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.
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.
This ambitious study examined all the available research on how current and future carbon emissions are fundamentally altering the oceans. It then looked at how this will impact fish, corals, marine animals, plants and other organisms. Finally the 29 authors from 10 countries analyzed how this will affect the 1.4 to 2.0 billion people who live near the oceans or depend on them for their food and income.
More shocking is that the oceans will be dramatically altered even with reduced growth in use of fossil fuel in coming decades and major declines starting in 2050, he said.
Only an abrupt decline in consumption of oil, gas, and coal within the next 10 years will minimize the impacts on the oceans.