By: Ashtyn Frazier
WASHINGTON, D.C. (mocsnews.com)- Researchers have found that hundreds of lakes in the U.S. and Europe have declining oxygen levels that could result in methane emission, algal blooms, and a decline in the fish population.
Published in the journal Nature, researchers found a 5.5% decline in dissolved oxygen in surface waters and 18.6% decline in deep waters in the 400 widespread lakes examined.
Researchers concluded that warming temperatures caused by human activities is the reason for the oxygen decline.
Runoff sewage, fertilizer, cars, and power plants are human activities that result in climate change. Co- author Craig E. Williamson said there is a “pronounced human footprint,” that reflects the issue.
Cold water fish that rely on cooler temperatures found deeper in the water can’t survive in low oxygen waters.
Co-author Kevin C. Rose said that the dissolved oxygen was “very low” in the deep waters studied and unlivable for many species.
Rose said that in a quarter of the lakes studied, there was increasing oxygen in surface waters that is likely caused by algal blooms. Rose stated that lakes outside of the study most likely have drops in dissolved oxygen too, claiming that climate warming is reducing the ability of oxygen to dissolve in water.
“We know that most or many places around the planet are warming,” said Rose. “And so we would expect to see declining solubility.”