Will the ocean really be lifeless in 50 years?

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We all rely on the ocean, whether we know it or not. Earth’s vast expanses of water are vital to the success of all life on Earth. We eat fish from the ocean, we breathe the oxygen it gives off, and we feel the warmth of its huge currents.
Without a healthy ocean, humans cannot live. Life underwater would still be struggling to deal with climate change. Warm water holds less oxygen, which is a large problem for marine animals. Pollution will only add to the devastation unless we stop it. Other animals breathe air, like whales and turtles, so they get their oxygen from the atmosphere. They won’t be affected in the same way, but everything else will.
Even aside from climate change, we’ve been overfishing for a long time now, and we have already eaten a lot of the bigger animals in the water. Warm water decreases an ecosystem’s productivity too.
Climate change is causing ice sheets to melt at a rapid rate, which means sea levels everywhere will rise. That could be a tragedy for humans as coastal cities face flooding, but for marine animals it probably won’t matter too much.
Water will become more acidic. Any animal with a hard and calcareous skeleton, like plankton, stores carbon inside its tiny body. These miniscule organisms are powerhouses in the fight against climate change.
Seaweed could be on everyone’s dinner plates more often in the future. It could become a staple in our diet. Many types of seaweed are grown worldwide without artificial fertilizers or pesticides and they are a nutritious food, rich in protein. Seaweeds can also be used to feed livestock and as a biological alternative to plastic packaging.
Other pollutants could increase. Plastic isn’t the only source of pollution. Chemicals, light and noise all affect marine life too. Dead zones in the ocean remain a threat. Protecting this precious resource is not an easy matter. The goal is making the whole ecosystem more resilient, more able to cope with change.
Lots of these problems are far bigger than any individual choice. Only collective action can solve them, which requires commitments from governments and business.
Climate change will reduce ocean oxygen, kill fish. Climate change is going to create destruction in the world’s oceans, according to two new studies.
By 2080, around 70 percent of the oceans on the planet will suffer from a lack of oxygen due to warmer temperatures, a study published in November by researchers with the American Geophysical Union’s journal Geophysical Research Letters concluded.
The study finds that substantial deoxygenation of the middle ocean depths, where a large percentage of the fish that people eat are found, began occurring in 2021.
Oceano Dunes, the coastline south of Pismo State Beach in California is actually very important to us because a lot of commercial fish live in this zone.
The study’s models show deoxygenation will begin affecting all ocean depth zones by 2080, and that deoxygenating may be irreversible. Even if humans stopped emitting greenhouse gases and reversed global warming by sucking carbon dioxide from the air, the question of whether dissolved oxygen would return to pre-industrial levels remains unknown,
The reason for the declining oxygen levels in oceans is that warmer waters hold less dissolved oxygen and ocean temperatures are rising at an alarming rate. According to another new study released this week and published in the scientific journal PLOS Climate, a majority of the world’s ocean surface has consistently exceeded the normal range since 2014.
High water temperatures threaten ecosystems such as coral reefs and kelp forests, which fish feed on. Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., mapped 150 years of sea surface temperatures to establish the normal temperature ranges.
They found that 2014 was the first year in which a majority of ocean surface areas went above what would normally be considered an extremely hot temperature by historical standards. That benchmark has been surpassed every year since then, making what was once extreme heat the new normal.
Some parts of the Maldives are believed to have lost up to 90 percent of corals because of changing conditions such as rising sea water temperature.
Climate change is not a future event. Dr. Kyle Van Houtan, who led the research team when he was chief scientist for the aquarium, said in a statement. The reality is that it’s been affecting us for a while. Our research shows that for the last seven years more than half of the ocean has experienced extreme heat.”
While heat in and of itself threatens marine life, declining oxygen levels add an additional danger, and the middle ocean depths are most vulnerable because they do not have additional sources of oxygen.
The ocean surface absorbs oxygen from the atmosphere, and the lowest sea depths gain oxygen from the decomposition of algae. But the ocean’s middle depths, which are from about 600 feet to 3,300 feet below the surface and are called mesopelagic zones, will be the first area to lose large amounts of oxygen because they do not get oxygen from either of those sources. They are also home to many of the world’s commercially fished species, including tuna, swordfish and anchovies.
Losing those fish species to deoxygenation could devastate fishing-based economies and cause shortages of seafood for communities that rely on it. “Deoxygenation affects other marine resources as well, but fisheries are may be most related to our daily life,” Zhou said.
The researchers also found that oceans closer to the poles, where warming is occurring faster, are also losing oxygen more quickly. Global temperatures are on the rise and have been for decades.