Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters

Last modified: 
March 29, 2018 - 2:07pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2018
Date published: 01/2018
Authors: Denise Breitburg, Lisa Levin, Andreas Oschlies, Marilaure Grégoire, Francisco Chavez, Daniel Conley, Véronique Garçon, Denis Gilbert, Dimitri Gutiérrez, Kirsten Isensee, Gil Jacinto, Karin Limburg, Ivonne Montes, S. Naqvi, Grant Pitcher, Nancy Rabalais, Michael Roman, Kenneth Rose, Brad Seibel, Maciej Telszewski, Moriaki Yasuhara, Jing Zhang
Journal title: Science
Volume: 359
Issue: 6371
Pages: eaam7240
ISSN: 0036-8075

Oxygen is fundamental to life. Not only is it essential for the survival of individual animals, but it regulates global cycles of major nutrients and carbon. The oxygen content of the open ocean and coastal waters has been declining for at least the past half-century, largely because of human activities that have increased global temperatures and nutrients discharged to coastal waters. These changes have accelerated consumption of oxygen by microbial respiration, reduced solubility of oxygen in water, and reduced the rate of oxygen resupply from the atmosphere to the ocean interior, with a wide range of biological and ecological consequences. Further research is needed to understand and predict long-term, global- and regional-scale oxygen changes and their effects on marine and estuarine fisheries and ecosystems.

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