Oceans play a critical role in our planet’s health, with alarming consequences of human activity and climate change on these vast, interconnected bodies of water.
Our planet is often described as an ocean planet, with over 70% of its surface covered by oceans. These vast and seemingly endless waters provide sustenance and beauty and regulate Earth’s climate and weather patterns. However, they face an existential crisis due to the combined impacts of shifting baseline syndrome, climate change, and human activities.
Shifting baseline syndrome is a phenomenon where we tend to forget what the oceans once were like, leading us to underestimate the extent of their degradation. This syndrome blinds us to the profound changes happening beneath the surface.
One alarming consequence of climate change is the ocean’s role as a heat sink. The ocean absorbs up to 90% of excess heat generated by climate change, mitigating the impacts on land. However, as the ocean warms, it loses its capacity to absorb this heat, leading to devastating consequences for marine life and coastal communities.
Ocean acidification, a direct result of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, threatens the very foundation of marine ecosystems. It impacts shellfish, corals, and other organisms that rely on calcium carbonate for their structures and survival.
Eutrophication, driven by nutrient pollution, leads to oxygen-depleted “dead zones” that harm marine life and disrupt fisheries. Overfishing further exacerbates the depletion of marine resources, endangering species and the livelihoods of countless communities worldwide.
Pollution and Microplastics
Plastic pollution poses a visible and growing threat, with microplastics infiltrating even the deepest reaches of the sea. Coral die-off, linked to rising sea temperatures, imperils the vibrant and diverse ecosystems of coral reefs, known as the rainforests of the ocean.
Global Warming is Real is dedicated to shedding light on these interconnected issues and providing information, resources, and solutions to inspire positive change. By understanding the immense value of our oceans and recognizing their vulnerability, we can collectively work towards preserving these vital ecosystems for future generations.