International

Oceans are more vital than you think

 

By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online

Almost daily we hear that the oceans are in trouble – overfishing, melting glaciers, rising seas, acidifying waters and an expanding dead zone, just to name a few.

What is lost in these narrowly focused headlines is the fundamental truth that oceans are the biggest single life support system on the planet, and as such they need to be an enormous part of the global solution to damage from excessive carbon dioxide emissions.

After all, oceans cover over 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface, the marine life in them produces one out of every breath we take, and oceans provide 99 per cent of the liveable space on Earth.

Oceans soak up excess heat as well as carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels. And if they didn’t, climate change would be much worse already.

Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute and a marine biologist, says “We need a healthy, functioning ocean that resists the negative impacts from climate change, and the best way to that is by providing marine life safe havens in which they can repopulate the sea after other places get too hot or too acidic for resident marine life.”

A great deal of recent research shows that strongly protecting areas –no-take marine reserves that prohibit all extraction of marine life – is the most effective way to counteract the worst effects of climate change.

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