Some Latest Ocean Facts

World to See a Surge in Sea Level

The United Nations have come out with a few of the latest data with respect to oceans from climate change to fish stock.

Here are some of the latest data on Oceans

Climate Change

  • Carbon emissions from human activities lead to ocean warming, acidification and oxygen loss. Since 1980s, ocean has absorbed between 20 to 30 per cent of human induced carbon dioxide emissions
  • Ocean also absorbed more than 90 per cent of the excess heat. Ocean heat causes widespread marine heatwaves .
  • Ocean is very likely to warm by 2 to 4 times by 2100 when compared to observed changes since 1970.
  • Ocean acidity increased 26 per cent over the past 30 years. An increase of 100 to 150 per cent predicted by end of the century with serious consequences to marine life.
  •  “Blue carbon” ( carbon stored in coastal and marine such as mangroves, seagrass meadows and tidal marshes) store more carbon per unit area than forests

Marine Pollution

  • About 80 per cent of marine and coastal pollution originates on land. They include plastics, agricultural run off, pesticides and untreated sewage.
  • Every year, an estimated 5 to 12 million metric tonnes of plastic enters the ocean. This costs about 13 billion dollars in economic costs per year. About 89 per cent of plastic found on the ocean floor are single use items like plastic bags.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean, has 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic
  • More than 800 marine and coastal species are affected by marine plastics  Every year, more than a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals are killed by plastic debris. (UNESCO)

People 

  • About 680 million people live in low lying coastal zones
  • 65 million live in small island developing States (IPCC).
  • About 44 percent of the world’s population lives within 150 kilometers of the ocean
  • Around 80 per cent of the volume of international trade is carried by sea
  • Marine fisheries provide 57 million jobs globally and provide the primary source of protein to over 50% of the population in least developed countries.

Sustainable Blue Economy

  • The market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at three trillion dollars per year
  • Effective and inclusive ocean governance is critical to the development of sustainable ocean-based economies.

Tourism

  • About 80% of all tourism takes place in coastal areas. Ocean related tourism grows an estimated 134 billion dollars per year
  • Coral reefs are a significant tourist attraction. However, the industry is losing an estimated 12 billion dollars annually because of coral bleaching and loss.

Marine Biodiversity

  • 60% of the world’s major marine ecosystems that underpin livelihoods have been degraded or are being used unsustainably.
  • Between 30 to 35 per cent of critical marine habitats such as seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs have been destroyed.
  • There are now close to 500 dead zones covering more than 245,000 km² globally, equivalent to the surface of the United Kingdom.
  • All species of sea turtles, 66% of marine mammals and 50% of seabirds are affected by plastic pollution.
  • If carbon emissions continue, the shells of many marine organisms will corrode by the end of the century.

Marine Protected Areas

  • The number and extent of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) have increased rapidly in the last many years.
  • There has been significant progress on MPAs within national jurisdiction – from 12 per cent in 2015 to 17.4 per cent in 2019. However, majority of the ocean (high seas that account for 61 per cent of the ocean) are beyond national jurisdiction and not protected.
  • Many MPAs fail in effective and equitable management processes, with widespread shortfalls in staff and financial resources .

Fish Stocks

  • As per te latest analysis, fish stocks that are within biologically sustainable levels declined from 90 per cent in 1974 to 66.9 per cent in 2015.
  • The world’s fisheries can rebuild the overfished stocks in the very near future




 

 

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