Monday, May 05, 2008

DECLINE IN OCEAN OXYGEN FOUND

SCIENTIFIC BLOGGING Marine scientists led by Dr. Lothar Stramma from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, Germany say they have made an alarming new discovery - in some regions of the world oceans, oxygen essential for marine organisms is declining. The new study documents that the oxygen values in tropical oceans at a depth of 300 to 700 meters have declined during the past 50 years. As large marine organisms can either no longer exist in these areas or they would avoid them, the expanding oxygen minimum zones may have substantial biological and economical consequences. . .

"We found the largest reduction in a depth of 300-700 m in the tropical northeast Atlantic, whereas the changes in the eastern Indian Ocean were much less pronounced", explains Dr. Stramma. "Whether or not these observed changes in oxygen can be attributed to global warming alone is still unresolved", Stramma continues. The reduction in oxygen may also be caused by natural processes on shorter time scales" Nevertheless, the results are consistent with model results which predict a further decline in the future.