The Oceans Protect Us From Global Warming But For How Long?

by Duane Nichols on June 10, 2018

The Oceans are critical to our survival on Earth

The Oceans, which protect us against climate change, teeter on verge of collapse

From Pakalolo, The Daily Kos, June 8, 2018

And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came. — John F. Kennedy

in this handout photo from the University of Bergen taken on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, plastic bags are shown inside the stomach of a two-ton whale that was beached in shallow waters off Sotra, an island west of Bergen, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Oslo.

Norwegian zoologists have found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast. Terje Lislevand of the Bergen University says the visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale was euthanized. Its intestine “had no food, only some remnants of a squid’s head in addition to a thin fat layer.”

In this handout photo from the University of Bergen taken on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, plastic bags are shown inside the stomach of a two-ton whale that was beached in shallow waters off Sotra, an island west of Bergen, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Oslo. Norwegian zoologists have found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast. Terje Lislevand of the Bergen University says the visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale was euthanized. Its intestine “had no food, only some remnants of a squid’s head in addition to a thin fat layer.

Today is World Oceans Day! A day to celebrate the Ocean and raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans, and the critical role that they play in sustaining a healthy and livable planet. This years theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution” a disastrous problem that UN Secretary General António Guterres warned; “Our world is swamped by harmful plastic waste; every year, more than 8 million tons end up in the oceans, microplastics in our seas now outnumber stars in our galaxy.”

Let’s be honest. Donald Trump doesn’t give one flying fuck about the Oceans. He stated on a visit to Japan in 1990 that he would not eat “fucking raw fish”, but he will wolf down a heavily processed McDonalds Filet of Fish sandwichharvested by fishing trawlers on occasion. That is, when he doesn’t have a Big Mac or fried chicken in his mouth. He clearly enjoys his waterfront properties, that you and I pay the mortgage for when he visits with his entourage. And he will pressure local governments to protect these opulent properties from sea level rise, even though he is one of the most deplorable climate change deniers on Earth.

So, it is no surprise that protecting the Ocean is not on his radar, in fact, he is just as hostile to the oceans as he is towards the climate. Margaret Cooney writes on Trump’s war on the oceans.

In just his first six months in office, President Donald Trump undertook a range of actions that gravely undermined common-sense stewardship of America’s oceans—enough for the Center for American Progress to conclude that he had launched a “War on Oceans.” His attacks included withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change; signing executive orders aimed at reckless expansion of offshore oil drilling; direct attacks on the spectacular wildlife protected within national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments; and proposing draconian cuts to the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Altogether, these rollbacks amount to an attack on America’s coasts and oceans the size of which has not been seen in decades.

And President Trump’s war on oceans has not stopped there: Since June 2017, this onslaught has continued largely unabated. As citizens and advocates for ocean conservation convene in Washington, D.C., this week for Capitol Hill Ocean Week and the first-ever March for the Ocean, the Trump administration is accelerating its rollbacks of basic safeguards and pollution controls for the marine environment, as well as the sell-off of oceans to special interests.

National Geographic News reports on how the Oceans have protected us and that they will be unable to protect us anymore.

As global temperatures rise, scientists expect the pace of change in the oceans to accelerate, leaving many fishing communities to adapt or transition to new species.

Since 1970, global waters have been a “powerful ally” against global warming, absorbing 93 percent of the carbon dioxide released by human activities. (See “Ocean Warming Faster Now Than in 10,000 Years.”)

“Without this oceanic buffer, global temperature rises would have gone much, much speedier,” Andersen said Monday at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

To put it bluntly, if the oceans weren’t there to protect us, our lower atmosphere would have already heated up by 36 degrees Celsius, says Dan Laffoley, principal advisor of marine science and conservation for IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme.

Now, as global warming continues apace, the ocean will continue to warm by between 1 to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, Andersen says. “In an ecological timescale, 2100 is tomorrow.”

Oceans produce most of our oxygen, we are in for a world of hurt if we do not rein in our fossil fuel emissions immediately. Besides plastic waste, acidification, overfishing, pollution, marine heatwaves, emerging pathogens, and the Atlantification and Pacification of the Arctic ocean are all threats to every living creature on earth. Tick Tock!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: