A new even more devastating corollary of climate change has been discovered. The impacts of climate change are diverse ranging from sea level rise to extreme weather. Now we can add oxygen depletion to that list. While we can avoid flooding from rising seas, we can even escape many forms of extreme weather, however, oxygen depletion is a global phenomenon that would kill millions.
According to research published in the journal Bulletin of Mathematical Biology from the University of Leicester in the UK, rising ocean temperatures could cause the Earth’s oxygen levels to fall dramatically. This could cause kill massive numbers of people and animals. The research is titled Mathematical Modeling of Plankton-Oxygen Dynamics Under the Climate Change, and it was conducted by researchers Yadigar Sekerci and Sergei Petrovskii.
Around 66 percent of the earth’s atmospheric oxygen comes from plankton. The research indicates that oxygen production by plankton would stop if the oceans were to warm by 6 degrees Celsius or more. This is a daunting finding as many studies predict that if we continue with business as usual temperature increases will exceed 6C before 2100.
While sea level rise has quite rightly been described as catastrophic, oxygen depletion would make flooding from melting ice seem relatively minor by comparison.
Click here to see the study.