Sunday, February 13, 2011

EUR-OCEANS Conference - Ocean deoxygenation and implications for marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems 24-26 October 2011, Toulouse, France

This conference aims to bring together biological, biogeochemical, and physical oceanographers to discuss the issue of deoxygenation in the world ocean and its implications for ocean productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, and marine habitats. A serious consequence of global warming that is increasingly gaining importance is the decrease of the dissolved oxygen content of the world ocean. Deoxygenation and extension of the Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) are predicted because oxygen is less soluble in warmer waters and also because the changing oceanic stratification and circulation will reduce the supply of O2 to the ocean interior. However, the biogeochemical contribution due to the O2 consumed by the aerobic processes (e.g. remineralization, nitrification) remains to be quantified. This deoxygenation in subsurface waters will have widespread consequences due to the role O2 plays in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and other important elements such as P, Fe, Mn, S, etc.. O2 is instrumental to all aerobic life and sublethal and lethal O2 thresholds vary greatly between marine organisms. OMZs are key regions in the climatic gases budgets: O2, CO2, N2O, CH4, halogenous compounds...

Some scientific related specific issues include: What is the complete influence of the OMZs on climate change, taking into account the impact of the greenhouse gases, cloud formation and control of O3 and O2? How sensitive the OMZs characteristics are to changes in oceanic circulation associated to global warming? What are the mechanisms associated with a bio-, photo-, or chemo-degradation of organic matter (including CDOM) for the production of greenhouse gases, e.g. the switch from an aerobic (O2-respiration) to an anaerobic (via NO3, SO4, methanogenesis, IO3, Fe) remineralization?

Developing new dedicated sensors for the ocean observing system, modelling tools and understanding the key relevant biogeochemical and physical processes to predict future O2 contents of the world ocean constitute an immense challenge. The goal of this conference is to provide a science arena where to discuss the state of the art of our knowledge on all these topics and in building a unified research agenda across the full range of oceanographic disciplines.

This EUR-OCEANS Consortium 2011 Conference takes a multi-disciplinary view of the problem. Oral sessions will consist of invited speakers, all very active leaders in their fields, and will mix scientists from different disciplines within the sessions. All other presentations will take place in poster sessions. Participants are very much encouraged to present their work in the form of posters. The structure of the conference will allow for formal discussion sessions in the mornings and afternoons and informal networking and discussions in the evenings. Number of participants is limited (around 70 persons). Some grants will be available for PhD and post-doc participants.

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