Washington D.C: An alarming new study has suggested that by 2030s, declining oxygen levels will likely be evident in many of the world’s oceans. Lead author Matthew Long from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) said that loss of oxygen in the ocean is one of the serious side effects of a warming atmosphere, and a major threat to marine life. He added, “Since oxygen concentrations in the ocean naturally vary depending on variations in winds and temperature at the surface, it’s been challenging to attribute any deoxygenation to climate change. This new study tells us when we can expect the impact from climate change to overwhelm the natural variability.”
The scientists used output from a project that ran the model more than two dozen times for the years 1920 to 2100 on the Yellowstone supercomputer, which is operated by NCAR. The research team found that deoxygenation caused by climate change could already be detected in the southern Indian Ocean and parts of the eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic basins. They also determined that more widespread detection of deoxygenation caused by climate change would be possible between 2030 and 2040.
However, in some parts of the ocean, including areas off the east coasts of Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia, deoxygenation caused by climate change was not evident even by 2100. “We need comprehensive and sustained observations of what’s going on in the ocean to compare with what we’re learning from our models and to understand the full impact of a changing climate,” Long said. The study is published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.