Next Article in Journal
Preliminary Data Validation and Reconstruction of Temperature and Precipitation in Central Italy
Previous Article in Journal
Moho Depth and Crustal Architecture Beneath the Levant Basin from Global Gravity Field Model
Previous Article in Special Issue
Virtual Crop Water Export Analysis: The Case of Greece at River Basin District Level
Article Menu
Issue 6 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060201

Global Warming Can Lead to Depletion of Oxygen by Disrupting Phytoplankton Photosynthesis: A Mathematical Modelling Approach

1
Department of Mathematics, Arts and Science Faculty, Amasya University, 05189 Amasya, Turkey
2
Department of Mathematics, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [1121 KB, uploaded 3 June 2018]   |  

Abstract

We consider the effect of global warming on the coupled plankton-oxygen dynamics in the ocean. The net oxygen production by phytoplankton is known to depend on the water temperature and hence can be disrupted by warming. We address this issue theoretically by considering a mathematical model of the plankton-oxygen system. The model is generic and can account for a variety of biological factors. We first show that sustainable oxygen production by phytoplankton is only possible if the net production rate is above a certain critical value. This result appears to be robust to the details of model parametrization. We then show that, once the effect of zooplankton is taken into account (which consume oxygen and feed on phytoplankton), the plankton-oxygen system can only be stable if the net oxygen production rate is within a certain intermediate range (i.e., not too low and not too high). Correspondingly, we conclude that a sufficiently large increase in the water temperature is likely to push the system out of the safe range, which may result in ocean anoxia and even a global oxygen depletion. We then generalize the model by taking into account the effect of environmental stochasticity and show that, paradoxically, the probability of oxygen depletion may decrease with an increase in the rate of global warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytoplankton; oxygen depletion; environment stochasticity; extinction probability phytoplankton; oxygen depletion; environment stochasticity; extinction probability
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Sekerci, Y.; Petrovskii, S. Global Warming Can Lead to Depletion of Oxygen by Disrupting Phytoplankton Photosynthesis: A Mathematical Modelling Approach. Geosciences 2018, 8, 201.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Geosciences EISSN 2076-3263 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top