Climate Change Causing Ocean Dead Zones to Grow


"Underwater video frame of the sea floor in the Western Baltic covered with dead or dying crabs, fish and clams killed by oxygen depletion"; Photo via Wikipedia

It's not breaking news - we've been talking about the dead zones of our oceans expanding for some time - but it's well worth listening to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute when they tell us that the dead zones are likely to grow as our climate changes. The problem is that each contribute to the other.Researchers Peter Brewer and Edward Peltzer published an article in Science entitled "Perspective" that illustrates how rising CO2 levels can exaggerate the effects low oxygen levels can have on sea animals, and therefore on dead zones.

From the BBC:

The authors of the research, Peter Brewer and Edward Peltzer, also say that the bacteria inhabiting these burgeoning 'dead zones' could become a significant source of nitrous oxide - a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO2. Although happily 'any release of this to the atmosphere would be greatly limited by oceanic processes of mixing and consumption.'

Not exactly encouraging information. The researchers are hoping, though, that their research will help better understand what waters will be affected by dead zones in the future. Best case scenario is that knowing which areas of the ocean are most susceptible will allow us to take measures to make the impact as low as possible; though, what those measures might be are not exactly clear.

Via BBC and Science Daily
More on Ocean Dead Zones
Crop Biodiversity A Cure for Ocean Dead Zones?
Ocean "Dead Zones" Increasing: 400 Oxygen-Deprived Areas Now Exist
Another Dire Global Warming Effect: 10 Times As Many Ocean Dead Zones
Tropical Dead Zones Set to Expand by 50 Percent Under Climate Change
Could Large-Scale Oxygen Pumps Fix the Baltic Sea's Dead Zones?

Tags: Carbon Dioxide | Carbon Emissions | Global Warming Effects | Oceans

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