Humans have been impacting the world’s oceans in many ways. Some of these impacts include climate change, pollution, and new uses for the ocean. This article looks at the current state of the ocean and some ways we are affecting it.
New Uses Of The Ocean
Various scientific studies have shown that climate change dramatically affects the ocean, including changing its chemistry. These changes are also adversely affecting the ecosystems that the ocean supports.
The changes in the ocean have been associated with increased sea levels, increased ocean temperature, and a shift in the distribution of species. These concurrent environmental shifts profoundly impact the food web and marine ecosystems.
In addition, as the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, it becomes more acidic. This increases the rate of deoxygenation. This leads to behavioral changes, disease, and reduced growth.
One of the most important ways of combating deoxygenation is by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Another step is to cut back on black carbon and nutrient discharges. Daniel Keller Naples florida has written articles on the ocean and what we can do about it to counterattack all those issues it is facing nowadays.
Floating and marine plastic debris are significant threats to oceans and ecosystems. It affects biodiversity, ecological functions, and climate change. It also poses a severe threat to human health and food safety.
It is estimated that 80 percent of marine debris is plastic. Some of this plastic breaks down into smaller plastic particles. Sea animals and fish easily ingest these tiny particles. These are known as microplastics.
The plastic ingested by marine animals and fish can cause intestinal injury and starvation. It can also transfer to other animals on the food chain. The toxic chemicals in plastic accumulate in the food web. This can lead to a behavioral disorder and disease.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vast floating landfill between Hawaii and California. It’s estimated that tens of thousands of seabirds die each year with full stomachs of plastic waste.
During the last two decades, the ocean has experienced widespread changes. Many species are now more sensitive to warmer temperatures, and some sea life migrates to cooler water at the poles.
As the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, it becomes more acidic. This disrupts the sequestration of carbon by other species. In addition, it can lead to sea level rise and ice melting.
The world’s oceans absorb over 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions. The increased heat is also causing an increase in marine heat waves. The frequency of these events has likely doubled since 1982. This has complex effects on weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean.
The increased heat will likely lead to more powerful hurricanes and more severe tropical cyclones. There is also a high risk of irreversible loss of ocean ecosystems.
Drilling And Mining
Despite its potential to wreak havoc on marine life, drilling and mining impacts on the World Ocean are still unregulated and unstudied. According to a new report based on 250 industry sources, there needs to be more scientific knowledge to understand the potential negative impacts of deep-sea mining.
The paper, published by the Deep Sea Mining Campaign, examines the current mining interests in the Pacific Ocean. It also assesses potential impacts on fisheries and local ecosystems. It highlights gaps in knowledge about how ocean mining could affect these ecosystems, including light pollution and noise.
The report notes that 85% of marine wildlife lives elsewhere. They are adapted to a deep, alien environment and are specially designed to thrive in extreme environments. It takes millions of years for these habitats to form and expand.
Increasing human activity along the coasts in the last century has changed the soundscape of the world’s oceans. Seismic surveys, industrial fishing, shipping, and coastal construction altered the soundtrack.
A recent study compiled data on the effect of anthropogenic noise on marine life. It found that 24 species of cetaceans are adversely affected by ocean noise pollution.
Despite this, it has received extra attention than terrestrial sound pollution. The primary source of human-caused noise is shipped. Several simple steps can be taken to minimize this impact.
Ships can use quieter propellers and avoid sensitive areas. In addition, there are other simple ways to reduce anthropogenic ocean noise.
For example, it has been observed that stranded whales can be killed if exposed to high-intensity underwater noise. This is a big deal because whales are susceptible animals.