Oceans in distress foreshadow mass extinction | The Raw Story 27 of the world's top ocean experts met in Oxford. All five mass extinctions of life on the planet, reaching back more than 500 million years, were preceded by many of the same conditions now afflicted the ocean environment, they said. "The results are shocking," said Alex Rogers, an Oxford professor who heads IPSO and co-authored the report. "We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime." Three main drivers are sickening the global marine environment, and all are a direct consequence of humans activity: global warming, acidification and a dwindling level oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia.