Researchers warned in a new study that "dead zones" lacking oxygen in the oceans, where animals and plants struggle to survive, have quadrupled and may not be reversible.
The growing "dead zones" are a symptom of climate change according to the study, which was published in the journal Science. The increase in ocean temperatures caused by a greater amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere mixed with sewage and contamination of agricultural runoffs closer to the coasts is suffocating the oceanic waters of oxygen and, in fact, these areas are almost uninhabitable.
The research team of the Global Oxygen Network that conducted the study was created by the United Nations Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in 2016.
"The increase in Nutrient loading along with climate change, each resulting from human activities, is changing ocean biogeochemistry and increasing oxygen consumption, "says the study. These deviations from a healthy and prosperous ocean are "unsustainable and can cause ecosystem collapses, which will ultimately cause social and economic damage."
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Scientists discovered that the "minimum oxygen" zones of the oceans have expanded in an area roughly the same size as the European Union since the 1950s and that pockets of water lacking oxygen have quadrupled since then. The zones of sterile or hypoxic oxygen have also grown 10 times; "The decline of oxygen in the oceans is among the most serious effects of human activities on the Earth's environment," said the study's lead author and marine ecologist at the Smithsonian Center for Environmental Research, Denise Breitburg, in a statement. . statement, calling oxygen "fundamental to life in the oceans."
"If he can not breathe, nothing else matters," Breitburg told The Associated Press. "As the seas lose oxygen, those areas are no longer habitable by many organisms."
The oceans represent approximately half of the oxygen on Earth, making this deoxygenation a problem for everyone.
Climate change may affect personalities  AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS PHOTO OF PUBLICLY PROVIDED BROCHURE BY THE NATIONAL OCEAN AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION "src =" https://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.3745217. 1515449824! /img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/fish-ocean-dead-zones.jpg "/> (AP)
The study says that areas with lack of oxygen can be saved if the effects of climate change are They revert through interventions such as non-capture and non-catching zones.
Scientists warn that low levels of oxygen can hamper marine life and the immune response, decreasing oceanic diversity and decreasing rates of The study says that areas lacking oxygen can be saved if the effects of climate change are reversed through interventions such as the installation of non-capture and non-fishing zones.
unfortunately, even "ambitious emission reductions," Breitburg said, may not prevent the prediction of "further oxygen declines during the 21st century."
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