Tuesday, September 06, 2016
The Angry Ocean and the Coming Apocalypse
I grew up by the sea. I learned to read its many moods.
I learned when it was safe to swim in it or sail on it, and when it was dangerous.
I knew the toll it took on those who set out in small boats to harvest its bounty.
But these days you don't have to live by the sea to know it's angry.
And that ocean warming is our generation's greatest hidden challenge.
The soaring temperature of the oceans is the “greatest hidden challenge of our generation” that is altering the make-up of marine species, shrinking fishing areas and starting to spread disease to humans, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of ocean warming.
The profound changes underway in the oceans are starting to impact people, the report states. “Due to a domino effect, key human sectors are at threat, especially fisheries, aquaculture, coastal risk management, health and coastal tourism.”
One that now threatens the very existence of millions and millions of people.
Just a brief glance at our beautiful blue planet should have served as a warning...
The ocean has absorbed more than 90% of the extra heat created by human activity. If the same amount of heat that has been buried in the upper 2km of the ocean had gone into the atmosphere, the surface of the Earth would have warmed by a devastating 36C, rather than 1C, over the past century.
All that water was saving us, but also concealing the danger. And is now itself becoming a threat to human survival.
At some point, the report says, warming waters could unlock billions of tonnes of frozen methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from the seabed and cook the surface of the planet.
Now not just threatening to cook us or drown us...
But poison us as well.
Humans are also set to suffer from the spread of disease as the ocean continues to heat up. The IUCN report found there is growing evidence of vibrio bacterial disease, which can cause cholera, and harmful algal bloom species that can cause food poisoning.
And of course this is the only solution.
“The only way to preserve the rich diversity of marine life, and to safeguard the protection and resources the ocean provides us with, is to cut greenhouse gas emissions rapidly and substantially,” said Inger Andersen, director general of the IUCN.
But will we heed the warning, when we have ignored so many others? And so much of the danger is still hidden.
Will we recognize that although it's easy to blame politicians, we are the problem?
And that only by changing the way we live on this planet, can we we hope to save it and ourselves.
And all I can say is we better, and quickly. For what is happening now is the final warning of the coming apocalypse.
And this I do know.
The oceans are my playground...
And my favourite places on Earth.
But when they get angry.
No force on Earth can resist them...
Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.