Ocean Deoxygenation: Everyone’s Problem

ENVIRONMENT, REVIEWS, 9 Dec 2019

Laffoley, D. and Baxter, J. M. | International Union for Conservation of Nature – TRANSCEND Media Service

Ocean Deoxygenation: Everyone’s Problem–Causes, Impacts, Consequences and Solutions, Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 2019, 562 pp.

IUCN, Global Marine and Polar Programme

Abstract: 

7 Dec 2019 – The ocean represents 97% of the physical habitable space on the planet and is central to sustaining all life on Earth. Since 2000 significant and dedicated effort has been directed at raising awareness and understanding of the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions on the ocean. Carbon dioxide emitted by human activities is driving the ocean towards more acidic conditions.

Only in the past decade has it started to become more widely recognized that the temperature of the global ocean is also being significantly affected as a result of the effect that the carbon dioxide and other potent greenhouse gases are having in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The heating of seawater and progressive acidification are not the only major global consequences of greenhouse gases emissions in the marine realm. It has been known for some decades that nutrient run-off from agriculture causes oxygen-depleted zones to form in the sea, as life-giving oxygen is used up in the water column and on the sea floor. This phenomenon is called ‘ocean deoxygenation’.

Ocean deoxygenation: everyone’s problem tells the scale and nature of the changes being driven by ocean deoxygenation. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2019.13.en

Summary for policy makers: Ocean deoxygenation, everyone’s problem–causes, impacts, consequences and solutions

Full report (22.22 MB)
Editor’s introduction (1.47 MB)
1. What is ocean deoxygenation? (1.8 MB)
2.1 Global evidence of ocean deoxygenation (3.45 MB)
2.2 Evidence for ocean deoxygenation and its patterns: Atlantic Ocean (3.74 MB)
2.3 Evidence for ocean deoxygenation and its patterns: Indian Ocean (2.24 MB)
2.4 Evidence for ocean deoxygenation and its patterns: Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (954.92 KB)
2.5 Hypoxia in estuaries and semi-enclosed seas (1.97 MB)
3.1 Ocean deoxygenation from climate change (1.22 MB)
3.2 Ocean deoxygenation from eutrophication (human nutrient inputs) (2.81 MB)
3.3 Ocean deoxygenation links to harmful algal blooms (1.94 MB)
3.4 Land-sea-atmosphere interactions exacerbating ocean deoxygenation in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS) (1.94 MB)
4. Oxygen projections for the future (12.16 MB)
5. Palaeo-records of histories of deoxygenation and its ecosystem impact (1.6 MB)
6. Multiple stressors – forces that combine to worsen deoxygenation and its effects (5.86 MB)
7. Ocean deoxygenation impacts on microbial processes, biogeochemistry and feedbacks (1.68 MB)
8.1 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for mesopelagic communities (1.3 MB)
8.2 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for open ocean tunas and billfishes (7.28 MB)
8.3 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for kelp and other macroalgae (2.16 MB)
8.4 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for continental margin mesopelagic communities (1.7 MB)
8.5 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for continental margin benthic and demersal biota (4.36 MB)
8.6 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for estuarine and coastal plankton (1.57 MB)
8.7 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for estuarine and coastal benthos (4.89 MB)
8.8 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for tropical ecosystems – corals, seagrasses and mangroves (3.62 MB)
8.9 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for Elasmobranchs (1.51 MB)
8.10 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for ocean megafauna (1.05 MB)
8.11 The significance of ocean deoxygenation for the physiology of marine organisms (2.11 MB)
9. Ocean deoxygenation: Impacts on ecosystem services and people (4.59 MB)
10. Impacts of ocean deoxygenation on fisheries (3.39 MB)
11. What can we do? Adaptation and solutions to declining ocean oxygen (2.14 MB)

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