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Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters

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robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 5 Jan 2018
http://www.newsweek.com/oxygen-disappearing-worlds-oceans-alarmingly-rapid-pace-771406
The ocean is running out of oxygen at a rapid speed—and the depletion could choke to death much of the marine life these waters support. A sweeping review published Thursday in Science documented the causes, consequences and solutions to what is technically called “deoxygenation.” They discovered a four-to-tenfold increase in areas of the ocean with little to no oxygen, which researchers say is alarming because half of Earth’s oxygen originates from the ocean.

“The decline in ocean oxygen ranks among the most serious effects of human activities on the Earth’s environment,” Denise Breitburg, lead author and marine ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, said in a statement. But, Breitburg said, people can solve the problem. “Halting climate change requires a global effort but even local actions can help with nutrient-driven oxygen decline.”

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/eaam7240
Oxygen concentrations in both the open ocean and coastal waters have been declining since at least the middle of the 20th century. This oxygen loss, or deoxygenation, is one of the most important changes occurring in an ocean increasingly modified by human activities that have raised temperatures, CO2 levels, and nutrient inputs and have altered the abundances and distributions of marine species. Oxygen is fundamental to biological and biogeochemical processes in the ocean. Its decline can cause major changes in ocean productivity, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles. Analyses of direct measurements at sites around the world indicate that oxygen-minimum zones in the open ocean have expanded by several million square kilometers and that hundreds of coastal sites now have oxygen concentrations low enough to limit the distribution and abundance of animal populations and alter the cycling of important nutrients.

Ultimately, though, limiting deoxygenation and its negative effects will necessitate a substantial global decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reductions in nutrient discharges to coastal waters.

see map https://d2ufo47lrtsv5s.cloudfront.net/content/sci/359/6371/eaam7240/F1.large.jpg
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