Oxygen levels in oceans have tanked drastically

Feb 26, 2019, 7:28 AM EST
(Source: slawomircz/flickr)
(Source: slawomircz/flickr)

Marine species in warming oceans have an alarmingly shorter supply of oxygen and the repercussions could be cascaded through the entire marine ecosystems, warn scientists. Over the past 50 years, the oxygen levels in oceans in some tropical regions have dropped by as much as 40 percent, forcing marine animals to either migrate or change behavior.

The migrations due to marine oxygen depletions expose animals to new predators or barricade them into food-scarce regions, eventually upsetting the delicate food webs in the oceans, reports The Richest.

The steep rate at which oxygen levels in oceans are dropping is worrying for oceanographers, and many studies have already documented the consequences on zooplankton - animals at the base of the food web. Besides migrations, oxygen decline spurs a range of physiological changes in sea creatures, for example, making them sluggish or deteriorating the quality and motility of sperms in fishes, writes Scientific American.

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