Monday, March 10, 2008

Human Impact on the Seas

Research by scientists in the Feburary 15th issue of the journal Science shows almost none of the world’s seas is free of human impact. Four percent of the ocean is considered nearly pristine while 40 percent is heavily or strongly impacted by human activity.

One of the most widespread impacts researchers found is acidification of ocean water by carbon. This is carbon that comes from human activities usually involving combustion. Increased acidification of the ocean can interfere with the survival and reproduction of marine organisms.

Other impacts include: shipping, fishing, pollution (including solid trash and plastics), invasive species, temperature changes, ultraviolet light, acidification, agricultural runoff and sewage, bottom trawling, and coral reef fishing.

The New York Times reports on the research:

New York Times op-ed on Oceans in Crisis

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