In hot water: Ice Age findings forecast problems

Dec 20, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The first comprehensive study of changes in the oxygenation of oceans at the end of the last Ice Age (between about 10 to 20,000 years ago) has implications for the future of our oceans under global warming.

The study, which was co-authored by Eric Galbraith, of McGill's Department of & Planetary Sciences, looked at marine sediment and found that that the dissolved oxygen concentrations in large parts of the oceans changed dramatically during the relatively slow natural climate changes at the end of the last Ice Age. This was at a time when the temperature of surface water around the globe increased by approximately 2 C over a period of 10,000 years. A similar rise in temperature will result from human emissions of heat-trapping gases within the next 100 years, if emissions are not curbed, giving cause for concern.

Most of the animals living in the , from herring to tuna, shrimp to zooplankton, rely on dissolved oxygen to breathe. The amount of oxygen that seawater can soak up from the atmosphere depends on the water temperature at the sea surface. As temperatures at the surface increase, the dissolved oxygen supply below the surface gets used up more quickly. Currently, in about 15 per cent of the oceans - in areas referred to as dead zones - dissolved oxygen concentrations are so low that fish have a hard time breathing at all. The findings from the study show that these dead zones increased significantly at the end of the .

"Given how complex the ocean is, it's been hard to predict how climate change will alter the amount of in water. As a result of this research, we can now say unequivocally that the oxygen content of the ocean is sensitive to climate change, confirming the general cause for concern."

The results of this study were published in Nature Geoscience.

Explore further: Aging Africa

More information: www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/va… t/full/ngeo1352.html

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AWaB
3.3 / 5 (6) Dec 20, 2011
Quote - "Given how complex the ocean is, it's been hard to predict how climate change will alter the amount of dissolved oxygen in water. As a result of this research, we can now say unequivocally that the oxygen content of the ocean is sensitive to climate change, confirming the general cause for concern.

That didn't tell us anything. This "discovery" is conducted by 100 level chemistry student. I greatly appreciate information that helps us better understand our affects on the planet but this study does nothing to confirm anything we didn't already know.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.5 / 5 (8) Dec 20, 2011
So what? If the oceans die we will just find substitute oceans to provide fish.

Nature is all about Economics, and when things in nature grow scarce then nature finds substitutes.

Whales for example will grow wings and fly through the air, as will the other fish, and since the volume of air is larger than the volume of ocean water they will thrive in the larger space available.

The Human Economy will benefit from this new ecosystem because fishing fleets will no longer be needed. Fish will be harvested by passenger jets and fish for dinner will be a simple matter of throwing a net into the air.

And if the climate is real hot. those fish you catch will already be cooked, saving the time and expense of doing it in your kitchen.

The Libertarian Economics of Hayak and Misses can not be denied.

Vote Ron Paul - 2012.

gwrede
1 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2011
The Arctic sea will soon be free of ice all summer. This will provide a vast area with very cold water, which the author forgot about.
omatumr
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 20, 2011
implications for the future of our oceans under global warming


CO2-induced global warming has not been observed, although global temperatures have generally increased since the Last Little Ice Age.

See http://judithcurr...pdate-ii

rubberman
5 / 5 (1) Dec 21, 2011
The Arctic sea will soon be free of ice all summer. This will provide a vast area with very cold water, which the author forgot about.


Most fish species are not migratory over massive distances, the arctic ocean is not an untapped body of nutrients waiting to welcome new arrivals because of the temperature and lack of daylight for 2 months of the year and it's still going to have winter ice cover. Pretty sure the 100 level author is well aware of the properties of the artic ocean.

Oliver, your link doesn't support your comment. It states a 50/50 split, the only denial of this split is in your post after the article you linked to. Also it only deals with the arctic, not the entire globe so it's not as relevant for this string as it is for the other two where you have posted the exact same thing.