Oxygen levels in the world’s oceans have already been going down, according to previous studies made by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Researchers have warned that oceans around the world are bound to lose much of their oxygen concentrations by the year 2030 as a result of global warming.
This study was published in the Journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, where Matthew Long led the study along with his colleagues at the NCAR, examined the impact of the climatic changes on the amount of oxygen that’s usually found in the ocean.
Those studies noted that the effects aren’t too prominent so far, but new research from the NCAR might suggest that those lower levels may become a bigger problem in little more than a decade from now.
Oxygen levels in the world’s oceans have already been going down, according to previous studies made by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Photo credit: Robin Gunn / Awesome Ocean
Why is oxygen running out?
Researchers are unsure of how much of this phenomenon is actually caused by global warming. However, they were able to determine a timeframe of when the effects of climate change could overwhelm the natural ability of oceans to handle such deoxygenation.
Matthew Long stated that the loss of oxygen in the oceans is one of the serious side effects of a warming atmosphere and a major threat to marine life.
“Since oxygen concentrations in the ocean naturally vary depending on variations in winds and temperature at the surface, it’s been challenging to attribute any deoxygenation to climate change. This new study tells us when we can expect the effect from climate change to overwhelm the natural variability,” said Long.
Deoxygenation: Oceanic hostility
This deoxygenation is a problematic phenomenon, where large areas of the world’s oceans are now way more aggressive to marine life than before. This can be seen in deep-sea fish, such as marlin and sailfish when they might prefer to stay near the surface of the ocean despite being known to traditionally hunt for prey at great depths.
Though this is yet another example of how the climatic change is affecting the world’s natural resources in a negative way, Long and his team suggested that more research may still be needed to determine additional climatic change impacts on the oceans.