Climate change has effects that run deep. It is now even causing oxygen depletion in the oceans of the world.
Scientists have given an ultimatum that unless necessary precautions are taken, the oceans of the global village will lose their supplies of dissolved oxygen thanks to climate change. Most of these oxygen stores will be wiped out by the year 2030 if we are not careful.
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A study in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles showed that global warming has a marked impact on the oxygen in the oceans. While it is known that oxygen levels are diminishing in the oceans, what is uncertain is whether it is solely due to global warming.
A span of time was determined in accordance with which the world’s oceans will run dry of any oxygen in the future. The report is dismal indeed. Within the next few decades, the capacity of the oceans to support marine life will be exhausted if current trends continue apace.
This is the first time that this issue is being addressed. Large regions of the various oceans are now positively hostile to marine life. Especially fish such as marlin and sailfish are facing this problem on a real time basis.
From the depths of the ocean floor, a large current of water without any oxygen is making its way to the surface. The regions of the ocean where the deoxygenation is taking place vary and tend to differ in accordance with the changes in global warming.
Since the past half a century or so, the low oxygen regions have expanded to cover 1.7 million square miles of territory. They include the Pacific and the Atlantic as well as the Bay of Bengal. This phenomenon could transform the earth’s seas till they are virtually unrecognizable.
The diets of marine life forms could change radically due to this scheme of things. Also their mortality patterns could vary depending upon the level of deoxygenation.
Already the traditional ways of marine life are changing. This could turn out to be a pretty problematic thing in the end. Meanwhile, the scientists debate on and on regarding the levels of deoxygenation.
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The climate and oceans are undergoing degradation all the while. Something must be done to overcome this crisis in the environmental health of the planet. We only have one earth and once it goes to the dogs, there is no turning back for us as a species.