climate change + the ocean | pangeaseed

though climate change and global warming have been receiving much public attention in recent years, the interrelation between the oceans and the global climate is rarely recognized. the rainforests are often called “the lungs of the planet”, but few people realize that 70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the seas. the earth’s atmosphere and its oceans are entwined in a co-dependent bond.

in the coming 50 years, the earth is expected to have temperatures and CO2 levels that are higher than those experienced in the past 500,000 years. healthy oceans can act as a buffer for such rapid climate change; currently, oceans absorb nearly a third of all carbon emissions. in the past fifty years, the oceans have absorbed 90% of the heat caused by greenhouse gases. if this heat were to stay in the atmosphere, earth’s ambient temperature would rise 3°C every decade.