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Study: Lake fish at risk as climate change drives rapid oxygen loss in U.S. and around the world

Oxygen levels in hundreds of freshwater lakes in the U.S. and across the world are plummeting — and climate change is largely to blame, according to a study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per a statement from study co-author Kevin Rose, a professor of biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: "All complex life depends on oxygen. ... when you start losing oxygen, you have the potential to lose species."


Driving the news: The study published in the journal Natureanalyzed temperature and dissolved oxygen — a measure of how much oxygen is in water — in almost 400 lakes across the temperate zone, mostly in the U.S. and Europe, but also several in New Zealand and one in Japan.

What they found: The researchers found that since 1980, oxygen levels have dropped 5.5% at the surface and 18.6% in deep waters. The fall is 2.75 to 9.3 times faster than the world's oceans.

  • Warming temperatures are leading to widespread losses in dissolved oxygen across the studied lakes were linked to climate change and human activity.
  • Some lakes saw increasing dissolved oxygen concentrations and warming temperatures, caused by pollution such as agricultural runoff.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Just as global warming is fundamentally altering marine ecosystems, making ocean waters more acidic, increasing temperatures, and altering ocean currents, it's now clear that sweeping changes are happening in water bodies on land.

  • At risk are ecosystems long dependent on a particular temperature and oxygen structure within a lake. In other words, fish and other marine creatures are facing challenges wherever scientists look.

Of note: Researchers have previously documented dissolved oxygen losses in lakes over a sustained period, but "none" have surveyed so many lakes around the globe, noted Samuel Fey, a Reed College biology professor who studies lakes and wasn't involved in this study, to AP.

The bottom line: Rose told AP the conditions researchers observed can "sometimes lead to fish kills" in water bodies.

  • "It really means that a lot of habitats for cold water fish could become inhospitable," he said.

E3 2021: Nintendo and Ubisoft team up again with Switch sequel “Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope"

Two of gaming’s biggest companies are creating a game together for the third time in five years with a Switch sequel, “Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.”

Why it matters: Nintendo rarely lets other companies work with its characters, making its continued partnerships with Ubisoft a rare sign of trust.

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In photos: Harris shows up at Pride parade in downtown D.C.

Vice President Kamala Harris dropped in at the Capitol Pride Walk And Rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

The state of play: Harris and second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, joined the crowd, who welcomed them with cheers, according to press reports.

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The endgame of the pandemic is giving both employers and workers a chance to create a more humane relationship — both in the office and out of it.

The big picture: Companies need workers, but many employees aren't ready to go back to the way things used to be. A hybrid setup could provide the best possible way forward, if both sides are willing to give.

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Blue Origin auctions off a trip to the edge of space for $28 million

A seat aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed flight to suborbital space fetched $28 million during a live auction on Saturday.

Why it matters: While the market for suborbital tourist flights to space may not be huge, experts say it's an important, public-facing part of the space industry that could popularize it as more people start flying.

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Macron at G7: "It's great to have the U.S. president part of the club"

U.S. President Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron were all smiles and handshakes during their first formal, in-person meeting on Saturday, with Macron telling pool reporters "it's great to have the U.S. president part of the club."

Why it matters: Biden has made rebuilding the United States' global leadership central to his foreign policy, frequently touting, "America is back."

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More than dozen injured in downtown Austin shooting

A shooting in a busy part of downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday injured at least 13 people, including two who are in critical condition.

The state of play: Gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. along 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants. The suspected shooter remains at large, Austin police said. "It is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved," they noted, adding the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

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Biden to urge G7 to take unified approach to countering China

President Biden on Saturday is expected to urge fellow G7 leaders to adopt a unified approach to countering China's rising global influence, AP reports.

Driving the news: The G7 leaders are set to unveil a multi-billion-dollar global infrastructure plan aimed at rivaling Beijing's efforts in the developing world.

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