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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

A World of Hurt

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, October 17, 2013/Categories: sustainability, environment, climate change

The Public Library of Science/Biology has a way of getting your attention in a single sentence:

"As CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, ocean bio-geochemistry is being altered in ways that could potentially impact nature and mankind."

This statement begins an article published in PloS/Biology on  Biotic and Human Vulnerability to Projected Changes in Ocean Biogeochemistry over the 21st Century 
that makes very disturbing reading even if you only review the summary.

The worlds oceans are struggling from a myriad of abuses: overfishing, changing chemistry, agricultural and industrial pollution, and climate change. As the estimated source of between 50-85% the Earth's oxygen---created by marine phytoplankton---and the driver of weather patterns, the health of the oceans should concern everyone.

The data from the new environmental research is all heading in a bad direction. Trends in ocean temperatures, oxygen production, pH, and productivity, from 1860 to 2100 are all shocking.

Ocean Environmental Trends  (credit: PloS/Biology)

No single solution can reverse all these negative environment trends and it can seem daunting for an individual as to what they might do. However, getting involved is a first step. A couple of ocean opportunities might include: joining an environmental organization like Oceana; contribute to research initiatives such as the PEW Charitable Trusts-Oceans; get involved in the Blue Ocean Alliance; or participate with any local ocean clean-up and protection project near you.

The oceans are in "a world of hurt" and could use your help.


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