14 Most Immediate Threats To Our Oceans
Our oceans are under attack. The only good news- if there is some- is that we know the major culprits. These are the fourteen most immediate threats to our oceans.
There’s a general rule of thumb that you shouldn’t eat food that’s older than we are, and we’ve totally violated this mandate. Example? Overfishing.
2. Oil Spills
Number thirteen: Oil Spills. Mega oil spills make the news; pumping hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals into our oceans, but these accidents only account for twelve percent of ocean oil contamination.
3. Nuclear Disasters
Nuclear calamities are bad enough on land, but when they affect the sea, we have real trouble. That’s exactly what happened on March 11, 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown.
4. Habitat Destruction
Nothing good has ever come from humans messing with the seas, and one of the ways we’ve really screwed up is through habitat destruction
5. Ocean Warming
An increase of point one degree Celsius over the course of a century might not sound like much, but that’s enough to put our seas right at the tipping point.
Remember how acid rain was a huge deal back in the day? As it turns out, the threat isn’t from the skies, but from the oceans themselves. Enter acidification; the ugly side of increased carbon dioxide levels.
7. Invasive Species
When rogue species invade, entire ecosystems get completely turned upside-down. Just introducing one new species to a new environment is a total recipe for disaster.
8. Cruise Ship Dumping
Number seven: Cruise Ship Dumping. Cruise ships are massive mini-cities that float around our oceans offering up all-you-can-eat buffets and drinks of the day. What might seem like a boozy, cruisy bit of fun can actually wreak havoc on the crystal clear waters.
If there’s one thing that has a serious stranglehold on our oceans and waterways, it’s plastics. From microplastics that drift around in the churning seas of our blue world to big ol plastic bags that get themselves tangled up in the fins and gills of sea creatures.
10. Cruise Ship Noise
Cruise ships strike again! Not only are these behemoth bobbers culpable when it comes to spewing pollution into the sea, but they also generate a whole less tangible form- that’s still just as harmful.
Mucking around at the bottom of waterways doesn’t usually bode well for the creatures that live there, and dredging is a great example of why not.
12. NOx and SOx
Nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides are two big, bad bullies in the world of ocean pollution. They are actually a slice of air pollution that drifts down into the ocean and clogs up the seas with oxygen choking chemicals that kill marine life.
13. Sea Water Level Rising
Surging sea levels are not just a threat to us humans, they seriously mess up precious ecosystems too! Shifting seas and rising waters mean that delicate habitats are destroyed or moved altogether.
14. Land Runoff
What we do on the land affects our seas in serious ways. Runoff from big agriculture is one of the most alarming issues for our waterways. Chemical laced sediment flows into the oceans through rivers and streams.