Climate change is affecting many aspects of our environment, including the dissolved oxygen levels of our oceans. Dissolved oxygen (DO) is the amount of free oxygen, O2, in water. This is important for the survival of aquatic species such as sharks. The shark population has decreased by more than 70% over the past 50+ years; this is especially troubling because of how important sharks are to the health of our oceans.
Several researchers at the University of Miami conducted a 10-year study on sharks and the health of the ocean, around the Southern tip of Florida. This study showed where the sharks were migrating and what the DO levels were from Miami to the Florida Keys. After comparing the two datasets, the data showed that the majority of shark species avoided areas where the DO levels were below 2 mg/L, where most sharks cannot survive. All of the regions where the DO levels were below 2 mg/L were in National Parks or sanctuaries;
this means that the conservation efforts are not working or need to be focused on DO levels.
This data visualization aims to visualize and convey the dire circumstances for these sharks and their ecosystem, which can ultimately impact human life.