Analysis showed that 84% of coral reefs suffer from oxygen starvation
(ORDO NEWS) — About 84% of coral reefs suffer from lack of oxygen.
Corals are extremely sensitive to the state of the environment, so a sharp global warming threatens their existence.
In particular, due to fluctuations in the acidity of water, polyps may lose the ability to build a calcareous shell.
Coral reefs are a hotbed of biodiversity and serve as a home for many living creatures, and therefore the reduction of their area causes great damage to the Earth‘s biosphere.
Andreas Andersson and his colleagues conducted a study and found that due to global warming, corals suffer not only from high temperatures and high acidity, but also from oxygen starvation.
This conclusion was made during the study of 32 large reefs of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, including off the coast of Australia, Hawaii, as well as Panama and Okinawa.
The authors of the work made several expeditions to these coral reefs and installed many autonomous sensors on their territory, which collected data on water temperature, salinity, acidity and oxygen concentration every half hour.
This information, the researchers note, is critical for assessing how global warming and related processes affect the life of coral polyps.
Subsequent analysis of the data collected by these sensors unexpectedly showed that virtually all of the studied coral reefs, over 84% of them, constantly suffer from hypoxia, moderate oxygen starvation.
Another 13% of corals occasionally experienced severe hypoxia, during which the oxygen concentration in the waters surrounding the polyps fell below two milligrams per liter.
These problems are especially pronounced at night and early in the morning, when in the absence of the sun, algae do not produce, but absorb oxygen. In the future, as water warms (and the ability to dissolve oxygen decreases), the problem may worsen.
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