Climate change is real. The vast oceans which cover almost 70 percent of the planet are rising due to the fast melting of the polar ice caps. The ocean water is getting warmer and is polluted more than ever.
A WWF report found that marine vertebrate populations have declined by almost half since the 1970s. Fishing is no longer the sole cause. Man-made pollution, global warming and the acidification of the oceans are new challenges,
said in an article. Associated Press
The origin of life, which is believed to be from the ocean, is now endangering many flora and fauna, and it is purely manmade. According to a research report published in the journal
Science, as reported by , the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster than what it was estimated five years ago by the United Nations panel. The New York Times Ocean Of Plastics
The reason for this rapid increase in oceanic temperatures can be attributed to a number of things. Oceanic pollution is on the rise at an unthinkable pace. Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions in the world’s oceans with an estimated 100 million tonnes dumped there to date, according to the United Nations. Scientists have found large amounts of microplastic in the guts of deep-dwelling ocean mammals like whales.
These plastics not just harm and pollute the oceans but also are hazardous to the marine fauna who mistake it for food and consume it. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, have been reported to be affected by it.
An estimated 414 million pieces of plastic -- including nearly one million shoes and 370,000 toothbrushes -- have been found washed ashore on the beaches of remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, according to a study as reported by
PTI. The survey of plastic pollution, published in the journal Scientific Reports, estimated that the beaches on the islands are littered with 238 tonnes of plastic.
On the deepest dive ever made by a human inside a submarine, Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer and explorer found trash. He made the unsettling discovery as he descended nearly 6.8 miles (35,853 feet/10,928 meters) to a point in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench that is the deepest place on Earth. He also saw angular metal or plastic objects, one with writing on it
The greatest mammal on the earth, whales have been one of the few mammals deeply affected by the pollution caused in the ocean. On March 18, a whale was found near Davao City, Philippines with more than 88 pounds of plastic waste jammed into his belly.
“Plastic was just bursting out of its stomach… We pulled out the first bag, then the second. By the time we hit 16 rice sacks—on top of the plastic bags, and the snack bags, and big tangles of nylon ropes, you're like—seriously?” Darrell Blatchley, a marine mammal expert told
National Geographic. Oceanic Temperature: Hot Than Ever
Oceans absorb most of the excess heat from the greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, which leads to the rise in the oceanic temperature, resulting in coral bleaching and the loss of breeding grounds for marine fauna.
“Half of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached to death since 2016. Mass coral bleaching, a global problem triggered by climate change, occurs when unnaturally hot ocean water destroys a reef’s colourful algae, leaving the coral to starve”
said in an article. National Geographic
“Achieving the mitigation targets set by the Paris Agreement on climate change and limiting the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels is crucial to prevent the massive, irreversible impacts of ocean warming on marine ecosystems and their services,”
said. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
"I came into the Indian Ocean hoping I'd see a giant Napoleon wrasse," aquanaut Robert Carmichael said of one of the world's largest reef fish, in an article in
. "Here we are, 35 days into the mission and I still haven't seen one." AP
The Eastern North Pacific gray whale has been found dead along the US West Coast and some scientists believe the cause lies far to the north, in the heated-up
Arctic waters off Alaska. Fifty-eight gray whales have been found stranded and dead so far this year in sites stretching from California to Alaska, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Michael Milstein, a spokesman for NOAA's Fisheries Service told Winter ice in 2018 in the Bering was the lowest in a record that stretches back more than 150 years, and ice this past winter was almost as low. "It affects the whole food web from the algae to the krill on up," said Rick Thoman, a climate scientist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.
that there is plenty of evidence that points to a food problem in the whales' summering grounds in the Arctic Circle. The Bering and Chukchi seas have been extraordinarily warm since 2016, with a record or near-record high sea surface temperatures and an unprecedented lack of sea ice. Reuters