The damaging effects of global warming are countless and unless we do something about it our planet as we know it will meet its end faster than we think.
A team of scientists has conducted a study which reveals another way that global warming is affecting the environment.
According to their study, the increase in water temperature and the decrease in the oceans’ oxygen level will force marine species to change their habitat, moving away from the equator to other regions of the ocean in order to meet the oxygen supply they need to survive.
The researchers involved in the study said that the warmer temperature of the water will speed the marine animals’ metabolic need for oxygen.
However, the warmer the water gets, the less oxygen it will hold and it won’t be sufficient enough to fuel the animals’ bodies.
The scientists say this is very similar to what occurs at high altitudes, when there isn’t enough oxygen to breathe accordingly.
The new study suggests that approximately two thirds of the respiratory stress experience by marine animals due to global warming is caused by the increase in ocean temperatures.
The rest is caused because the warmer waters hold less dissolved amount of gases, the researchers added.
Curtis Deutsch, a researcher and a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington, explained that if the metabolism goes up, one needs more food and oxygen.
Professor Deutsch, who was also one of the researchers involved in the study, added that if global warming continues at its current pace, marine animals will have less and less oxygen and will die.
Scientists know that the levels of oxygen in the oceans are decreasing and will continue if climate change continues.
The new study was centered on four species of marine animals that live in the Atlantic Ocean.
The species included the Atlantic cod, the Atlantic rock crab, the sharp snout seabream and the common eelpout.
Deutsch and his team used climate models to determine how the increasing temperatures and the decreasing levels of oxygen due to global warming will affect marine life by year 2100.
According to their findings, if the situation continues as it is, oceans will become warmer by several degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
This means that ocean water at an increased temperature will have 5-10% less oxygen than it has at the moment.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Science.
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