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The Ongoing Issue of Water Pollution: How Does it Contribute to Climate Change?

As we are all aware, climate change is the long-term shift in temperature and patterns which has been an incredible issue in the last couple of years. What we, as humans, fail to understand is that we are the reason why our planet has gotten to this point. Or maybe, it is just that we are not willing enough to fix this. The air we breathe is polluted, the beautiful oceans are full of plastic and our animals are dying each day. And this is just a portion of the consequences that our planet suffers due to our irresponsible behaviour.

There are three different types of pollution: air pollution, water pollution and land pollution. I would like focus on water pollution and how our oceans went from looking like:

This To This

Let Start by Asking the Question: What is Water Pollution caused by?

We have been told that the main reason for water pollution is due to the plastic thrown in the oceans. And it is true! However, it does not stop there. A mixture of solid and liquid wastes from the cities, air emissions from shipping, and the incorrect disposal of litter are all responsible for the ridiculous amount of garbage in the oceans and seas killing over 100 million marine animals each year as well as between 400,000 and 1 million reported deaths of people who consumed seafood high in marine toxins due to the oceans and seas being polluted.

It becomes a larger issue each year as more and more plastic, and metal is found in the water and more and more animals suffer as a result of this. Due to 70% of earth being filled with water, the seas and oceans suffer the most from all sorts of waste dumping. The lack of effective disposal systems persuades this careless throwing around and about which is incredibly sad to see. The oceans have turned into a load of trash, and it is about time that something needs to be done about this. I am sure that most of you have heard of climate change and water pollution as two separate environmental issues. However, in this article, I would like to make all of you aware how they link to one another and how damaging water pollution is to our planet.

How Does Ocean Pollution Contribute to Climate Change?

There are many negative impacts that water pollution has on earth that results in, climate change. One of these tragical problems is the manufacturing of products, specifically, products that contain the usage of. Of what you may ask. The number one reason for water pollution; Plastic. We can see that there is plastic thrown in the oceans and in the forests and think 'If we stop throwing them around, plastic pollution will not exist.' It is sad to say that it is not this simple. So, let's find out why.

Plastic originates from fossil fuels and extracts an enormous amount of greenhouse gases responsible for 80% of the pollution in the oceans. We believe that recycling plastic is going to save the planet. Or at least, that is what has been advertised to us. However, it is so far wrong. Only 9% of plastic is being recycled and the rest is being dumped in the natural environment. Can you see how this is a problem? The release of greenhouse gases adds 850 million metric tons of it in the atmosphere which contributes to the warmth of the world, in other words, global warming.

Another way in which water pollution effects climate change is the destruction of biodiversity. Water pollution drains aquatic ecosystems which triggers the restricted growth of single-celled plants called phytoplankton that are responsible for 50% of the oxygen we breathe. As plastic blocks cover the sunlight, these cells cannot grow and reproduce which limits the oxidisation of the ocean. This affects climate change as there would be more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than oxygen, which would result in the creation of holes in the ozone layer, increasing the intensity of global warming.

As we can see water pollution is a definite contributor to climate change, which means that if we do not stop polluting the water, climate change will never end resulting in animal extinctions, wildfire frequencies, lack of portable water and food, as well as deaths and illnesses in humans due to extreme heatwaves, floods, and storms by 2050. Although, this is such a massive problem, it is not talked about enough on TV or social media, resulting us to believe that ' If we don't talk about it, then it is not real.' But it is real, and it will only get worse if we do not start educating ourselves and making a change in our actions and treatment towards the environment that will at least be a step to saving our home. Be mindful, be aware and believe that we can do this together. I believe in you. You are important. And remember even a small step can help.

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