Thursday, March 15, 2012

The health of our oceans becoming huge environmental issue

Our oceans are often ignored when discussing global environmental issues. This is probably because most people look at them as some sort of giants that can survive everything we hit at them. Sadly, the science says otherwise.

Most scientists predict grim outlook for our oceans in years to come. This is because they are not facing just one but entire mix of different environmental issues such as ocean acidification, loss of marine biodiversity, climate change, pollution and overfishing.

Climate change and ocean acidification are said to be the two biggest threats to our oceans. The rate of ocean acidification is constantly on the rise because of the increased climate change impact and the constant increase in man-made carbon emissions.

The International Ocean Acidification Reference User Group says that ocean absorbs roughly 26 percent of total CO2 emissions each year. The main problem is that the total amount of carbon emissions is constantly growing - it has increased by approximately 30 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid 18th century.

Ocean acidification in business as usual scenario could have a devastating effect on marine biodiversity because it has the potential to wipe out marine species with calcium carbonate skeletons and shells such as corals, many of which play key role at the bottom of sea food chain.

The scientists have also warned us that the increased acidity will significantly reduce the availability of calcium for plankton, resulting in less plankton and therefore less food for many marine species, creating an irreparable damage to entire marine food chain.

The global attention needs to change its focus from economy to environment and realize that environmental issues are becoming more important than economic issues.

The global public must realize how important our oceans are in order to put more pressure on politicians. We need to force politicians to come up with the adequate legislation that would ensure better ocean preservation such as international climate change deal.

The international climate change deal is sadly still in the sphere of fantasy because politicians keep postponing this issue like we have all the time in the world. Time is definitely not on our side in this situation.

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