Great white sharks require plenty of oxygen as metabolic fuel, and even more in warmer waters. They are among marine animals whose distributions will likely shift to meet their oxygen needs under climate change.
Great white sharks are among the many animals that require plenty of oxygen as metabolic fuel.

A research team that includes scientists from the College of the Environment’s School of Oceanography found that warmer ocean temperatures and decreasing levels of dissolved oxygen as a result of climate change will increase metabolic stress on marine animals. These new findings suggest that warmer water will speed up animals’ metabolic need for oxygen, but will simultaneously hold less of the oxygen needed to fuel their bodies. In the future, this change in ocean habitats will push marine animals away from the equator and into areas where the oxygen supply can meet the animals’ needs. Previously, marine scientists thought about oxygen mostly in terms of extreme events that could cause regional die-offs of marine animals, also known as dead zones.

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