V.
  • Mey, J.
  • van Geen, A.

    Climate warming is expected to reduce oxygen (O2) supply to the ocean and expand its oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). We reconstructed variations in the extent of North Pacific anoxia since 1850 using a geochemical proxy for denitrification (d15N) from multiple sediment cores. Increasing d15N since ~1990 records an expansion of anoxia, consistent with observed O2 trends. However, this was preceded by a longer declining d15N trend that implies that the anoxic zone was shrinking for most of the 20th century. Both periods can be explained by changes in winds over the tropical Pacific that drive upwelling, biological productivity, and O2 demand within the OMZ. If equatorial Pacific winds resume their predicted weakening trend, the ocean’s largest anoxic zone will contract despite a global O2 decline.

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