Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Report from the Oceans: Not Good

Scientists in the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) warned that the state of the oceans is worse than they thought. Factors like overfishing pollution, acidification, and climate change have created expanding dead zones and made conditions right for the sixth great extinction (the other five are in the fossil record).
Daniel Laffoley, head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas, is not optimistic. "We now face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation. And we are also probably the last generation that has enough time to deal with the problems."
COMMENT: Alarmist? Maybe, to a degree. Environmental scientists often three the worst case in hopes of provoking action. But there are numerous trends in ocean health, none of the are good, and they all feed on and encourage each other. We need to take a variety of actions, from better fishing regulations to reducing the discharge of all types of pollutants, to make sure we don't end up in that worst case.

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