Sealife faces risk of large-scale extinctions

Sealife faces risk of large-scale extinctions

Global warming and acidification of the oceans are associated with three of five largest planetary extinction events of the past 500 million years. Loss of oxygen  in seawater, pollution, loss of animal's  habitat, overfishing and overhunting are to blame for ongoing extinction that we are really facing today. Life in the world's oceans faces far greater change and risk of large-scale extinctions than at any previous time in human history according to an international team of the world's leading marine scientists from  Australia, US, Canada, Germany, Panama, Norway and the UK.

A new article, published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, points out concerns that the oceans appear to be on the brink of another major extinction event. The paper is an appeal to humanity to give the oceans a chance.

Researchers have compared historic events which drove massive extinctions of sea life and today's global situation in the seas and oceans. An extensive research of historical and fossil records gave them the answers of causes of previous marine extinctions as well as the recurring risks today. They points that our planet is again in a period of increased extinction and extinction risks, mainly thanks to human factors. Besides all previous historical indicators reappearing again, now out planet faces the consequences of human overexploitation and chemical, plastic and nutrient pollutants in our seas.

In the 'Great Death' of the Permian 250 million years ago an estimated 95 per cent of marine species died out due to a combination of warming, acidification, loss of oxygen and habitat. Scientists have traced the tragedy in the chemistry of ocean sediments laid down at the time, and abrupt loss of many sea animals from the fossil record.

"We need to understand that the oceans aren't just a big dumping ground for human waste, contaminants and CO2 - a place we can afford to ignore or overexploited. They are closely linked to our own survival, wellbeing and prosperity as well as that of life on Earth in general. Even though we cannot easily see what is going on underwater, we need to recognise that the influence of 7 billion humans is now so great it governs the fate of life in the oceans. And we need to start taking responsibility for that." Prof. Pandolfi

The increasing concentration of atmospheric CO" is thermally and chemically impacting the ocean and its ecosystems, namely warming and acidifying the oceans. By the middle of this century, the globe will likely warm by at least 2 degrees Celsius and the oceans will experience a more than 60 percent increase in acidity relative to pre-industrial levels. When carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, a significant fraction is passively taken up by the ocean in a form that makes the ocean more acidic. This acidification has been shown to be harmful to many species of marine life, especially corals and shellfish. Ocean acidification can cause exoskeletal components to decay, retard growth and reproduction, reduce activity and threaten the survival of marine life including coral reefs.

One of the solutions that scientist proposed are stopping release of the CO2 that drives these massive extinction events, curb the polluted and nutrient-rich runoff from the land that is causing ocean 'dead zones' manage our fisheries more sustainably and protect their habitat better. Unconventional, non-passive methods to conserve marine ecosystems need to be considered if various marine species are to survive. We need to stabilize or reduce atmospheric CO" levels; increase monitoring to better understand and predict the ocean's physical, chemical and biological responses to elevated CO"; and preserve ecosystem resilience and adaptability by reducing non-CO" related environmental threats.


josh sears 7 years ago

The answer to reducing ocean acidification from CO2 is very simple, and is staring all industrial societies in the face. Modern industry runs on oil. The owners, refiners, and distributors, of oil make trillions of dollars from oil that runs the planet’s industries. There are other alternative fuels besides sun, and wind, which have capabilities to replace the power of oil. In fact, there are hundreds of alternative sources of power that have been discovered, invented, and developed over the last 100 years. However, all of these alternative energies threaten the planet’s current high priests of fuel: the oil industry. They have discouraged, to put it mildly, the development of these energies. For those of you reading this commentary, and who would not remove this commentary, because the oil industry feels threatened by it, please visit: to explore the incredible number of alternative free energy source that could in turn replace oil, and thereby save our oceans. I hope this commentary stays here long enough before some oil executive feels threatened by it and puts pressure on the owners of this website to remove my commentary so you would not discover these alternative energies. God Bless,

Jonny Mnemonic 7 years ago

A different take on the 'Great Dying' and the ongoing events of today: Full hypothesis: Read the informational links. Modern scientific theory implicates hydrogen sulfide as a major factor in extinction events, including the Permian-Triassic. Also, watch as combustion vehicles of all kinds continue to spontaneously combust at ever-increasing rates. This is a clear indicator of the presence of an atmospheric accelerant, likely hydrogen sulfide or, in some case, methane. Basically, we are out of time. A new 'Great Dying' has commenced. It is probably unstoppable.

Gordian Knot 7 years ago

Quote: "international team of the world’s leading marine scientists from Australia, US, Canada, Germany, Panama, Norway and the UK." This information was published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. To minimize the above oceanic destruction article would be of grave concern, but to maximize the understanding of "other" catastrophic events we have not experienced in recent memory with global proof is better, and all of which is not included in this article, but can be found here: The Aquatic Graveyards . . . Location: Old Red Sandstone in Scotland. "A wonderful record of violent death falling at once." "The animals are in disturbed positions." "Some terrible catastrophe in sudden destruction the fish of an area at least a hundred miles from boundary to boundary, perhaps more. The figures were contorted, contracted, curved; the tail in many instances is bent around to the head ; the spines stick out; the fins are spread to the full, as in fish that die in convulsions, the attitudes of fear, angry and pain. The remains, too, appeared to have suffered nothing from the after-attacks of predaceous fishes." -Hugh Miller- In short, the aquatic life was buried alive in sediment from a global catastrophic event recorded in layers of calcified mud and written by this man: Immanuel Velikovsky. "Earth in Upheaval" Subtitled: The Aquatic Graveyards p. 32-34

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