In a rarity, there may be some good news for our oceans in a future warmer planet.
The latest prediction is the result of a Rutgers University-led study published in Nature. The scientists analyzed ocean sediment and found that the ocean’s oxygen levels were higher during the Miocene period, when the earth was warmer than today.
This news potentially counteracts the current data showing decreasing oxygen levels in our ocean, which had led some researchers to theorize that we would end up with dead zones in our seas.
Commenting on the new findings, Anya Hess, the lead author and Rutgers doctoral student stated:
“Our study shows that the eastern equatorial Pacific, which today is home to the largest oxygen-deficient zone in the oceans, was well oxygenated during the Miocene warm period, despite the fact that global temperatures at that time were higher than at present. This suggests that current oxygen loss may ultimately reverse.”
While Yair Rosenthal, a distinguished professor focusing on marine and Earth sciences with the Rutgers School of Art and Sciences and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, added:
“These results were unexpected and suggest that the solubility-driven loss of oxygen that has occurred in recent decades is not the end of the story for oxygen’s response to climate change.”
You can find the original research here.