Wilder winds are altering currents. The sea is releasing carbon dioxide. Ice is melting from below.
While the potential magnitude of all these effects remains unclear, oceanographers and climate scientists say that it is increasingly urgent to understand this interplay of powerful forces and how human activity is transforming them. “There’s lots of questions left,” said Lynne Talley, an oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif.
He singled out three immediate priorities that “are worrying me enormously”: the lack of vaccinations in large parts of the world, especially in Africa; the need to reduce emissions by 45% in this decade to try to meet the international goal of trying to limit future global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit); and the “extremely unjust” financial situation in the world that favors rich countries.
Peruvian authorities say an Italian-flagged ship spilled 6,000 barrels in the Pacific on Saturday in front of the La Pampilla refinery. In recent days, environmental activists have collected oil-stained or dead seabirds.
I saw seemingly endless fields of the trees’ scorched and tortured carcasses. This was a terrible harbinger of things to come: a 2019 Ecosphere journal study determined that, if carbon emissions stay at current levels, just 0.02% of the species would survive.
Most of the world’s known coral reefs are at depths of 25 metres and above, with many facing the risk of collapse as the world’s oceans continue to heat. In September, a study found coral reef coverage had fallen by half since the 1950s because of global heating, overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction.
"rooftop solar is catching on among big-box stores. “Ikea is leading the way,” Wilson said. “They’re really ramping up their solar on-site. And Walmart and Target have done that to a lesser extent.”
“They like these really tiny small streams, and that’s where their survival is the highest,” said Todd Steiner, executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, the parent group to Spawn. “If we give the fish a fighting chance at survival, they will come back.”
Corporations have never been under more pressure to follow through and make meaningful progress on carbon emissions from regulators and amid greater scrutiny around “greenwashing” from environmentalists – and their own employees.
Yet most governments propose to do nothing except “encourage” fishers and gear manufacturers to behave responsibly, without sanctions or incentives. No vessel should be allowed to leave port unless it has enough space to store all its rubbish. Mandatory deposit return schemes would ensure that fishers returned used gear to the manufacturers at the end of its life. All nets should be traceable to the boats that use them.
Plastics are of particularly high concern, they said, along with 350,000 synthetic chemicals including pesticides, industrial compounds and antibiotics. Plastic pollution is now found from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans, and some toxic chemicals, such as PCBs, are long-lasting and widespread.
In a highly unusual move, Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, has written to the all-Republican court – half of whose members he appointed – in support of Exxon. He accused the California litigants of attempting “to suppress the speech of eighteen Texas-based energy companies on the subject of climate and energy policies”.
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