Imagine losing coastlines, entire islands, and substantial parts of Asia, northern Europe and the Arctic from erosion, floods, and glacial melting. Imagine the consequences of a year with record heat temperatures.
Can you envision a world constantly hit with hurricanes and tsunamis, afflicted with drowning seals and disappearing polar bears, and impoverished by lost marine environments and arctic livelihoods? Can you further envision the disappearance of coral reefs, and depletion of as much as 1/3 of the species in the oceans due to ocean acidification and climate change?
Now, imagine a world where you could make a difference. Imagine that you could help the world better undersand the oceans, reduce ocean pollution, restore ecosystems, repair damaged marine environments and replenish the oceans' resources.
Can you imagine rebuilding the world's oceans and seas, valuable resources upon which so much of our existence depends? Can you imagine taking on challenges such as climate change impacts, ocean acidification, and bleaching of coral reefs?
As one of our most precious assets, the ocean is indispensable to life itself. It is the largest habitat for living things in our solar system and sustains our lives with over 50 percent of the earth's oxygen. "Without our oceans, we wouldn't be able to breathe; we wouldn't be able to eat; we wouldn't be able to live.'"
The Ocean and coastal resources supply us with:
A vital source of food - The ocean is the primary source of protein for over 2.6 billion people worldwide;
A source of employment and livelihood - Economic activity resulting from the ocean indirectly and directly support 200 - 400 million people each year;
Energy that powers the planet - The oceans hold existing and potential oil and gas reserves for future energy use;
A place for leisure and sports - More than 200 million people visit coastal cities and countries each year;
A place to live - Over half of the world's population live within 200 km of a coastline.
Increasing economic activity and climate change, however, have put our marine environments, and our own existence in great peril. Marine ecosystems are at risk of being lost forever; fisheries are facing declining catches; and island states are threatened by rising sea levels. The specter of global terrorism and nuclear activity in the oceans also pose a great danger to our lives.
Waves of change offers an opportunity to address all of these issues and more. View an introduction to Waves of Change below.
Join Earth Dr Reese Halter distinguished conservation biologist from California Lutheran University and science communicator: voice for ecology on June 22, 2011 as MSNBC anchor...
Oceanic Coal Pollution, Epic RateLast Updated on 2014-08-12 11:58:26Each year, the lion's share of mercury poison comes from burning more than 8.3 billion tons of coal to provide energy for electricity grids.
Join Earth Dr Reese Halter from Los Angeles in another segment of SOS as he tells us about our oceans brimming with mercury poisoning.
As a result of this insatiable addiction to coal, mercury toxicity has tripled in our oceans to over 80,000 tons of poison. Eighty-four percent of fish tested are laced with methyl-mercury, say scientists from the Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine.
In December of 2013 Shanghai's concentration of tiny toxic PM 2.5 particles was 602.5 micrograms per cubic meter, an extremely hazardous level that shattered all previous records for poisonous air pollution. By the way, that compares to the World Heath Organization's acceptable safety standard of air quality of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.... More »
From Despair to Repair: Dramatic Decline of Caribbean Corals Can Be ReversedLast Updated on 2014-07-02 13:46:18Gland, Switzerland, 02 July 2014 – With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish.
The results show that the Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50% since the... More »
Ideas For Change, Sylvia EarleLast Updated on 2014-06-10 07:54:50
World Oceans Day - 8th June 2013
An Interactive infographic designed by the Global Agenda Council on Oceans in partnership with the Ocean Health Index will be hosted on the World Economic Forum homepage http://www.weforum.org/.
The infographic will enable audiences to learn more about the benefits of measuring and monitoring ocean resources through the Ocean Health Index and Seafood Traceability.
A link to the infographic will be released shortly.
Forum:Blog (http://forumblog.org) will feature supporting blog posts from a number of expert oceanographers:
- Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer and Creator of Mission Blue Foundation, on Oceans
- Celine Cousteau, Founder and CEO of CauseCentric Productions, on Human-Ocean Relationship
- Nishan Degnarain, Senior Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Mauritius, on the Economic Role of Oceans
- Hans... More »