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Oceans face multiple environmental problems due to changing climate

A new study concludes that climate change will adversely affect 98 percent of the world’s oceans by 2100, causing acidification, warming temperatures, low oxygen or lack of biological productivity. Most areas will be stricken by more than one of those problems.

“What is really sobering about these findings is that they don’t even include other impacts to the world’s oceans such as sea level rise, pollution, over-fishing, and increasing storm intensity and frequency,” says Andrew Thurber, an Oregon State University oceanographer and co-author on the study.

The study will be published this week in the journal PLoS Biology.

Researchers found that many of the environmental stressors will occur in areas inhabited by people who can least afford to adapt to the changes.

“If we look on a global scale, between 400 million and 800 million people are both dependent on the ocean for their livelihood and also make less than $4,000 annually,” Thurber says. “Adapting to climate change is a costly endeavor, whether it is retooling a fishing fleet to target a changing fish stock, or moving to a new area or occupation.”

Steve Law can reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..