How the Oceans will Impact on Climate Change Over the Next 25 Years
8 Pages Posted: 18 May 2021 Last revised: 13 Jul 2021
Date Written: May 18, 2021
Deforestation, drained wetlands, destroyed mangroves and polluted oceans have eroded the ability of nature to use the carbon and recycle nutrients. Climate change is caused by more carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere than is being removed by plants on land and under water by photosynthesis. We need to reduce carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, but it will be in vain unless we can also regenerate nature on land and in the oceans.
Carbon dioxide dissolves into the oceans, and marine plants turn it into food for microscopic plankton, fish and whales. When the plants and animals die, they sink to the abyss, and this represents 90% of the world's carbon bank. Over the last 70 years we have lost more than 50% of all marine life due to pollution, and it has gone largely unnoticed because most of it is under 1 mm in size. The microscopic marine life is hugely important, but it has been decimated to such an extent that it can no longer keep pace with the carbon dioxide entering the seawater, and for this reason the oceans are becoming less alkaline.
Less alkaline means more acidic, hence the reason why it is called Ocean Acidification or the evil twin of climate change because the consequences to humanity are far more catastrophic than climate change, and they are happening now.
More than 50% of the remaining marine life is made from aragonite, a mineral of calcium carbonate that will dissolve by the time the acidity drops to pH7.95, that is in 25 to 30 years.
The survival of humanity depends upon the oceans and nature living below the surface, but it will simply dissolve over the next three decades, and the consequences will be catastrophic.
Keywords: nature, oceans, climate change, ocean acidification
JEL Classification: Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation