Climate change is draining the oceans of oxygen

February 16, 2017 by  
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A new study in the journal Nature has found that the amount of dissolved oxygen in the ocean is declining worldwide – and it’s a direct result of climate change. The paper was authored by researchers from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, and found that the oceans of the world have lost more than two percent of their oxygen content between 1960 and 2010. However, the losses were not spread evenly across the globe – the Arctic Ocean, in particular, has suffered the sharpest decline. Why? Global warming . The major reason is that warm liquid holds onto dissolved gas less easily, but there are other factors at play as well. Ocean stratification is becoming a major issue – normally, oxygen enters the water at the surface and mixes down, but because warm water is less dense and doesn’t sink as rapidly, the oxygen-rich water closest to the surface simply floats instead. None of this is news to climate scientists. In fact, climate models have predicted this effect might happen for years. However, this is the first study to look at millions of ocean measurements and combine them into a single analysis, proving the effect is actually happening. Related: Ocean dead zone near African coast shows lowest oxygen levels ever recorded The oceans already naturally contain “oxygen minimum zones” which can’t support much marine life, usually occupying the middle depths of the ocean. Scientists fear this shift in oxygen levels may expand those areas, and potentially create “ dead zones ” in shallow areas, effectively reducing the habitat available for marine organisms. Worse yet, the situation may end up creating a feedback loop that could actually worsen climate change. These oceanic “dead zones” tend to be areas where microorganisms that produce greenhouse gasses like nitrous oxide thrive. The study is just one more piece of evidence showing that we need to take strong action to curb climate change immediately. Via The Washington Post Images via Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons

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Climate change is draining the oceans of oxygen

NASA Maps Growing Marine Dead Zones

July 23, 2010 by  
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NASA has created new maps showing the grim reality of marine dead zones.  These areas of deep water where oxygen levels are too low for marine life to survive have grown at a staggering pace since the middle of the 20th century. The dead zones are created when fertilizer run off from crops makes it into the ocean, creating massive algae blooms.  When the algae dies, it sinks to the bottom where microbes decompose the matter, which consumes oxygen and creates a suffocating environment for marine life

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NASA Maps Growing Marine Dead Zones

Biomass Energy a Harder Sell in the US

July 22, 2010 by  
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Although the adoption of biomass power is on the rise in Europe , the same case is not true in the United States where renewable power generating facilities are increasingly coming under attack . Plans for a proposed biomass plant in northern Michigan were recently shelved due to public opposition, and the utility board has decided to reconsider a natural gas plant instead. Proposed facilities in other states are also facing opposition

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Biomass Energy a Harder Sell in the US

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