How climate change has impacted our seas
One of the worst cases of mistreatment within our planet has no doubt been our oceans. The forgotten victims. It's often hard to grasp the concept that something so vital to human survival has been effected so badly by humans that it might end up killing us all! But what exactly has climate change done to our oceans?
"It is now clear our actions are having a significant impact on the world's oceans. They are under threat now as never before in human history. Many people believe the oceans are at crisis point."
This quote from infamous explorer David Attenborough highlights the current issue with climate change and our oceans. In present day, the ocean has absorbed 90% of the heat generated by rising emissions. As a result of this, the heat causes ocean acidification , rising sea levels and the melting of ice caps. What people like us have failed to realise, is that this is mainly affecting us humans as a species. For example, over 680 million people live in low-lying coastal areas, whilst over half of the population rely on fish for protein. But as humans continue to damage the oceans through their rapid change of the climate, they also continue to damage the life that is dependent on the seas.
Rising sea levels- the case of Tuvalu
Tuvalu, one of the first countries significantly impacted by rising sea levels, has forced to consider alternative strategies to protect its culture, legacy, and islands. The island of Tuvalu will be duplicated in the metaverse, a virtual environment, the president of Tuvalu stated on November 15, 2022. This would allow citizens who must flee the country to experience Tuvalu even though they are not physically present.
This is the sad reality for Tuvalu, as the small island of 12,000 people has suffered from the rising sea levels. The nation will be completely submerged by the end of the century, with 40% of the capital underwater already. Rising sea levels are a direct result of the melting of the ice caps due to the warming of our climate; all caused by the increase in gas emissions over time. If this isn't a sign that things need to change, then there will never be hope for the world. Entire cultures and heritages being forced to go digital, all because of climate change.
The forgotten victims
We've understood the effects of climate change on our oceans, and how this is slowly effecting us as humans, but what about animals that rely on our oceans for survival? This is the case of the polar bear.
With the arctic warming twice as fast as the global average, ice caps are now melting at an alarming rate. This loss of sea ice directly threatens Polar Bears' main source of prey, seals. Seals need ice to raise their young, therefore the lack of ice is causing seals to not be present for Polar Bears to hunt. There are just 22,000 Polar Bears left in the world, and whilst this does not class them as endangered, they will no doubt be extinct by the end of the century. The word endangered seems to be a term that makes people willing to listen, and whilst polar bears are not endangered yet, people often forget how climate change is negatively affecting them, as they are so reliant on our oceans. However, help is still available; people can help save the Polar Bears on the WWF website.
It is our responsibility as humans to help species' that we have endangered.
How can we help?
From rising sea levels causing whole nations to be in crisis, to the melting of ice caps causing Polar Bears to be a dying species, climate change in our oceans are no doubt harmful to many different aspects of life. But what can we do to protect our oceans? Unfortunately, there isn't much. The warming of the planet has been caused by years of mistreatment by big industrial companies that emit gas into the atmosphere. It is up to the people who caused such harm to now fix it. Whilst advertisements on TV will often make us feel like we're the problem, the exact people making these adverts and supplying us with products that we've been so brainwashed to need, are the ones that should be making the change. There are little things we can do such as shopping sustainably, using less plastic and driving electric cars, however the main thing we can do is force these big corporations to take responsibility for their harmful actions.