A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.
“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science.
But there is still time to avert catastrophe, Dr. McCauley and his colleagues also found. Compared with the continents, the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health.
“We’re lucky in many ways,” said Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and another author of the new report. “The impacts are accelerating, but they’re not so bad we can’t reverse them.”
Scientific assessments of the oceans’ health are dogged by uncertainty: It’s much harder for researchers to judge the well-being of a species living underwater, over thousands of miles, than to track the health of a species on land. And changes that scientists observe in particular ocean ecosystems may not reflect trends across the planet.
Dr. Pinsky, Dr. McCauley and their colleagues sought a clearer picture of the oceans’ health by pulling together data from an enormous range of sources, from discoveries in the fossil record to statistics on modern container shipping, fish catches and seabed mining. While many of the findings already existed, they had never been juxtaposed in such a way.
A number of experts said the result was a remarkable synthesis, along with a nuanced and encouraging prognosis.
“I see this as a call for action to close the gap between conservation on land and in the sea,” said Loren McClenachan of Colby College, who was not involved in the study.
There are clear signs already that humans are harming the oceans to a remarkable degree, the scientists found.
The Latest on: Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction
via Google News
The Latest on: Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction
- This should be Scotland’s rewilding electionon February 20, 2021 at 12:04 am
Life is draining from our hills and glens. We must use the coming Holyrood election to change course, before it’s too late ...
- From Chris Hemsworth's mansion to the Wynne prize: Otis Hope Carey's art of the oceanon February 14, 2021 at 8:44 am
When Otis Hope Carey is surfing, when he is in the ocean ... like a breathing life force. Related: ‘I almost cracked’: 16-month artistic performance of mass extinction comes to a close ...
- Traditional Fishers—The Unsung Heroes Of Ocean Conservationon February 9, 2021 at 4:01 pm
Alasdair Harris: If we look at the issue of climate break down and mass extinction ... the ocean that is optimized for volume and for immediate profit. And it's draining our oceans of life ...
- Watch This Billion-Year Journey of Earth’s Tectonic Plateson February 6, 2021 at 2:15 am
A new simulation offers a different view of how the continents we live on drifted into their current configuration.
- IPSO: unprecedented deterioration of the oceans threatens marine specieson January 29, 2021 at 2:08 pm
In a new report, they warn that ocean life is “at high ... world's reefs are at risk of severe decline. Life on Earth has gone through five ”mass extinction events“ caused by events such ...
- 70% of world’s sharks gone – studyon January 28, 2021 at 4:16 pm
TOKYO: Overfishing has wiped out over 70 percent of some shark and ray populations in the last half-century, leaving a “gaping, growing hole” in ocean life, according to ... were so depleted that they ...
- Dramatic shark decline leaves 'gaping hole' in ocean: studyon January 28, 2021 at 2:44 am
Photo: AFP Overfishing has wiped out over 70 percent of some shark and ray populations in the last half-century, leaving a "gaping, growing hole" in ocean life, according to ... were so depleted that ...
- David Attenborough warns planet is on the verge of another mass extinction eventon January 26, 2021 at 12:33 pm
And economist and environmentalist Jeremy Rifkin believes we face a “very quick mass extinction of life ... rapidly we are changing ocean systems and how marine life cannot keep up.” ...
- EU fish species face extinction: Von der Leyen handed bombshell order to save industryon January 18, 2021 at 12:36 am
Our Fish, which works to "end overfishing and restore a healthy ocean ecosystem" and has published the report, warned: "These are turbulent times. "One million species are at risk of extinction ...
- After Long-Ago Mass Extinction, Global Warming Hindered Species’ Recoveryon March 18, 2019 at 12:25 pm
CHARLOTTE, NC – Researchers have discovered why plants and animals had a hard time recovering from the largest mass ... that life on Earth today will face similar problems in trying to recover from ...
via Bing News