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HYPOX - In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and land-locked water bodies

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Summary information

Funding:FP7 - Collaborative Research Project – Small or Mediumscale Focused Research
Total cost:4670000
Ec contribution:3500000
Start date:2009-04-01
End date:2012-03-31
Duration:36 months
Coordinator:Antje Boetius (
Organisation:Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology – Germany
Themes: Oxygen depletion; eutrophication; temperature changes; stratification; deep-water circulation changes; biological impacts; ecosystem functions and services; socio-economic consequences
Regio:Mediterranean Sea; North Atlantic; Baltic Sea; Arctic; Black Sea
Keywords:Monitoring; observatory, oxygen depletion; hypoxia causes and consequences, aquatic ecosystems; open and coastal seas, land-locked water bodies, eutrophication; climate change; global warming; degassing of oxygen; stratification; deep-water circulation; changes in wind patterns; biodiversity; biogeochemistry, modeling and assimilation, ecosystem functions and services
Project name:HYPOX - In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and land-locked water bodies
Project summary: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. exponential growth 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. HYPOX aims 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.

HYPOX improves 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.

HYPOX contributes to GEOSS tasks in the water, climate, ecosystem and biodiversity work plans, and complies 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. HYPOX is connected to the GOOS Regional Alliances and the SCOR working group and disseminates knowledge to local, regional and global organisations concerned with water and ecosystem health and management.