Outdoors

New study warns of climate change impacts to oceans

Susan Petersen digs for sand worms at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, early Friday, July 20, 2012, in Saco, Maine.  She planned to use the worms as bait for striped bass fishing. (Robert Bukaty / Associated Press)
Susan Petersen digs for sand worms at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, early Friday, July 20, 2012, in Saco, Maine. She planned to use the worms as bait for striped bass fishing. (Robert Bukaty / Associated Press)

ENVIRONMENT — A new study looking at the impacts of climate change on the world’s ocean systems concludes that by the year 2100, about 98 percent of the oceans will be affected by acidification, warming temperatures, low oxygen, or lack of biological productivity – and most areas will be stricken by a multitude of these stressors, according to the Columbia Basin Bulletin.

These biogeochemical changes triggered by human-generated greenhouse gas emissions will not only affect marine habitats and organisms, the researchers say, but will often co-occur in areas that are heavily used by humans.

Results of the study are being published this week in the journal PLoS Biology. It was funding by the Norwegian Research Council and Foundation through its support of the International Network for Scientific investigation of deep-sea ecosystems.

“While we estimated that 2 billion people would be impacted by these changes, the most troubling aspect of our results was that we found that many of the environmental stressors will co-occur in areas inhabited by people who can least afford it,” said Andrew Thurber, an Oregon State University oceanographer and co-author on the study.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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