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For most of history, life has existed only in the global ocean (one, all connected), which makes up 99% of the living space on the planet. Every second breath we breathe comes from plankton. And if all land life were to die tomorrow, ocean life could survive. But if all ocean life were to die, land life — all of us — would also die.
“If the oceans go down, it’s game over… This Ocean is like the earth’s circulatory system: it performs numerous vital functions which make the planet habitable and we cannot survive without it. Currently, the Ocean is in a critical state of health. If it continues to decline, it will reach a point where it can no longer function effectively and our planet will be unable to sustain the ecosystems that support humankind.” ~ Dr. Alex Rogers, StateoftheOcean.org, 2011
In 2009, it was reported that the pH balance (acidity) of the global ocean had become lower (more acidic) than it’s been for 65 MILLION YEARS, and that the protective shells of some of its base life have ALREADY become compromised.
In 2011, a major study concluded that phytoplankton (those tiny organisms that make it possible for all other life on Earth to exist) have ALREADY declined (died-off) by 40% since 1950 and continue to do so at an accelerated rate — about 1% per year(!) — because of the impacts of global heating,
Bottom line: The projected outcome of our current, carbon-intensive course is the potential collapse of ocean life — and the foundational base organisms that are an indespensible necessity for ALL LIFE to exist — within decades.
No known individual or combination of Hail Mary geoengineering methods could address this, or save coral reefs, hotbeds of nurseries / habitat for 25-30% of all fish species / seafood / that evolved over millions of years / are relied upon for protein by 2.6 billion people and could be decimated by 2050.
So it should be of considerable alarm that the (conservative) IPCC reports, upon which all international climate negotiations have been based and are limited to, did not even broach this threat until the most recent 2013/2014 (AR5) release.
Given the DIRE EMERGENCY of the climate (energy / population / democracy / justice) crisis and the severe impacts already observed / suffered by the most vulnerable / least culpable peoples and species, a rapid return to a less than +0.85-degree Celsius (our current, already out of energy balance) world is what is required to attempt to restore the more stable climate that enabled humanity to evolve / civilization to develop.
If this umbrella peril is not tackled fast, its impacts — already severe compromises to fresh water availability, food / agriculture production / supply and multi-regional insecurity / instability — will make it impossible for us to address ALL other global issues and causes, let alone to thrive or survive.
And if the governments of the world continue to allow themselves to be guided and limited as they always have by the cautious, conservative, flawed, lowest common denominator and, in large part, outdated by the time of publication IPCC conclusions; if they refuse to leap beyond the delusional / suicidal frame of the supposed, long-pervasive, incorrect, political, arbitrarily chosen, profit and delay-motivated +2°C (+3.6°F) ‘danger threshold’ (far too high) / nonsensical ‘carbon budget‘ mentality…
global catastrophe / the horrible demise of most life will soon be locked in and assured to befall over the next few decades.
Difficult as it is to communicate, absorb and process, let alone accept, and as shrill / alarmist as it may sound…
Our shared atmosphere is on an accelerating course to reach a state of potentially unsurvivable, global climate extremes during the lives of today’s children and teens. (Compilation: +4°C by 2060s or sooner catastrophic / incompatible with organized civilization.)
The projected rate of temperature change for THIS century is greater — and at least 10 times faster — than that of any extended global heating period over the past 65 million years, when somewhere between 75 and 95 per cent of all species alive at the time were rendered extinct.
We are in the midst — and primary cause — of the 6th great mass extinction event. 150-200 species die-off every 24 hours, up to 140,000 species per year, which is at least 1,000, maybe even 10,000, times the average background rate.
With Ocean acidification at its highest level in 300 million years and in a state of acceleration, the projected outcome of our current, carbon-intensive course is the potential collapse of ocean life within decades.
Sea levels could rise by metres this century and may be committed to tens of metres long-term.
Clear, present impacts ALREADY displace millions / KILL hundreds of thousands each year, and compromise the lives of billions RIGHT NOW.
With several key regulatory systems in advanced stages of breakdown / disruption / destabilization, the risks / threats / catastrophic implications of sudden / abrupt / unpredictable / irreversible shifts / tips / flips are ALREADY upon us.
No less than the fate of all generations of all peoples and most species hangs in the balance TODAY. And only emergency international action at emergency (world war-time) speed FAST *may be* proportional enough to confront the scale, scope and urgency of what is ALREADY the greatest crime against humanity, most life and most future life EVER. (Compilation: Betrayal of Life.)
To deny this is to deny reality. But regardless of odds or potential outcomes, we ALL have the power and moral responsibility to ACT. And if we take the choice to see and face the wickednes of the predicament, there will at least be possibilities.
Compilations – Urgency
- Compilation – +4°C by 2060s or sooner incompatible with organized civilization
- Compilation – Arctic meltdown / methane time bomb and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – UN climate talks: Betrayal of life
- Compilation – IPCC reports, the 2°C danger threshold / carbon budget CON JOB
- Compilation: EMERGENCY human impact reports expose the greatest crime against humanity, most life and most future life EVER
- Compilation: The sixth ‘great’ mass extinction, wildlife population decimation, biodiversity liquidation and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – Geoengineering and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – Hansen and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – Plan B 4.0: “We only have months, not years, to save civilization from climate change, Lester Brown
Selected articles, posts, reports
- Article – Rate of ocean acidification due to carbon emissions is at its highest in 300 million years, Fiona Harvey, The Guardian
- Post – Shocking report exposes ocean EMERGENCY: Must achieve zero CO2 emissions within 20 yrs, remove gases from air, experts
- GLOBAL EMERGENCY NOW: Mass base life die-off threatens survival of most life!
- Post – Ocean acidification thought to further amplify global warming, J. Romm, CP
- Article – Oceans acidifying faster today than in past 300 million years, ScienceDaily
- Post – Rate of acidification threatens humanity’s ability to feed itself, J. Romm, CP
- Warmest global ocean surface temperatures on record for July, NOAA
- Article – Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen in 65 million years, The Guardian
- Post – Oceans acidifying 10x faster than marine extinction 55 million yrs ago, CP
- Article – Southern ocean close to acid tipping point (2030!), ABC
- Article – Ocean acidity 20 x worse than previosly thought, The Guardian
- Article – Ocean 10 x less effective at absorbing CO2, Science Daily
- Article – Proof on the half shell: a more acidic ocean corrodes sea life, SA
- Article – Acidic oceans new carbon threat of “a marine Armageddon”, Adelaide Now
- Article – Scientists say world’s coral reefs doomed, UPI
- Article – Warmer seas will wipe out plankton, source of ocean life, Independent
- Post – Ocean dead zones to expand, remain for thousands of years, CP
Selected websites, pages, documentaries, Wikipedia
- Website – StateoftheOcean.org
- Website – Alanna Mitchell
- Bio – Alanna Mitchell
- Book – Sea Sicke, Alanna Mitchell
- Website – National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Website – Ocean acidification, NOAA
- Wikipedia – Ocean Acidification
- Wikipedia – Dead Zones
- Wikipedia – Corals
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