Global temperatures are continuously increasing, jeopardizing the habitats of many species, reducing the oxygen levels in the oceans, warming up the planet and melting the Arctic. Human-made greenhouse gas emissions are the number one factors of all these terrible events happening around the globe. Among many devastating effects of climate change, there was listed the decrease of oxygen levels in the ocean.
- Specialists indicated that climate change causes the oxygen levels to drop.
- The oxygen losses were estimated at 2% of the oceans of the globe.
- This means that in recent history our planet lost about 80 billion metric tons of oxygen.
Previous studies have examined and modeled this effect. Nevertheless, a new survey developed by a team of German scientists contains five-decade data which reveals the oceans of the world have lost approximately 2% of the oxygen in recent history. Some regions experience distinct levels of oxygen decrease.
Based on the data provided by NASA, during the same period when the loss of oxygen was recorded, specialists also registered a rise in global temperatures of one degree Celsius. As we know, oxygen does support not only the life above the surface of Earth, but also the creatures living deep under the sea. If fertilizers reach the oceans’ waters, they may cause algal blooms.
If these plants spread, they will engulf all the oxygen to develop death areas where fish are not able to thrive. It is well-known that oxygen is dissolved in the water. Whenever water warms, oxygen’s ability to remain stranded to other gasses decreases. Global warming causes the water to become warmer, reducing the density of the surface water and allowing the oxygen to escape.
If the density of the water changes, it becomes less likely to transport and sink fresh oxygen into the deepest parts of the ocean. The newly developed study was published on February 15 in Nature magazine. Researchers collected information regarding temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen levels and depths which was stored since 1960, being gathered from several databases.
They revealed an overall decrease of 2% in the levels of oxygen in the planet’s oceans. This equals with 80 billion metric tons of oxygen which evaporated from the water. The losses were even more noticeable in the southern Atlantic and the northern Pacific Ocean.
However, scientists have attributed 15% of this loss to the decrease in solubility which occurred due to the warming process. The rest of the losses were attributed to processes, like the impaired circulation of oxygen into the depths of the ocean.
Image source: pixabay