Conservation & Science

COP21: A chance for a sea change

From Nov. 30-Dec. 11, leaders from more than 190 nations are gathering in Paris for the 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, or COP21. The conference aims to achieve a binding international agreement to slow the pace of climate change. If we as a global community take bold and meaningful action in Paris, we can change course and leave our heirs a better world. In light of COP21, Monterey Bay Aquarium is working to raise public awareness about the serious ways our carbon emissions affect ocean health, including ocean acidification, warming sea waters and other impacts on marine life. Today, as the conference begins, the Center for Ocean Solutions highlights the integral links between climate change and our global ocean.

The ocean is the heart of our Earth’s climate system, pumping heat and moisture around the planet. It’s also an incredible climate change buffer. As we burn more and more fossil fuels, the ocean absorbs much of that extra heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

But that service comes at a cost. Sea levels are rising. Seawater is warming. And the ocean is almost 30 percent more acidic than it was 100 years ago. These changes are affecting much of the marine life people depend on: The ocean produces about one-sixth of the animal protein we eat and more than half the oxygen we breathe.

On the opening day of COP21, the Center for Ocean Solutions (a partnership of Stanford University, Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) is calling on the global community to curb our global greenhouse gas emissions — for the health of the planet, the ocean and ourselves.

The call comes in a video featuring leaders of Monterey Bay’s “ocean brain trust,” including Margaret Spring, the Aquarium’s Vice President of Conservation & Sceince and Chief Conservation Officer. It’s worth watching, and sharing.

Read More: Center for Ocean Solutions Op-Ed

2 thoughts on “COP21: A chance for a sea change”

  1. Thank You for being an advocate for future generations. I think COP21 taking place at the UN is appropriate, as in addition to maintaining peace, the UN has promoted women’s rights, eradicared smallpox, clearing landmines and many other programs that have saved lives and benefitted the world community. I hope the conferres will create agreements that will limit effects of climate change.

    Liked by 1 person

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