Other researchers are even less sympathetic to Duarte's thesis. One is atmospheric physicist Ralph Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, whose work is criticized in the paper. In 2010, Keeling and his co-authors suggested that in the future the problem of low oxygen levels in water, now seen in 'dead zones' off many coasts, could spread on a global scale3. Duarte and his team do not present evidence to the contrary, but they suggest that it is wrong to call this a 'calamity'.
But Keeling, who leads programmes on atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen, says that his paper did not use the term calamity. Instead, it called the issue “a potentially serious consequence of global warming”.
Duarte's paper “is kind of committing the same sin it’s railing against in the casting of this as a series of calamities”, says Keeling. “The literature doesn’t call it calamites. That’s their own hyperbolic language.”