WHOI Research Offers Insight Into Ocean Deoxygenation

WOODS HOLE – The living, breathing ocean may be slowly starting to suffocate. That according to scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is a very bad and very important thing, but nothing new.

The institute has partnered with researchers from Arizona State University, and Florida State University to develop a way to quantify how fast deoxygenation occurred in ancient oceans.

More than two percent of the ocean’s oxygen content has been depleted during the last half century, according to reports, and marine “dead zones” continue to expand throughout the global ocean.

This process has been made more rapid by the use of more fertilizers and wastewater flowing into the ocean and the result poses a serious threat to marine life and ecosystems.

Until now, scientists haven’t had a way to measure how fast deoxygenation occurs, both today and in the past when so-called major “anoxic events” led to catastrophic extinction of marine life.

The new technique may lay the groundwork for projecting future oxygen losses in the ocean, and perhaps slowing them.

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