Oceans of impact: challenges to actions

The ocean covers nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contains 96% of its living space, harbours enormous biological and genetic diversity, provides around half of the oxygen in the atmosphere and is an increasingly important source of protein for a rapidly growing world population. However, human activity is having an impact on this precious resource on local, regional and global scales.

The ocean has been experiencing substantial changes in marine physics, chemistry and biology including ocean acidification, rising seawater temperature, ocean deoxygenation and sea level rise. These four, often interacting factors, are expected to increase over the coming decades depending on the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

It is imperative that international decision-makers and stakeholders understand the enormous role the ocean plays in sustaining life on Earth, and the consequences of a high CO2 world for the ocean and society.

Turley C., Keizer T., Seeyave S., Beckman F., Nicolai M. & Newton J., 2017. Oceans of Impact. Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans, BIOACID – Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification and the Global Ocean Acidification-Observing Network. Report.

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