It is predicted that Arctic Ocean acidity will increase during the next century as a result of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere and migration into ocean waters. This change has implications for sound transmission because low-pH seawater absorbs less sound than high-pH water. Altered pH will affect sound in the 0.3-10?kHz range if the criterion is met that absorption is the primary cause of attenuation, rather than the alternatives of loss in the ice or seabed. Recent work has exploited sound that meets the criterion, sound trapped in a Beaufort Sea duct composed of Pacific Winter Water underlying Pacific Summer Water. Arctic pH is expected to drop from 8.1 to 7.9 (approximately) over the next 30-50?yr, and effects of this chemical alteration on the intensity levels of this ducted sound, and on noise, are examined here. Sound near 900?Hz is predicted to undergo the greatest change, traveling up to 38% further. At ranges of 100-300?km, sound levels from a source in the duct may increase by 7?dB or more. Noise would also increase, but noise is ducted less efficiently, with the result that 1?kHz noise is predicted to rise approximately 0.5?dB.
Use of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for removal of salmon lice in the aquaculture industry has created concern that non-target organisms might be affected during treatment scenarios. The aim of the present study was to examine the potential for H2O2 to produce oxidative stress and reduce survival in one of the most abundant zooplankton species in Norwegian coastal areas, the copepod Calanus finmarchicus. Copepods were subjected to two 96-hr tests: (1) acute toxicity test where mortality was determined and (2) treated copepods were exposed to concentrations below the No Observed Effect Concentration (0.75 mg/L) H2O2 and analyzed for antioxidant enzyme activities, as well as levels of glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA). Compared to available and comparable LC50 values from the literature, our results suggest that C. finmarchicus is highly sensitive to H2O2. However, 96-hr exposure of C. finmarchicus to 0.75 mg H2O2/L did not significantly affect the antioxidant systems even though the concentration is just below the level where mortality is expected. Data suggest that aqueous H2O2 exposure did not cause cellular accumulation with associated oxidative stress, but rather produced acute effects on copepod surface (carapace). Further investigation is required to ensure that aqueous exposure during H2O2 treatment in salmon fish farms does not exert adverse effects on local non-target crustacean species and populations. In particular, studies on copepod developmental stages with a more permeable carapace are warranted.
Microlitter (0.5-5mm) concentrations in water column (depth range from 0 to 217.5m) of the main Baltic Proper basins are reported. In total, 95 water samples collected in 6 research cruises in 2015-2016 in the Bornholm, Gdansk, and Gotland basins were analysed. Water from 10- and 30-litre Niskin bathometers was filtered through the 174µm filters, and the filtrate was examined under optical microscope (40×). The bulk mean concentration was 0.40±0.58 items per litre, with fibres making 77% of them. Other types of particles are the paint flakes (19%) and fragments (4%); no microbeads or pellets. The highest concentrations are found in the near-bottom samples from the coastal zone (2.2-2.7 items per litre max) and from near-surface waters (0.5m) in the Bornholm basin (5 samples, 1.6-2.5 items per litre). Distribution of particles over depths, types, and geographical regions is presented.
Warming in the Arctic has been much faster than the rest of the world in both observations and model simulations, a phenomenon known as the Arctic amplification (AA) whose cause is still under debate. By analyzing data and model simulations, here we show that large AA occurs only from October to April and only over areas with significant sea-ice loss. AA largely disappears when Arctic sea ice is fixed or melts away. Periods with larger AA are associated with larger sea-ice loss, and models with bigger sea-ice loss produce larger AA. Increased outgoing longwave radiation and heat fluxes from the newly opened waters cause AA, whereas all other processes can only indirectly contribute to AA by melting sea-ice. We conclude that sea-ice loss is necessary for the existence of large AA and that models need to simulate Arctic sea ice realistically in order to correctly simulate Arctic warming under increasing CO2.
Arctic climate change from the Paleocene epoch to the present is reconstructed with the objective of assessing its recent and future impacts on the ecology of the North Atlantic. A recurring theme in Earth's paleoclimate record is the importance of the Arctic atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere in regulating global climate on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. A second recurring theme in this record is the importance of freshwater export from the Arctic in regulating global- to basin-scale ocean circulation patterns and climate. Since the 1970s, historically unprecedented changes have been observed in the Arctic as climate warming has increased precipitation, river discharge, and glacial as well as sea-ice melting. In addition, modal shifts in the atmosphere have altered Arctic Ocean circulation patterns and the export of freshwater into the North Atlantic. The combination of these processes has resulted in variable patterns of freshwater export from the Arctic Ocean and the emergence of salinity anomalies that have periodically freshened waters in the North Atlantic. Since the early 1990s, changes in Arctic Ocean circulation patterns and freshwater export have been associated with two types of ecological responses in the North Atlantic. The first of these responses has been an ongoing series of biogeographic range expansions by boreal plankton, including renewal of the trans-Arctic exchanges of Pacific species with the Atlantic. The second response was a dramatic regime shift in the shelf ecosystems of the Northwest Atlantic that occurred during the early 1990s. This regime shift resulted from freshening and stratification of the shelf waters, which in turn could be linked to changes in the abundances and seasonal cycles of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and higher trophic-level consumer populations. It is predicted that the recently observed ecological responses to Arctic climate change in the North Atlantic will continue into the near future if current trends in sea ice, freshwater export, and surface ocean salinity continue. It is more difficult to predict ecological responses to abrupt climate change in the more distant future as tipping points in the Earth's climate system are exceeded.
High levels of mercury in marine mammals threaten the health of Arctic inhabitants. Whether the Arctic Ocean (AO) is a sink or a source of atmospheric mercury is unknown. Given the paucity of observations in the Arctic, models are useful in addressing this question. GEOS-Chem and GRAHM, two complex numerical mercury models, present contrasting pictures of atmospheric mercury input to AO at 45 and 108 Mg yr(-1), respectively, and ocean evasion at 90 and 33 Mg yr(-1), respectively. We provide a comprehensive evaluation of GRAHM simulated atmospheric mercury input to AO using mercury observations in air, precipitation and snowpacks, and an analysis of the discrepancy between the two modeling estimates using observations. We discover two peaks in high-latitude summertime concentrations of atmospheric mercury. We show that the first is caused mainly by snowmelt revolatilization and the second by AO evasion of mercury. Riverine mercury export to AO is estimated at 50 Mg yr(-1) based on measured DOC export and at 15.5-31 Mg yr(-1) based on simulated mercury in meltwater. The range of simulated mercury fluxes to and from AO reflects uncertainties in modeling mercury in the Arctic; comprehensive observations in all compartments of the Arctic ecosystem are needed to close the gap.
University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, Department of Environmental Engineering, Ulmenliet 20, 21033 Hamburg, Germany; Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Health Research, School of Science & Sport, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus, Paisley PA 1 2BE, United Kingdom. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sediment cores and bottom water samples from across the Baltic Sea region were analyzed for freely dissolved concentrations (Cfree), total sediment concentrations (CT) and the dissolved aqueous fraction in water of seven indicator PCBs. Ex-situ equilibrium sampling of sediment samples was conducted with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coated glass fibers that were analyzed by automated thermal desorption GC-MS, which yielded PCB concentrations in the fiber coating (CPDMS). Measurements of CPDMS and CT were then applied to determine (i) spatially resolved freely dissolved PCB concentrations; (ii) baseline toxicity potential based on chemical activities (a); (iii) site specific mixture compositions; (iv) diffusion gradients at the sediment water interface and within the sediment cores; and (vi) site specific distribution ratios (KD). The contamination levels were low in the Gulf of Finland and moderate to elevated in the Baltic Proper, with the highest levels observed in the western Baltic Sea. The SPME method has been demonstrated to be an appropriate and sensitive tool for area surveys presenting new opportunities to study the in-situ distribution and thermodynamics of hydrophobic organic chemicals at trace levels in marine environments.
From July to August 2010, the IBRV ARAON journeyed to the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean to monitor bacterial variation in Arctic summer surface-waters, and temperature, salinity, fluorescence, and nutrient concentrations were determined during the ice-melting season. Among the measured physicochemical parameters, we observed a strong negative correlation between temperature and salinity, and consequently hypothesized that the melting ice decreased water salinity. The bacterial community compositions of 15 samples, includicng seawater, sea-ice, and melting pond water, were determined using a pyrosequencing approach and were categorized into three habitats: (1) surface seawater, (2) ice core, and (3) melting pond. Analysis of these samples indicated the presence of local bacterial communities; a deduction that was further corroborated by the discovery of seawater- and ice-specific bacterial phylotypes. In all samples, the Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria taxa composed the majority of the bacterial communities. Among these, Alphaproteobacteria was the most abundant and present in all samples, and its variation differed among the habitats studied. Linear regression analysis suggested that changes in salinity could affect the relative proportion of Alphaproteobacteria in the surface water. In addition, the species-sorting model was applied to evaluate the population dynamics and environmental heterogeneity in the bacterial communities of surface mixed layer in the Arctic Ocean during sea-ice melting.
Cites: Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Feb;68(2):505-1811823184
Cites: Nature. 2002 Dec 19-26;420(6917):806-1012490947
Cites: Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Aug;70(8):4921-915294832
Cites: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 17;103(3):626-3116407148
Cites: Science. 2006 Mar 10;311(5766):1461-416527980
Cites: Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Jul;72(7):5069-7216820507
Cites: Mol Ecol. 2007 Feb;16(4):867-8017284217
Cites: Ecology. 2007 Sep;88(9):2154-6117918394
Cites: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Dec 18;104(51):20404-918077371
Wintertime measurements near Barrow, Alaska, showed that bacteria near the surface of first-year sea ice and in overlying saline snow experience more extreme temperatures and salinities, and wider fluctuations in both parameters, than bacteria deeper in the ice. To examine impacts of such conditions on bacterial survival, two Arctic isolates with different environmental tolerances were subjected to winter-freezing conditions, with and without the presence of organic solutes involved in osmoprotection: proline, choline, or glycine betaine. Obligate psychrophile Colwellia psychrerythraea strain 34H suffered cell losses under all treatments, with maximal loss after 15-day exposure to temperatures fluctuating between -7 and -25 °C. Osmoprotectants significantly reduced the losses, implying that salinity rather than temperature extremes presents the greater stress for this organism. In contrast, psychrotolerant Psychrobacter sp. strain 7E underwent miniaturization and fragmentation under both fluctuating and stable-freezing conditions, with cell numbers increasing in most cases, implying a different survival strategy that may include enhanced dispersal. Thus, the composition and abundance of the bacterial community that survives in winter sea ice may depend on the extent to which overlying snow buffers against extreme temperature and salinity conditions and on the availability of solutes that mitigate osmotic shock, especially during melting.