The World’s Climate: Oceans Are Losing Oxygen. Here’s Why That’s a Big Problem

Study: Decline in global oceanic oxygen content during the past five decades

Oceans across the globe are slowly losing oxygen, which poses a major problem for every living marine animal and underscores the serious consequences of climate change, researchers say.

A new Nature study published this week found that oxygen levels in worldwide oceans have dipped by more than 2% in the last half-century. While the change may seem small, scientists say even subtle shifts in gas levels can alter entire ecosystems.

“It’s significant,” said Rob Dunbar, an Earth science professor at Stanford University. “Anything with a gill is going to care and notice.”

Dunbar, who studies climate change in the tropics and Antarctica seas but who was not part of the Nature study, said the oxygen drop can have rippling effects across the deep blue.

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