Back in my “Watching the Deniers” days I developed a keen interest in the state world’s oceans, as it was through my reading and research I came to have a better understanding of the fragile state of the world’s oceans.
In July 2010 I started to become deeply alarmed: research indicated that since the 1950s over 40% of the oceans phytoplankton had died out due to rising temperatures and acidification.
Now, more bad news: the seas are well and truly dying and time frames for actions are “shrinking”.
The most recent “State of the Ocean” report has just been released and is grim reading indeed.
Some quotes from the report:
…The speeds of many negative changes to the ocean are near to or are tracking the worst-case scenarios from IPCC and other predictions. Some are as predicted, but many are faster than anticipated, and many are still accelerating.
…The magnitude of the cumulative impacts on the ocean is greater than previously understood Interactions between different impacts can be negatively synergistic (negative impact greater than sum of individual stressors) or they can be antagonistic (lowering the effects of individual impacts). Examples of such interactions include: combinations of overfishing, physical disturbance, climate change effects, nutrient runoff and introductions of non-native species leading to explosions of these invasive species, including harmful algal blooms, and dead zones
The report also notes:
…The longer the delay in reducing emissions the higher the annual reduction rate will have to be and the greater the financial cost. Delays will mean increased environmental damage with greater socioeconomic impacts and costs of mitigation and adaptation measures.
…Ecosystem collapse is occurring as a result of both current and emerging stressors. Stressors include chemical pollutants, agriculture run-off, sediment loads and over extraction of many components of food webs which singly and together severely impair the functioning of ecosystems.
Who will mourn the death of the seas myriad ecosystems?
Who will remember the passing of the oceans?
Some of us will.
Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs?
Where is your tribal memory? Sirs,
in that gray vault. The sea. The sea
has locked them up. The sea is History
– The Sea is History, Derek Walcott
Mozart’s Requiem is perhaps the only fitting piece of music to commemorate the loss of the sea.