Oxygen concentrations in both the global ocean and coastal waters have been declining since at least the middle of the 20th century. This oxygen loss is one of the most important changes occurring in an ocean increasingly modified by human activities that have raised temperatures, CO2 levels, and increased nutrient inputs that have altered the abundances and distributions of marine species. Oxygen is naturally low or absent where biological oxygen consumption through respiration exceeds the rate of oxygen supplied by physical transport, air-sea fluxes, and photosynthesis. The enhanced production in surface waters of the coastal zone from nutrient inputs from sewage and agricultural activities increases the delivery rate of degradable organic matter to bottom waters where microbial decomposition by aerobic respiration consumes oxygen. In addition, ocean warming reduces the solubility of oxygen and raises metabolic rates also accelerating the rate of oxygen consumption. Under current trajectories, anthropogenic activities could drive the ocean toward widespread oxygen deficiency within the next thousand years. The symposium will address the impact of changes in productivity, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles with declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters.

The symposium is free of charge and open to the public but registration is required for all participants. Limited number of seats. For information and registration visit www.kva.se/lowoxygenzones. Please state eventual food preferences or allergies in the registration form.

This symposium is hosted by The Environmental Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and funded by Baltic Sea Centre at Stockholm University, BalticSea2020, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


08.30 Registration

Morning session

Chair: Martin Jakobsson, Chariman, The Environmental Committee, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
09.00 Introduction
09.15 The Ocean is losing its Breath - An Overview of the Problem, Its Effects, and Solutions. Denise Breitburg, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, USA
09.45 Discussions
10.00 Coffee/tea
10.30 Patterns of deoxygenation in the global oceans. Andreas Oschlies, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
11.00 Discussions
11.15 Microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in oxygen minimum zones. Bess B. Ward, Princeton University, USA
11.45 Discussions
12.00 Lunch wrap

Afternoon session

Chair: Daniel Conley, The Environmental Committee, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
13.00 Warming and nutrients as drivers of hypoxia in the Baltic Sea. Jacob Carstensen, Aarhus University, Denmark
13.30 Discussions
13.45 Ecosystem impacts of hypoxia in coastal waters. Alf Norkko, University of Helsinki, Finland
14.15 Discussions
14.30 Coffee/tea
15.00 Impact of hypoxia on coastal biogeochemistry. Caroline Slomp, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
15.30 Discussions
15.45 Managing the Baltic Sea. Christoph Humborg, Stockholm University, Sweden
16.15 Discussions
16.30 Closing remarks. Helen Ågren, Swedish Ambassador for the Oceans