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Fishermen unload fish following a fishing trip in the Gulf of Thailand. Fishermen unload fish following a fishing trip in the Gulf of Thailand in Samut Sakhon Province, west of Bangkok, Sept. 3, 2013 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

Only Urgent Action Will Save the Oceans Now

Monday, May 9, 2022

Climate change is pushing the world’s oceans toward a mass extinction event, according to a new report published in Science late last month. The authors, Princeton’s Justin Penn and Curtis Deutsch, contend that without swift steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of all marine species could vanish over the next three centuries, with dire consequences for the rest of life on Earth. These findings underscore the urgent need to take dramatic action against global warming and to reduce other anthropogenic strains on marine ecosystems. There is still time to limit the damage—but only if the world acts quickly.

As a terrestrial species, we often take the oceans for granted, ignoring their centrality to a stable and healthy biosphere and treating them as an inexhaustible repository of resources, as if they are impervious to human activity. In fact, climate change and human exploitation are fast degrading the marine environment, undermining the ecological foundations of our own survival. ...

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