The oceans cover about two thirds of the earth’s surface, and they are the most vital thing to our human existence. But you may be asking yourself “how is that even true?” Well the oceans themselves generate wind providing us with the air we need to breathe, Oceans hold approximately 97% of our world’s water (the other 3% would come from rivers and lakes etc.) So once the oceans die, so do we. Ok so I don’t mean to sound all doom and gloom; I’m actually a pretty positive person but when it comes to our planet nothing seems to be positive. We humans are killing it at such a massive rate; species are dying out, the earth is warming up and our oceans will become fishless by the year 2050. Does that not scare you? I know for me it is terrifying. Read the rest of this post & Caroline’s (link at the bottom of this post) to find out how you and everyone is damaging the ocean, maybe you could find some inspiration to do your bit and try to change the fate we have given the oceans.
How are we killing the ocean?
Doesn’t this answer seem to be used for a lot of environmental issues? Well that’s because it does exist & it is real. Climate Change was created by humans and it is destroying the earth, this isn’t a made up concept. We need to except that in order to restore what we have lost.
So onto how Climate change is destroying oceans; it has been warming up the oceans faster than the worst fossil case on record when temperatures rose approximately 6 degrees over 1000 years back 56 million years ago. Now I know that was a long time ago but today we are facing the most rapid global warming crisis since the last ice age, Experts state we could see a warming of 5.5 degrees by the end of this century. To be honest if the emissions continue it will be no surprise if it does happen.
“Why is it so important?” Due to the fact that warming the ocean disrupts the fundamental structure of the marine food pyramid, as the increased concentration of CO2, from burning fossil fuels makes the ocean more acidic threatening many marine species. Meanwhile also destroying coral reefs. Did you know that the Golden Barrier Reef is so damaged that it cannot be restored. Humans have destroyed it that much there is no going back.
The ocean is becoming a desert
At current emission rates it is possible we will pass the critical level of 450 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere by 2040. That’s the level when, it is generally agreed, global climate change may become catastrophic and irreversible – that scares me.
In the 21st century everything is made of plastic, I guess for convenience but at the expense of the environment. Plastic water bottles, plastic straws, plastic forks and knives; these things are everywhere these days. We are living in a throw-away society using, one time use plastic. However where does the plastic we throw away end up? More than likely in the ocean.
Did you know that 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year. That is a crazy amount of plastic killing our marine life & destroying the quality of the sea. As the plastic that enters the ocean gets dispersed across the entire ocean it reaches even the most remote parts of the world, with plastic washing up on the shores of beaches on an isolated Arctic island miles from the nearest town or village.
It seems to be a rising problem in today’s society. With 146% increase of plastic washing up on UK beaches since 1994 and as you know plastic will never biodegrade, it will unfortunately out live us. But there is a little hope as some companies have started to create clothing and footwear out of ocean plastic to try reduce the amount out there. Adidas is one of those companies, bringing out a range of trainers made from plastic debris found in the oceans/ on beaches. I do believe they are currently being sold. You should definitely check them out.
Run Off Pollution
What is Run-off pollution? It is pollution that has washed off from the land usually from sewage that contains chemical toxins and nitrate fertilizer from farmland which has infected the oceans with chemicals and destroying it’s once beautiful vibrant blue coastal waters. While it’s a problem, it’s a problem we don’t really notice unlike that of plastic pollution, since it is a topic less spoke about. But unfortunately we are using the oceans as a sewer, it is damaging the beauty and quality of the ocean. We look at the ocean but we don’t actually see the damage we have caused because it does not just sit on the surface.
Your food grown with pesticides and fertilizers all contribute to run off pollution which makes it way into the ocean, oh and it doesn’t just affect the ocean itself if you are a meat/ fish eater the chemicals absorbed by the sea makes its way into the marine food web, therefore ensures that it will make its way into humans.
These are only 3 of the ways humans have affected the quality of the oceans by the choices we have made in today’s society. Unfortunately all of our choices have some kind of impact on the environment whether it be positive or negative, there is no getting away from making some kind of impact. If we are to live on this earth shouldn’t we be treating it with respect? I mean it isn’t really ours to trash; show some love to your surroundings and maybe start to think how you lifestyle affects the world, maybe we could start restoring the damage. Let’s leave the car at home and walk places more often, stop using those plastic straws we are always given in drinks or start eating more organic produce. You may think you can’t make a difference but small changes can help; you could end up influencing someone else to do the same. Give it a go, we need the oceans to survive.
This post is in collaboration with my vegan friend Caroline; Don’t forget to read her post on how marine life is affected by human activity. You can read it here: Marine Life in Captivity | World Oceans Day