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The Change Is in Our Hands

By June 8, 2022 3   min read  (485 words)

June 8, 2022 |

World Ocean Day - The Change Is Up To Us

The oceans cover 72% of the earth’s surface and are a source of oxygen, food, serve as a means of transportation and offer a privileged place for recreation such as beaches, they have a great diversity comparable to that of terrestrial environments, and are essential for the economy, the climate, and the environment. Despite all of the above, we have always turned our backs on them, and we have considered them an unlimited and infinite resource, which has led us to disregard them.

Indiscriminate fishing, pollution, the destruction of their ecosystems, the increase in temperature, their acidification, are just some of the problems they face because of our activities. A deeper knowledge of the oceans allows us to delve into its wonders, but it will also help us to recognize with certainty the causes of the main issues they face today.

Among these problems, climate change stands out for its global consequences, because, although the oceans have the ability to absorb and transport large amounts of heat, regulating the world temperature and its weather patterns, they have absorbed more than 90% of the extra heat generated by human activity, in the last decades the speed at which that heat has been incorporated has doubled since 1993. This has been reflected in the melting of areas such as the poles and Greenland, in addition to the increase in the temperature of the seas is directly affecting ecosystems such as coral reefs, which suffer bleaching, and over the time can cause the loss of the entire ecosystem.

Another no less visible and global problem is the amount of solid waste that is thrown into the oceans, the magnitude of this problem covers several fronts, the first of which impacts organisms that die trapped in them or by eating these elements, the plastics occupy the first place among marine debris, many of them do not exceed 5.0 mm and are called microplastics, which due to their small size can reach the bloodstream and the organs where they accumulate. Finally, we have the “Great Stain”, a “continent” of 1.6 million km2 and about 80,000 tons of plastic that does not stop growing, and that is currently almost as big as Europe and is located between Hawaii and California.

In the 90s, actions began to be taken to make these problems visible, but it was not until 2008 when the United Nations Assembly decreed June 8 as World Oceans Day, for this year the commemoration revolves around the theme “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”, which is intended to “highlight the wonders of the ocean as a source of life that supports humanity and all other organisms on Earth.”

This bleak outlook forces us to reflect on our role in caring for the oceans, but this must be based on knowledge and understanding that no matter how small our actions may be, they will be valuable when protecting this essential resource that sustains life in the planet.

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