Importance of Natural Resources

World’s Oceans Losing Oxygen At Alarming Rate Thanks To Climate Change

A terrifying new study came out recently from
the international union for conservation of nature. It included research from 67 scientists from
17 different countries across the planet, and they found that the world’s oceans are
losing oxygen at an alarming rate. Summary here, it found that the oxygen level
of the ocean has declined by about 2% since the 1950s and the volume of water completely
depleted of oxygen has quadrupled since the 1960s, 60 years ago, only 45 ocean sites suffered
from low oxygen levels. That number skyrocketed to 702,011 according
to the study, about 50% of oxygen loss in the upper part of the ocean is a result of
temperature increase, meaning it is directly related to climate change on this planet. Okay, oceans are losing oxygen. Got it. What does that mean? 2% that’s not a huge number, right? Well, it actually is when you consider how
vital oxygen is, every percentage point counts. You know, millions upon millions of years
ago when the oxygen level was really not all that different than it is today. It was higher but not so much higher that
it would be astonishing. You had insects the size of coffee tables
because there was so much oxygen being just a few percentage points higher than it is
today. Take that away as we have in society now and
insects, stay about that big. Take a couple of points off that in suddenly
life as we know, it becomes a little more complicated and that’s actually what is happening
in the oceans right now from just a few percentage points dropping and they’re predicting according
to this study, by the year 2100, we’re going to see roughly 4% oxygen loss. And we’re already seeing the effects of it
today according to this study, because you have larger ocean animals, you have sharks,
uh, tuna, salmon, you know, the, the big ocean, uh, fish and predators who are having to concentrate
themselves in the upper level of the oceans because that’s where oxygen concentration
is greatest. And by doing that, they open themselves up
for over fishing. So their socioeconomic impacts of this. There’s obviously wildlife effects of this. Another part of the problem, not just climate
change as they point out in this study, is that algae growth in the ocean is becoming
ridiculous and that is likely due to runoff from sewage, from fertilizer, things like
that, creating these massive dead zones where nothing but algae can survive and the algae
eats lots of oxygen and the oxygen is not being replenished. Additionally, the water at the top of the
ocean is warmer than what’s on the bottom, so it holds less oxygen. The less oxygen that holds, as it heats up,
the less oxygen that can go down to the lower part of the ocean and feed all those deep
sea ocean creatures. This is a massive widespread problem, right? This isn’t just, Oh no, we’re losing a little
bit of oxygen in the water. Fish are going to struggle to breathe. No, we’re talking about massive economic problems
across the planet just because a couple point drop in the oxygen level of the ocean, because
we as a species can’t seem to get our emissions under control no matter how much the world’s
smartest people tell us. We really don’t have a choice but to do that,
if we want to continue to survive as a species for the next couple hundred years, we have
to start listening to the scientists. We have to put smarter people in office in
this country because if we don’t, we’re not that far off from seeing some of the worst
effects of climate change. And then from there, it’s only going to get
even worse.

Reader Comments

  1. I want to hear about the state of our oceans sea kelps conditions currently stand at. Sea kelp is an extremely vital organism that not only creates but ensures a good portion for our existence on this planet seems to be a seriously overlooked and under estimated issue we're ignoring when discussing global warming.

  2. Also the food chain implications should be mentioned here: less oxygen, less plankton. Plankton being the basis of the food chain, less life in the oceans.

  3. I believe the killing of whales especially the blue whales, is the cause of the low oxygen.
    These whales mix the layers of the sea up and they bring the minerals up from the bottom of the sea for the phytoplankton to use to make oxygen.
    And I bet these dead areas are the Islands of plastic that are blocking the sunlight to the phytoplankton.
    So don't eat whale and stop using plastics and oxygen will increase again.

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