The ocean is losing its breath! New IOC-UNESCO working group tackles the issue of deoxygenation
The Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE), a new working group of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, seeks to integrate worldwide research efforts on deoxygenation – the decline in oxygen concentrations – in the open ocean and coastal areas, and study the progression and impacts of this environmental concern.
Oxygen is critical to the health of the planet. It impacts the cycles of carbon, nitrogen and other key elements, and is a fundamental requirement for marine life from the seashore to the greatest depths of the ocean.
Nevertheless, deoxygenation is worsening in the coastal and open ocean. This is mainly the result of human activities, whether through climate change (CO2-induced warming) or through increasing loads of nutrients in the water coming from industrial waste and other untreated discharges.
Through the participation of high level scientists from across the world, the Global Ocean Oxygen Network is committed to providing a global and multidisciplinary view of deoxygenation, with a focus on understanding the full scale of the problem and offering scientific advice to policy makers to counter this concerning trend. A recent GO2NE meeting at UNESCO Headquarters, 7-9 September 2016, assembled coastal and open ocean scientists, modelers, and biological, chemical and physical oceanographers.
The meeting touched on various questions related to the Network’s scientific work as well as outreach and capacity building: how to facilitate communication with other established networks and working groups, improving observations systems, identifying and filling knowledge gaps, as well as developing related capacity development activities. GO2NE is moreover preparing a summary on deoxygenation for policy makers.
A wide range of actions are planned for the upcoming years to raise awareness on current and future impacts of declining oxygen concentrations on ocean and human health. For more information please check regularly GO2NE.
Photo caption: IOC working group – Global Ocean Oxygen Network: upper row – Brad Seibel, Andreas Oschlies, Veronique Garçon, Maciej Telszewski, Karin Limburg, Nancy Rabalais, Marilaure Gregoire(co-chair), Denise Breitburg (co-chair), Lisa Levin, Ivonne Montes, Grant Pitcher, Dimitri Gutierrez, Denis Gilbert; lower row - Wajih Naqvi, Daniel Conley, Francisco Chavez, Moriaki Yasuhara, Kirsten Isensee, Gil Jacinto, (not present at the picture Michael Roman) (©Gil Jacinto).
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