Ocean deoxygenation

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Ocean deoxygenation is a term that has been suggested to describe the expansion of oxygen minimum zones in the world's oceans as a consequence of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide [1][2].

Oceanographers and others have discussed what phrase best describes the phenomenon to non-specialists. Among the options considered have been 'ocean suffocation' (which was used in a news report from May 2008 [3]), 'ocean oxygen deprivation' [4], 'decline in ocean oxygen', 'marine deoxygenation', 'ocean oxygen depletion' and 'ocean hypoxia'.


Ocean deoxygenation poses implications for ocean productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, and marine habitat. Ocean model simulations predict a decline of up to 7% in the global ocean O2 content over the next hundred years. The decline of Oxygen is projected to continue for a thousand years or more.[1]

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  1. ^ Ralph F. Keeling, Arne Kortzinger, Nicolas Gruber (2010). "Ocean Deoxygenation in a Warming World" (PDF). Annual Reviews Marine Science. doi:10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163855. 

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