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‘The next great casualty of climate change’ could be global fishing stocks

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In a year that has seen the disastrous effects of climate change unfold with frightening speed — from drought and famine to heat domes, wildfires and deadly flash-flooding — another potential catastrophe has come into view: depleted oxygen levels in the world’s oceans and lakes that threaten marine life.

“As ocean and atmospheric scientists focus on climate, we believe that oceanic oxygen levels are the next big casualty of global warming,” researchers Julie Pullen and Nathalie Goodkin wrote in an opinion piece published Tuesday in Scientific American .

In part due to the effects of rising global temperatures, growing portions of the oceans have lost “10-40 percent of their oxygen,” and that figure is forecast to continue growing due to climate change. Rising water temperatures and depleted oxygen, which pollution and nutrient runoff also make worse, have been blamed for mass die-offs of fish this year in states like Florida, California, Oregon, Montana, Louisiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Washington, Idaho, Delaware and Minnesota. While climate change is not the only cause for the fish kills, it is, researchers say, a contributing factor.

“As the amount of CO2 increases in the atmosphere, not only does it warm air by trapping radiation, it warms water. […]

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