The relationship between our oceans and climate change

The oceans absorb around 25 percent of all CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. This is helping to limit global warming but is also endangering marine ecosystems through ocean acidification.

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of the oceans to life on our planet. Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, holding 97 percent of the world’s water and producing between 50-80 percent of the oxygen that we breathe, the oceans form a global ecosystem that is as vast and complex as it is irreplaceable.

What’s more, the oceans’ true value remains largely unknown: more than 80 percent of the world’s seas have yet to be mapped and explored, while scientists estimate that more than 90 percent of ocean species have yet to be formally classified. As with the rainforests, we are at risk of endangering the oceans before fully understanding how vital to our survival they are.

As Daniel Eherer, Senior Sustainability Manager at Zurich Insurance Group, says: “How we use the oceans and their resources is a major geopolitical issue. There needs to be a concerted international effort to conserve and manage ocean ecosystems, recognizing that they are not a limitless resource.”

Zurich, 1 August 2022. Full article.

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