The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report builds on 30 years of warnings from climate and marine scientists who conclude that the ocean is beginning to crumble under an onslaught of needless stressors from overfishing to pollution, compounded by climate breakdown. The atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere (the ice-covered areas of the planet) and biosphere are all warming at increasing rates. Nonscientists can observe these changes around the planet as unusual heatwaves, unusually heavy storm events, droughts and wildfires. But there is still a possibility of limiting future climate change damage if we act quickly and decisively.
There are specific actions we can take now that will have discernable positive impact on the future of our planet.
Protecting nature, especially protections that lead to habitat restoration and species recovery, like those associated with the marine protected areas that win our Blue Park awards, are urgently needed. In the past 4 years a growing number of marine protected areas have met the rigorous science-based standards for Blue Park recognition that bring climate resilience, carbon sequestration, and enhanced biodiversity. Protecting vital Blue Carbon rich areas such as mangroves, seagrass meadows, wetlands, and bottom sediments is common to many Blue Parks.
Marine Conservation Institute also tracks how much progress each nation is making in protecting the ocean at our Marine Protection Atlas. You can find out more about how your country is working to safeguard the planet’s largest ecosystem or how well your local marine protected area is performing.
Today’s stark report from the IPCC makes the consequences of inaction or half measures clear and the rewards of quickly and sharply reducing CO2 emissions and protecting large areas of nature intact unambiguous.