Oceans cover 70% of our planet. It is one of the most fundamental natural resources, we have;
it is home to almost all life on Earth. It provides us with food, it cleans the air and determines the weather.
However, us humans are ruining the beautiful oceans Mother Nature provided us with.
We are killing one of the most valuable things we have.
Each year, 14 billion tons of trash are dumped in our oceans; of which 10.5 billion is plastic1.
This plastic and trash is not only killing the beautiful fish in our oceans, it is killing us.
Plastic absorbs organic pollutants, and that poison finds its way into food chains, from fish to humans.
Plankton is microscopic marine algae; it is the base of marine food chains.
Plankton uses the sun’s energy to combine carbon dioxide with water to create oxygen (this process is called photosynthesis).
Plankton gives us oxygen which makes us live.
However, in the most polluted areas of the oceans the mass of plastic is six times more than the mass of plankton!
Plankton thinks the plastic as food, and feeds itself off plastic.
This makes it harder for plankton to capture carbon dioxide, which makes producing oxygen harder.
1 million marine animals die each year due to plastic2!
If we keep going on like this, the next generations will never be able to see the beauty of marine creatures and the mysterious tropical oceans.
Just exactly how much plastic is there? There are three main plastic “islands”.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex) is located in central North Pacific Ocean and it is bigger than the state of Texas!
The other two main plastic islands are located in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean.
In total, there are five garbage patches that have been discovered.
Garbage patches are formed when plastic get transported by the current to where the current meets;
lots of garbage piles up here, which end up creating plastic “islands”3.
Ocean Acidification Not only do fossil fuels pollute the air, but they pollute the oceans too.
When we burn fossil fuels, the ocean absorbs a quarter of all man made carbon emissions;
these carbon emissions change the pH of surface waters which leads to acidification.
This problem is worsening rapidly; oceans are acidifying faster than they have ever have in 300 million years!
If we keep the same pace with our current carbon emissions,
it is estimated that by the end of the century the oceans will be 150% more acidic than they are now4.