Current degradation of oceans heading towards mass marine extinction unlike anything history has ever seen, scientists warn

(SPOT.ph) A panel of scientists cautions that unless actions contributing to the degradation of oceans stop, a mass extinction unlike anything human history has ever seen is coming, reports the Huffington Post. The warning came with the report of the first International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), a workshop studying the combined impact of all the stressors affecting the oceans.

 

"The findings are shocking," said Dr. Alex Rogers, IPSO's scientific director. The panel concluded that the degradation is happening faster than expected and the factors distressing the marine environment is contributing to the precise conditions that affected major extinctions in Earth's history. "We are looking at the consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, our children's and generations beyond that."

 

According to the report, three major factors have been present in the extinctions of the past: an increase of hypoxia (low oxygen) and anoxia (lack of oxygen that creates "dead zones"), warming, and acidification-a combination of which will inevitably lead to mass marine extinction. All three are currently contributing to the degeneration of the oceans.

 

The IPSO report, according to Huffington Post, called for changes, including the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, efforts to restore marine ecosystems, and allowing only activities that are proven not to harm the ocean. "The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations we know what now needs to happen," said Dan Laffoley of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and co-author of the report. "The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent."

 

For more on this story, log on to the Huffington Post.

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