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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-76
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-76
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  30 Mar 2020

30 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal BG and is expected to appear here in due course.

Climate change induced a new intermittent regime of convective ventilation that threatens the Black Sea oxygenation status

Arthur Capet, Luc Vandenbulcke, and Marilaure Grégoire Arthur Capet et al.
  • MAST, FOCUS, University of Liège, Belgium

Abstract. The Black Sea is entirely anoxic, except for a thin (∼ 100 m) ventilated surface layer. Since 1955, the oxygen content of this upper layer has decreased by 44 %. The reasons hypothesized for this decrease are, first, a period of eutrophication from mid 70's to early 90's and, second, a reduction in the ventilation processes, suspected for the recent years. Here we show that the Black Sea convective ventilation regime has been drastically altered by atmospheric warming during the last decade. Since 2008, the prevailing regime is below the range of variability recorded since 1955, and is characterized by consecutive years during which the renewal of intermediate waters does not occur. Oxygen records from the last decade indicate a clear relationship between cold water formation events and oxygenation status at different pycnal levels, suggesting a leading role of convective ventilation in the oxygen budget of the upper intermediate layers. We thus suggest that this regime shift has a significant impact on the oxygenation structure of the Black Sea and on its biogeochemical balance.

Arthur Capet et al.

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Arthur Capet et al.

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Black Sea cold intermediate layer cold content from in-situ and modelling sources (1955–2019) A. Capet, L. Vandenbulcke, and M. Grégoire https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3691960

Arthur Capet et al.

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Latest update: 23 Nov 2020
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Short summary
The Black Sea is 2000 m deep but, due to the specificity of its ventilation regime, only the upper 100 m contain enough oxygen to support marine life such as fishes or cetaceans. In regards to the last 65 years, the oxygenation depth has now been impressively reduced, impacting on marine life and on carbon and nutrient cycling. Here, we evidence that atmospheric warming has induced a significant regime shift in the Black Sea ventilation and relate this to the decrease of oxygen concentration.
The Black Sea is 2000 m deep but, due to the specificity of its ventilation regime, only the...
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