World Ocean Status - New UNEP report with GLOBIO input

date: 2008-02-22

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At least three quarters of the globe’s key fishing grounds may become severely impacted by changes in circulation as a result of the ocean’s natural pumping systems fading and failing they suggest.

These natural pumps, dotted at sites across the world including the Arctic and the Mediterranean, bring nutrients to fisheries and keep them healthy by flushing out wastes and pollution.

The impacts of rising emissions on the marine world are unlikely to end there. Higher sea surface temperatures over the coming decades threaten to bleach and kill up to 80 per cent of the globe’s coral reefs—major tourist attractions, natural sea defences and also nurseries for fish.

Meanwhile there is growing concern that carbon dioxide emissions will increase the acidity of seas and oceans. This in turn may impact calcium and shell-forming marine life including corals but also tiny planktonic organisms at the base of the food chain.

The findings come in a new rapid response report entitled “In Dead Water” which has for the first time mapped the multiple and combined impacts of pollution; alien infestations; over-exploitation and climate change on the seas and oceans.

Please see the UNEP/GRID-Arendal maps and graphics library for GLOBIO maps, and other resources.

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