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Survival of Ocean Life ~ The Human Impact Factor!

Mother Channel interviews Ms Natalya Gallo, a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and fellow of Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and Mr Dimitri Kalitschenko of Québec-Océan who speak about the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Water/Air Report and the survival of Ocean life.

Natalya expanded on the report in terms of ocean de-oxygenation definitely being a factor and an impact of anthropogenic climate change, also not having had a very good oxygen monitoring system in past, there is not a very long time series to work with.  The report also looked at emergence time in terms of natural regimes of variability in different parts of the ocean and the timeline before the anthropogenic signal of oxygen loss is visible, viz; in some parts of the ocean, for example, the Atlantic, it cannot be seen or identified separately, there will be no emergence of that signal, however, by the year 2030, in places like the North Pacific, we should already start seeing a strong signal of anthropogenic oxygen loss stand out from the natural climate variability of the system.

Dimitri Kalitschenro responded to questions surrounding the long-term survival of all marine creatures in the oceans in terms of climate change impacts, by confirming that the impacts are already happening and that fish are suffering the most, as they are being fished at every depth of the ocean. Of course, deoxygenation is an issue as well but the fisheries are presently facing the biggest anthropogenic impact, at the moment.

Natalya added that multiple stressors are an extremely important concern for ocean scientists because the ocean is constantly being impacted by issues like; overfishing, various types of pollutions, e.g. nutrient and plastic pollution, waste dumping, etc. and the climate change just acts  on top of these. The ocean is one eco-system that has already been perturbed, for instance, coral reefs that are far away from any human centres do much better in terms of global warming, they don’t bleach like some corals do that are closer to land, as they are more pristine eco-systems, they are not dealing with all those additional stressors, and only have climate change to contend with, and being healthier ecosystems are better able to adapt to Climate Change.

The ocean is a heterogeneous environment that will never completely die, there are certainly going to be severe marine impacts and the ecosystem services that the ocean provides to us will be impaired because of climate change.  When asked if they believe the alleged statement that in 40 years’ time the only animals in the ocean will be jellyfish and plankton, Natalya says no with confidence and explains that there are many incorrect statements regarding the ocean and its future, which is why the importance of ambition in further research and data analysis surrounding these issues is so important, as there is a lot that we cannot yet predict.

Watch more ~ Passive Acoustics, Long-term effects of Ocean Deoxygenation, Species loss and adaptation, Overfishing, Aquaculture.

Links:

IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
Ocean Deoxygenation
Effects of global warming on oceans
How does climate change affect coral reefs?
Sea life at risk for extinction

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