2019 / UNBREATHING
Oceans today absorb about one-third of the carbon dioxide humans send into the atmosphere, about 22 million tons a day.
This great service, which has substantially slowed global warming, has been accomplished at great cost: The trend in ocean acidification is about 30 times greater than natural variation, and average surface ocean pH, the standard measure of acidity, has dropped by 0.1 unit.
That’s a 25-percent increase in acidity, which is significant.
Higher acidity is damaging many ocean species that use calcium carbonate to form their skeletons and shells. Studies have shown that calcium carbonate formation is disrupted if water becomes too acidic.Ocean acidification also appears to be affecting whole ecosystems, such as coral reefs, which depend on the formation of calcium carbonate to build reef structure, which in turn provides homes for reef organisms.
2019 / PLASTIC, THE MOST COMMON SPECIES OF FISH
80% of plastic in our oceans is from land sources – but what does that really mean? Where is it coming from?
Plastic you put in the bin ends up in landfill. When rubbish is being transported to landfill, plastic is often blown away because it’s so lightweight. From there, it can eventually clutter around drains and enter rivers and the sea this way.
Litter dropped on the street doesn’t stay there. Rainwater and wind carries plastic waste into streams and rivers, and through drains. Drains lead to the ocean!
Many of the products we use daily are flushed down toilets, including wet wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products. Microfibres are even released into waterways when we wash our clothes in the washing machine. They are too small to be filtered out by waste water plants and end up being consumed by small marine species, eventually even ending up in our food chain.
2019 / PRAY FOR NOTRE DAME
A major fire has engulfed the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, one of France’s most famous landmarks.
The 850-year-old Gothic building’s spire and roof have collapsed but the main structure, including the two bell towers, has been saved, officials say. Firefighters are still working to contain the blaze as teams try to salvage the artwork stored inside. President Emmanuel Macron called it a “terrible tragedy”. The cause of the fire is not yet clear. Sometimes nature is too strong for us and we can only watch, unfortunately