The planet had stable temperatures for approximately 10,000 years. Currently, human actions have warmed the planet by more than one degree. More than 90% of all the extra heat in the atmosphere, a product of greenhouse gas emissions, is absorbed by the oceans, with implications that until now are beginning to be understood. In the oceans, 30% of the carbon is captured from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are produced when we burn oil, gas and coal, or destroy forests.
According to the analysis of the World Economic Forum called the “Future of nature and business”, the food production system and the use of land and oceans, causes more negative effects than its contribution to the economy. It has been calculated that this system reaches US $ 12 trillion, exceeding its contribution to the world Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Marine life is in danger
As the ocean suffers from global warming, marine life can get sick or even die. Coral reefs depend on a symbiosis with algae that provide them with food, through photosynthesis. In very hot waters the algae does not produce food, it dies and causes what is known as coral bleaching. Reefs provide shelter, food and a space for the reproduction of 25% of all marine species, including economically important fish such as crustaceans (shrimp, lobsters and crabs) and others.
The unsustainable exploitation of marine resources, added to the effects of climate change, generate cumulative impacts that weaken the ocean’s ability to continue providing all these services.
They propose to increase protection of areas around Isla del Coco
Catalina Molina, a biologist at the Fundación Amigos Isla del Coco (FAICO), commented that in view of this situation, they have promoted a proposal to increase the protection of the areas around Isla del Coco and the Submarine Mountains, through a process that is led by the State and is supported by different social and scientific actors.
She recalled that science has shown that marine areas that are protected are excellent for obtaining a triple benefit: the protection of biodiversity, fisheries production and the mitigation of climate change. Well-integrated networks of marine protected areas and where pressures are managed, can increase the survival of species by allowing them to move throughout their entire range of action.
The FAICO biologist explained: “All of us have a role to play to contribute to solutions to climate change. We have to assume the responsibility of informing ourselves about how our daily actions and the policies that we listen to and decide to support or pay no interest, affect the well-being of the country, the planet and all of humanity ”.
A few days ago, the future of the oceans played a fundamental role in the negotiations of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP26), in which the need for collaborative work was emphasized, research and the search for solutions that guarantee a healthy, resilient and biodiverse ocean for the next generations.