A glass sea sponge reef off the coast of British Columbia. The sponges can be as tall as 30 metres but are said to be as fragile as crackers. (Provided by Sally Leys) As climate change deprives the world’s oceans of oxygen, new research on B.C. sea sponges offers a glimmer of hope for some marine creatures. Sally Leys, biological sciences professor at the University of Alberta, co-authored recent research on B.C.’s glass sponges that found the animals use very little oxygen compared to sea sponges in other parts of the world — less than 10 per cent of what some other species use. "We tend to think of animals as like us, as basically needing a lot [of oxygen]," Leys told On The Coast guest host Jason D’Souza. "So it’s sort of surprising to think that something might not need that much." In a paper published in January, scientists said oxygen is disappearing from increasingly large areas of ocean and threatening marine life. Oxygen loss in the ocean can be caused by agricultural and industrial pollution, but in the open ocean climate change is by far the biggest contributor, one scientist said. Reefs 30 metres tall The glass […]

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