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EMB Working Group on Ocean Oxygen kicks-off

On 21 and 22 June 2022, the new EMB Working Group on Ocean Oxygen met for the first time during the kick-off meeting held at the InnovOcean site in Ostende (Belgium) and online. The meeting was chaired by Sheila Heymans (EMB Executive Director) and the Working Group Chairs: Marilaure Grégoire (University of Liège, Belgium) and Andreas Oschlies (GEOMAR, Germany). 

The Ocean is slowly losing its oxygen due to global warming. This is of great concern and there is a need for stronger communication and heightened awareness about the looming threat of deoxygenation. Moreover, the sentence “every second breath you take comes from the Ocean” is often used in science communication, but its scientific foundations are unclear and there is a need to clarify the science underpinning this statement to contribute to its correct use.

The new EMB Working Group on Ocean oxygen aims to explain the science behind the statement ‘every second breath comes from the Ocean’ and communicate the problem of Ocean deoxygenation. Specific topics will include the history of the oxygen cycle on Earth, the modern oxygen cycle, current Ocean deoxygenation, as well as knowledge gaps and recommendations.

The Working Group members are:

  • Chair: Marilaure Grégoire, University of Liège, Belgium
  • Co-Chair: Andreas Oschlies, GEOMAR, Germany
  • Donald Canfield, University of Southern Denmark
  • Carmen Castro, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (IIM - CSIC), Spain
  • Irena Ciglenečki-Jušić, Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB), Croatia
  • Peter Croot, NUI Galway, Ireland
  • Karine Salin, Ifremer, UMR LEMAR, France
  • Birgit Schneider, University of Kiel, Germany
  • Pablo Serret, Centro Investigación Mariña, University of Vigo, Spain
  • Caroline Slomp, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Tommaso Tesi, Institute of Polar Sciences, National Research Council, Italy
  • Mustafa Yucel, Institute of Marine Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Turkey


The working group will develop a Future Science Brief, expected to be published in summer 2023.

You can find out more about this working group here.