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Oceans in Crisis: Gambling With Our Future

OCEANS IN CRISIS: GAMBLING WITH OUR FUTURE

The threats posed by climate change and overexploitation of the oceans are already being felt. All will be affected, none more so than the poorest costal and island populations. With the crisis in our oceans and its devastating ecological consequences now abundantly clear, global solutions are needed.

Overfishing, rising sea levels, huge dead zones, and waste plastic in the ocean: these are hard facts, generated from sound data brought together by renowned marine scientists from across the world and available internationally. Experts, relying on ever-improving digital measurement methods and imaging techniques, are extremely concerned and warn of a scenario that affects everyone. It is beyond dispute: our oceans are in crisis.

We! Will! Die!” ran the headline in Jakob Augstein’s political column in the German current affairs magazine, Der Spiegel, in November 2017 following the UN climate summit in Bonn, chaired by Fiji. “It was good of the UN to pass the baton to the islanders before they sink”, Augstein continued. “Previously, when something could actually still have been done about rising sea levels, nobody would have thought to ask Fijians what they thought. There were more important things to think about, like cars, jobs, fridges… ourselves, really. And it’s not like Mallorca is going to sink. Not yet, anyway.”

Waves of concern: the consequences of climate change

The seas are suffering due to climate change. Scientists consider acidification, sea warming, and rising sea levels to be the three biggest problems we are facing. The main cause of climate change is CO2 released by humanity into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels. As the ocean absorbs too much CO2 it gradually becomes acidic, while increasing temperatures push sea levels up and cause huge changes to marine ecosystems.

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