Ocean and coastal regions under stress
The ocean covers nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contains 96% of its living space, provides around half of the oxygen we breathe and is an increasing source of protein for a rapidly growing world population. However, human activity is having an impact on this precious resource on local, regional and global scales.
Over the coming decades and centuries, ocean health will become increasingly stressed by at least three interacting factors. Rising seawater temperature, ocean acidification and ocean deoxygenation will cause substantial changes in marine physics, chemistry and biology. These changes will affect the ocean in ways that we are only beginning to understand.
It is imperative that international decision-makers understand the enormous role the ocean plays in sustaining life on Earth, and the consequences of a high CO2 world for the ocean and society.
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