SOURCE: Climate News Network
DATE: May 10, 2017
SNIP: US scientists who have been warning that warmer oceans are more likely to be poorer in dissolved oxygen have now sounded the alarm: ocean oxygen levels are indeed falling, and seemingly falling faster than the corresponding rise in water temperature.
That colder water can hold more dissolved gas than warmer water is a commonplace of physics: it is one reason why polar seas are teeming with marine life and tropical oceans are blue, clear and often relatively impoverished.
In 2013, an international consortium of marine scientists warned that oxygen levels in the oceans could fall by between 1% and 7% by the century’s end. And this could, other scientists predicted, lead to what they politely called “respiratory stress”
“The trend of oxygen falling is about two to three times faster than what we predicted from the decrease of solubility associated with ocean warming,” says Takamitsu Ito, of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who led the study.