A paper just published in Nature Geoscience shows a newly recognized role for hydrothermal vents in the global carbon cycle. This new research, by PMEL/JISAO researcher David Butterfield and colleagues, shows that hydrothermal vents may act as a recycling and decomposition system for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), an important constituent of the global carbon pool. The scientists found that high temperatures, like those found at hydrothermal vents, can effectively remove DOC not broken down by other processes, like microbial or sedimentary degradation. The implication for the global carbon cycle is that hydrothermal vents act as the ocean’s ‘pressure cooker’, breaking down and removing unreactive and old carbon that would otherwise persist indefinitely.
PMEL in the News
A global expert on ocean acidification has urged Ireland to become involved in monitoring its potential impact on the State’s multimillion-euro seafood sector.
The long list of maladies attributed to El Niño continues to grow. In addition to affecting weather patterns around the world, the climate phenomenon also has a profound impact on ocean levels in the Pacific that can hurt coral reefs.
The scientific community and the popular press were abuzz in early 2014 with the possibility that a “monster” El Niño was incubating in the tropical Pacific. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions then suggested similarities with the onset of the 1997/98 El Niño, which is the strongest on record. Model forecasts from the early months of 2014 were also consistent in predicting development of El Niño conditions as the year progressed.
But then the big El Niño went bust, defying... more