We have committed so much despicable vandalism of the natural world in the name of progress, but surely the imminent destruction of all ocean life, some 75% of all life on earth, including we humans, is that final step too far?
Using fossilized remains to reconstruct the last 2,000 years sea level statistics, scientists have discovered them to be rising faster than at any other time during that period. Through comparison of these results with temperature changes in global sea surfaces, it has become evident that higher temperatures and rising tides are inextricably linked.
Sea-level rise is, for many areas of the planet, the potentially disastrous follow-on from rising temperatures due to climate change, land-based ice melting and ocean waters getting warmer. Researchers examined sediment layers from North Carolina marshes, seeking remains of tiny plankton-like creatures.
As different species lived at different depths, remains show how deep oceans were when sediment in which they lay was formed.The National Academy of Sciences study revealed that, while sea levels were stable from 200BC to1,000AD, since the late 19th century, levels have been steadily increasing.
Report co-author, Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, commented that the findings supported group estimates of sea level rises of up to 190cm by the year 2100, the pace accelerating as it gets generally warmer, around the globe, making severe coastal flooding a common factor of life in many parts of the world that do not yet experience it
Not only is that bad news for humanity, as they get more squeezed for living space by rising seas, but a preliminary report international marine experts tells of global ocean conditions being far worse than was imagined.
The Oxford University workshop, at which they had gathered, warned of entire ecosystems, like coral reefs, being lost within a generation, while worldwide, fish stocks are collapsing, leading to starvation in those areas of the world where people sustain themselves from the seas.
Increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere are blamed, causing ocean temperatures to rise and boosting algae, depriving fish of Oxygen and making seas more acid, a scenario similar to every previous mass extinction event in the history of the planet.
Scientific director of IPSO – International Programme on the State of the Ocean – Dr Alex Rogers commented that future generations will suffer if species are allowed to die out, the cumulative effect of what humankind has done to the seas far worse than we panel members had realized as individuals.
Humanity is facing a very serious situation, demanding unequivocal and immediate radical action at every level, to hopefully successfully avoid
consequences impacting on the whole of humanity in our lifetimes, and, worse still, far beyond that time-scale.
Urgent measures must now be put in place, to cut carbon emissions, stop over-fishing, create protected ocean areas and cut pollution generally, because if not, then the future of most of the creatures that dwell on this earth, the countless known and still undiscovered denizens of the oceans, are at serious risk of disappearing forever. Thing is, if that tragedy were to happen, the human race might not be far behind.