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The Ocean’s Low-Oxygen Dead Zones Are Getting Worse, Just Like Wildfires

Dungeness crabs are popular among commercial and recreational fishers in Oregon. About 8.3 million pounds were harvested in 2014–15. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife/CC BY-SA 2.0 Each year, wildfires scorch large swaths of the West, and scientists try to predict just how bad the fire season will be for an upcoming year based on moisture levels, weather, and a host of other factors. But fire season isn’t the only annual environmental event that can have catastrophic impacts—take the hurricane or tornado seasons, for example. We can now add hypoxia season to the list, thanks to a familiar culprit—the same one that’s likely been fanning fire season. Along the West Coast, low-oxygen levels in bottom layers of the ocean,… Read More