Oceans

Access to oxygen minimum zones

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Science  18 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6390, pp. 749-750
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6390.749-c

Remote-controlled submarines have supplied up-to-date oxygen data for the Gulf of Oman.

PHOTO: LLOYD CLUFF/GETTY IMAGES

Deoxygenation of the oceans is increasing alarmingly. In the absence of oxygen, the availability of dissolved nutrients for marine organisms is radically changed. Queste et al. recently succeeded in collecting data from one of the most intense marine oxygen minimum zones, located in the Arabian Sea. Research in this region has been limited by the risk from piracy and other geopolitical tensions. Hence, the authors deployed remote-controlled submarines called Seagliders in the Gulf of Oman to take oxygen measurements. The results show a startling decline in oxygen concentrations before the last direct measurements from about 20 years ago. These new data can be used to fill a key gap in Earth systems models.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2017GL076666 (2018).

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