Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:Whether or not you are concerned about climate change or do not believe that man-made carbon emissions have exacerbated the warming of the planet, the acidification of the oceans should be concerning you greatly.
The oceans are more acidic now than at any time in the last 300 million years and this is due to the carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Leading marine scientists warn this week of the inevitable extinction of many species if the acidification continues. Coral is particularly at risk and coral reefs are vital to the health of fish populations as they act as nurseries for young fish and small species which are food for larger fish. Because the oceans have absorbed carbon dioxide and heat from the atmosphere, they have shielded the planet from the worst effects of climate change on land but the extreme changes on marine life are only now being understood.
Acidification is not the only challenge for the oceans. Overfishing and pollution are also contributing to the lethal effects to marine life on which billions of people rely for food. Countries around the world are failing to stop overfishing – in fact, 70% of the world’s fish populations are overexploited.
The International Programme on the State of the Oceans (IPSO) has called for strong actions from governments to limit carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the burning of fossil fuels. Fishing subsidies must be removed; destructive fishing methods banned and marine conservation areas established if we care about our oceans. Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.