This loss of oxygen in the ocean is significant enough to affect the planetary cycling of elements such as nitrogen and phosphorous which are, “essential for life on Earth,” Dr. Laffoley said.
With rising global temperatures already lowering marine oxygen levels – to the point of producing and exacerbating coastal ‘dead zones’ – this could become a serious problem.
Many marine invertebrates – just like other animals with functional and complex eyes – depend on vision for survival. It helps them find prey, avoid predators, and locate shelter.
“As discussed in the press release, there still remains a need to reduce the nutrient load entering the Gulf of Mexico and the smaller observed size was likely a result of storm and wind conditions and are not necessarily an indication of a long-term decrease in hypoxia area,” said Keeley Belva, a spokeswoman for the National Ocean Service.
Though the tide can’t be totally turned back, the report, “Major Findings, Recommendations, and Actions,” found ways to blunt the environmental and economic impact now.
“Overall, we found there’s a decrease in species diversity and abundance irrespective of what ecosystem we are looking at. These are broad scale impacts, made worse when you combine the effect of warming with acidification.