Because many deep-sea ecosystems are so stable, even small changes in temperature, oxygen, and pH may lower the resilience of deep-sea communities. Credit: Courtesy NOAA HURL Archives
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Oct 15 2013 (IPS) - Oil, gas and coal are contaminating the world’s oceans from top to bottom, threatening the lives of more than 800 million people, a new study warns Tuesday.
“It took a year to analyse and synthesise all of the studies on the impacts of climate change on ocean species,” Camilo Mora, an ecologist at University of Hawai‘i in Honolulu and lead author, told IPS.
"We are seeing greater changes, happening faster, and the effects are more imminent than previously anticipated." -- Alex Rogers of the University of Oxford
“It was very sad to see all the responses were negative. We were hoping there might be some safe havens,” he said.
The study found that carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are overheating the oceans, turning them acidic and reducing the amount of oxygen in seawater. This is happening too fast for most marine species to adapt and ocean ecosystems around the world will collapse.
By 2100, no corner of the oceans that cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface will be untouched.