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‘Stop treating seas as a sewer,’ MPs urge in bid for protection treaty

"A new global agreement to protect the seas should be a priority for the government to stop our seas becoming a “sewer”, according to a cross-party group of MPs.

Plastic pollution is set to treble in the next decade, the environmental audit committee warned, while overfishing is denuding vital marine habitats of fish, and climate change is causing harmful warming of the oceans as well as deoxygenation and acidification. [...]"

Source: The Guardian

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UK must support ‘Paris agreement for the sea’ to protect global oceans, say MPs

"British seas are being treated “like a sewer”, polluted by an endless stream of plastics, untreated waste and farming effluent, MPs have warned. In a damning new report, the Environmental Audit Committee has laid out the dangers facing the nation’s oceans and what needs to be done to address them.

Besides pollution, climate change, overfishing and deep sea mining are all threatening marine ecosystems and the trillions of pounds they deliver to the economy, the report states. [...]"

Source: Independent

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Spatial congruence between multiple stressors in the Mediterranean Sea may reduce its resilience to climate impacts

Abstract.

"Climate impacts on marine ecosystems may be exacerbated by other, more local stressors interacting synergistically, such as pollution and overexploitation of marine resources. The reduction of these human stressors has been proposed as an achievable way of retaining ecosystems within a “safe operating space” (SOS), where they remain resilient to ongoing climate change. However, the operability of an SOS requires a thorough understanding of the spatial distribution of these climate and human impacts. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Francisco Ramírez et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-33237-w

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Generality in multispecies responses to ocean acidification revealed through multiple hypothesis testing

Abstract.

"Decades of research have demonstrated that many calcifying species are negatively affected by ocean acidification, a major anthropogenic threat in marine ecosystems. However, even closely related species may exhibit different responses to ocean acidification and less is known about the drivers that shape such variation in different species. Here, we examine the drivers of physiological performance under ocean acidification in a group of five species of turf‐forming coralline algae. [...]"

Source: Global Change Biology
Authors: Allison K. Barner et al.
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14372

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The Ocean is losing its breath: declining oxygen in the world's ocean and coastal waters; summary for policy makers

"Oxygen is critical to the health of the ocean. It structures aquatic ecosystems, impacts the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and other key elements, and is a fundamental requirement for marine life from the intertidal zone to the greatest depths of the ocean." [...]

Source: UNESCO (UNESDOC)
Authors: Denise Breitburg et al.

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Hazards of decreasing marine oxygen: the near-term and millennial-scale benefits of meeting the Paris climate targets

Abstract.

"Ocean deoxygenation is recognized as key ecosystem stressor of the future ocean and associated climate-related ocean risks are relevant for current policy decisions. In particular, benefits of reaching the ambitious 1.5 °C warming target mentioned by the Paris Agreement compared to higher temperature targets are of high interest. Here, we model oceanic oxygen, warming and their compound hazard in terms of metabolic conditions on multi-millennial timescales for a range of equilibrium temperature targets. [...]"

Source: Earth System Dynamics
Authors: Gianna Battaglia and Fortunat Joos
DOI: 10.5194/esd-9-797-2018

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Ocean science research is key for a sustainable future

"Human activity has already affected all parts of the ocean, with pollution increasing and fish-stocks plummeting. The UN’s recent announcement of a Decade of Ocean Science provides a glimmer of hope, but scientists will need to work closely with decision-makers and society at large to get the ocean back on track. [...]"

Source: Martin Visbeck
Author: Nature Communications
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03158-3

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Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn

Areas starved of oxygen in open ocean and by coasts have soared in recent decades, risking dire consequences for marine life and humanity

 

"Ocean dead zones with zero oxygen have quadrupled in size since 1950, scientists have warned, while the number of very low oxygen sites near coasts have multiplied tenfold. Most sea creatures cannot survive in these zones and current trends would lead to mass extinction in the long run, risking dire consequences for the hundreds of millions of people who depend on the sea. [...]"

Source: The Guardian

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Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters

Abstract.

"Oxygen is fundamental to life. Not only is it essential for the survival of individual animals, but it regulates global cycles of major nutrients and carbon. The oxygen content of the open ocean and coastal waters has been declining for at least the past half-century, largely because of human activities that have increased global temperatures and nutrients discharged to coastal waters. [...]"

Source: Science
Authors: Denise Breitburg et al.
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7240

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Patterns of deoxygenation: sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic drivers

Abstract.

"Observational estimates and numerical models both indicate a significant overall decline in marine oxygen levels over the past few decades. Spatial patterns of oxygen change, however, differ considerably between observed and modelled estimates. Particularly in the tropical thermocline that hosts open-ocean oxygen minimum zones, observations indicate a general oxygen decline, whereas most of the state-of-the-art models simulate increasing oxygen levels. Possible reasons for the apparent model-data discrepancies are examined. [...]"

Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Socie
Authors: Andreas Oschlies et al.
DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2016.0325

Read the full article here.


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