In Denmark, oxygen-starved sea areas, a phenomenon accelerated by climate change, were twice as large in August 2020 as a year earlier, according to an academic report released on Friday. Denmark, sea areas in need of oxygen, a phenomenon accelerated by climate change, were twice as large in August 2020 as a year earlier, according to an academic report released on Friday.
In the Nordic country, which has more than 400 islands and almost 5,000 km of coastline, “the total area affected by oxygen depletion in Danish inland waters (within the EEZ line) was ( …) of around 3,300 km2 in mid-August, where about a third of the area was affected by severe oxygen depletion, ”noted the University’s National Center for Energy and Climate Aarhus (DCE).
This represents an area “twice as large as in 2019”. The loss of oxygen in the water is often found on coasts and semi-enclosed seas.
According to the DCE, the Danish climate in 2020 was conducive to the loss of oxygen from the seas with “significant runoff at the start of the year and therefore an increased supply of organic matter and nutrients, high temperatures in the waters of the seas. bottom and especially weak winds since the middle of spring ”.
Rising temperature reduces oxygen solubility and weak winds affect oxygen transport from the surface to the depths, contributing to deoxygenation.
This situation has had “serious consequences for fauna, plants and fish in a number of areas and it could worsen in the coming period”, underlined the DCE.
In 2019, a report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) noted that the oxygen levels in the oceans had decreased by about 2% between 1960 and 2010. They could still lose 3 to 4% of their oxygen stocks by 2100 if emissions continue to grow at the current rate.
About 700 sites across the globe suffer from low oxygen, up from 45 in the 1960s.