'Slippery slope' World's oceans losing oxygen at alarming rate, says study
"It is time to put ocean deoxygenation among our top priorities."
The world's oceans are losing oxygen at an alarming rate, a new study has shown.
So-called 'Dead Zones' have existed in the ocean for years, but the prevalence of climate change and increased human activity has led to the sharp rise of deoxygenation across the globe.
A new report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Saturday showed that the ocean's overall oxygen level has declined by two percent since the 1950s, while the volume of water entirely depleted of oxygen has quadrupled since the 1960s.
It is believed that approximately half of oxygen loss in the upper sections of the ocean are due to temperature increases.
Dropping ocean oxygen levels can have detrimental effects on marine life, forcing them to swim closer to the water's surface where they risk falling victim to overfishing.
This will lead to biodiversity loss, as well as habitat destruction, with larger species like tuna, marlin, and sharks expected to be affected.
"With this report, the scale of damage Dr. Grethel Aguilar, IUCN acting director general. "As the warming ocean loses oxygen, the delicate balance of marine life is thrown into disarray."upon the ocean comes into stark focus," said
Isabella Lövin, Minister for Environment and Energy and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, added that although the existence of ocean Dead Zones has been known for years, "ocean warming is now expected to further amplify deoxygenation across great swathes of the ocean."
"With this report it is time to put ocean deoxygenation among our top priorities in order to restore ocean health."
This sharp loss of oxygen could lead to more jellyfish and slime in the ocean, negatively affecting industries that rely on fishing to survive.
In turn, deoxygenation can lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane which are produced by the ocean and released into the atmosphere.
The report states that deoxygenation can be slowed by tackling the global climate issue.