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Increase in Oxygen Depletion in the Marine Environment: Drivers and Recommendations

17 Jun 2024

This working paper examines published papers and available global data to understand the location, extent, and duration of coastal dead zone (hypoxic areas) formation. It also looks at the trends in dead zone development and the conditions driving their formation. Documenting dead zones helps us to understand the scale of the problem and encourages governments and other stakeholders to develop strategies to combat their formation.

An assessment of coastal dead zones was undertaken based on a review of 841 published papers. Almost 1000 hypoxic or eutrophic “hot spots” were identified, nearly double the number reported in a review from 2008 (Diaz and Rosenberg in 2008). It is not possible to tell how much of this increase might be attributable to increased reporting; however, the upward trend broadly correlates with growing human populations, coastal development, increased fertilizer use and a warming global ocean.

Status: Completed

Type: Monograph

Year of publication: 2024

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