Impacts of climate change on dissolved oxygen concentration relevant to the coastal and marine environment around the UK
|Title||Impacts of climate change on dissolved oxygen concentration relevant to the coastal and marine environment around the UK|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Mahaffey, C, Palmer, M, Greenwood, N, Sharples, J|
|Journal||MCCIP Science Review|
The decline in dissolved oxygen and onset of oxygen deficiency and hypoxia are naturally occurring phenomenon in aquatic environments, typically occurring on seasonal timescales. Over decadal timescales, there has been a measurable decline in dissolved oxygen concentrations in the global ocean due to warming caused by anthropogenic activity. Approximately 15% of the global decline in oxygen has been attributed to reduced solubility in response to ocean warming, with the remaining 85% due to intensified stratification. The relative contribution of these factors in coastal and shelf-sea waters is currently unknown. In UK waters, sustained observations in the North Sea reveal the recent onset of oxygen deficiency in late summer, partially due to ocean warming. Models designed to represent coastal and shelf sea processes suggest there are large parts of the Celtic Sea, English Channel and Irish Sea that are prone to oxygen deficiency, but data is too sparse in time and space to support these findings. In addition, the ability of models to accurately represent oxygen dynamics is still under debate due to correct representation of physical and biological processes within models. Physical processes play a key role in the development of oxygen deficient regions and thus understanding how oxygen concentrations will respond to climate change requires a coupled physical and biogeochemical approach.