Painting by Carlos Malaquias
We need to remind ourselves daily that oceans also act as gigantic lungs for the planet while providing the primary source of protein for over 1 billion people in the world – and food for countless animals.
One area of serious concerned is the progressive acidification of our oceans. According to a UNEP report released in 2010, ocean acidification is likely to threaten the world's fisheries without sharp cuts to carbon dioxide emissions produced by human activities. In the Algarve, we have a thriving fishing industry, providing more than 4000 jobs in the region that are now threatned by "fossil fuels" exploration. Click here to read our article about the threat to our fishing industry in the Algarve
But as CO2 emissions have risen, largely from burning fossil fuels, oceans have absorbed more and more of the greenhouse gas. That has shifted the chemistry of the seas, which are now 30 percent more acidic than they were before the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Scientists say that, without emissions cuts, the world's oceans could become 150 percent more acidic by the end of the century -- a rate of change that "has not been experienced for around 65 million years, since the dinosaurs became extinct," the UNEP report says.
It warns that shifting ocean chemistry could have a "considerable influence" on the world's marine life, including fisheries that supply the primary source of protein for more than 1 billion people worldwide.
In the face of growing evidence about the negative impact that fossil fuels consumption has on our planet and especially on ocean health, world governments financed by oil and gas multinationals continue to promote fossil fuels as the only solution to address the growing energy crisis instead of promoting a total shift to green energies.
Are they going to act, only when it is too late to do anything?