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Observed decreases in oxygen content of the global ocean


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Helm, KP, Bindoff, NL and Church, JA 2011 , 'Observed decreases in oxygen content of the global ocean' , Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 38, no. L23602 , pp. 1-6 , doi: 10.1029/2011GL049513.

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Comparing the high-quality oxygen climatology from
the World Ocean Circulation Experiment to earlier data we
reveal near-global decreases in oxygen levels in the upper
ocean between the 1970s and the 1990s. This globally
averaged oxygen decrease is −0.93 ± 0.23 mmol l−1, which
is equivalent to annual oxygen losses of −0.55 ± 0.13 ×
1014 mol yr−1 (100–1000 m). The strongest decreases in
oxygen occur in the mid-latitudes of both hemispheres,
near regions where there is strong water renewal and
exchange between the ocean interior and surface waters.
Approximately 15% of global oxygen decrease can be
explained by a warmer mixed-layer reducing the capacity
of water to store oxygen, while the remainder is consistent
with an overall decrease in the exchange between surface
waters and the ocean interior. Here we suggest that this
reduction in water mass renewal rates on a global scale is a
consequence of increased stratification caused by warmer
surface waters. These observations support climate model
simulations of oxygen change under global warming

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Helm, KP and Bindoff, NL and Church, JA
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
ISSN: 0094-8276
DOI / ID Number: 10.1029/2011GL049513
Additional Information:

Copyright 2011 American Geophysical Union

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