05 May Oceans can go from being carbon sinks to becoming your chimneys, accelerating climate change
The absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans is key in mitigating climate change; However, humanity is altering the carbon cycle in its waters and this could reverse their role in regulating the climate, transforming them into one more element of warming.
A new report from the UN science agency proposes a research program on ocean carbon to better understand how it works and act to protect it. A little-known role of the oceans is their regulation of the Earth’s climate through the absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2), explains a study titled Integrated Ocean Carbon Research published Tuesday by the United Nations Educational Organization. Science and Culture (UNESCO), which also warns that, if they lose this function, the oceans would contribute to global warming, accelerating the advance of climate change.
The study notes that research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides strong scientific evidence that underscores the role of oceanic carbon in climate. These reports also emphasize the urgency of minimizing further damage to the global ocean, as well as maintaining key ocean services that are directly threatened by ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and warming.
To prevent this from happening, says the report, it is urgent to study the CO2 uptake cycle, understand it well and establish a roadmap to guide the authorities responsible for the design of mitigation and adaptation policies to climate change during the next decade. The text highlights the importance of scientific knowledge to make informed decisions within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in order to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate and build more resilient societies.
The accumulation of carbon generated by human activity in the ocean is altering the chemistry of seawater, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. These changes will affect the future role of the ocean as a reservoir of atmospheric CO2 and alter marine ecosystems in ways that are still under investigation, We must change our habits of life when visiting our seas, since time has shown that the damage we have caused comes hastily taking its toll, let’s put our hands on our hearts for the change that our planet needs.