Mean simulated changes in the average oxygen concentration across the 100-m to 3000-m depth range for the period 2000 to 2100. Shown is the multi-model mean across all 14 models, with the dotted areas depicting areas where less than 60% of the models agree on the sign of the change. Credit: Busecke et al., 2022, Figure 4, panel a
Source: AGU Advances
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.

The future evolution of the vast expanse of low oxygen waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, the so-called Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ), has been subject of much research given its importance for marine life and global biogeochemical cycles. Busecke et al. [2022] now show, using results from an ensemble of the most recent generation of Earth System Models run under a high emission scenario, different parts of the OMZ will evolve differently over the course of this century. While for most models the core of the OMZ is simulated to contract, its outer parts might expand. This will lead to a habitat restriction for most animals and additional O2 stress to those organisms that are sensitive to low oxygen levels. The authors show that this differential behavior is largely a consequence of future changes in circulation, although changes in biological oxygen demand likely contribute to these changes as well.

Citation: Busecke, J. J. M., Resplandy, L., Ditkovsky, S. J., & John, J. G. [2022]. Diverging fates of the Pacific Ocean oxygen minimum zone and its core in a warming world. AGU Advances, 3, e2021AV000470.

—Nicolas Gruber, Editor, AGU Advances

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