Large regions of the open ocean are being starved of oxygen because of warmer sea temperatures according to studies showing that fish and other marine creatures are moving into narrower habitats to avoid suffocation.
Marine researchers said they have discovered growing areas of the ocean that suffer from hypoxia – oxygen depletion – which they believe is the result of warmer sea temperature caused by global warming.
Warmer sea temperatures increase stratification, where warm, stagnant bodies of surface water sit on top of cooler water and prevent the normal mixing that results from the vertical circulation currents of the ocean, said Professor Lisa Levin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.
Warmer water also holds less dissolved oxygen than cold water. This means that the stable regions of the deep ocean are also beginning to experience temperature rises that affect concentrations of dissolved oxygen, Professor Levin said.
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