The World’s Lakes Are Losing Oxygen

New research finds oxygen levels in the world's temperate freshwater lakes are declining due to the rising temperatures caused by climate change. (Gretchen Hansen, University of Minnesota)

Climate Change Is Draining the World’s Lakes of Oxygen

by Alex Fox/

Oxygen levels in the world’s lakes are declining because of climate change, according to new research published last week in the journal Nature. Global heating is increasing water temperatures, which reduces the amount of oxygen water can hold. Less oxygen may cause problems for fish and other freshwater wildlife, reports Damian Carrington for the Guardian.

The study analyzed changes in water temperature, clarity and oxygen content for 393 lakes located in temperate climates in North America, South America, Asia and Europe over time. For some lakes, the data stretched all the way back to 1941, but the majority of the records began in the 1980s, reports Kirsti Marohn for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).

Since the 1980s, the average oxygen content of these lakes declined 5.5 percent near the surface and fell by 18.6 percent in deep waters, according to the study.

“All complex life depends on oxygen. It’s the support system for aquatic food webs. And when you start losing oxygen, you have the potential to lose species,” says Kevin Rose, a freshwater ecologist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the study’s senior author, in a statement. Read More:


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  1. How did the researcher adjust for the increases of nitrogen due to lakeside septic emissions?
    What criteria did he use to pick the lakes?
    Was he cognizant of the fact that the opposite perspective would kill his grant application?
    Our science is now Bernaysian “Public Relations “, Carol.

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