Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Ocean, One Climate, One Future

Each year World Oceans Day’s annual theme focuses on an environmental aspect of how the ocean affects the world. This year’s theme is “one ocean, one climate, one future.” The ocean plays a large role in the Earth’s climate, and ocean life is greatly affected by climate change: the ocean affects us and we affect the ocean.

The unhealthy state of our ocean is currently affecting countless aspects of our lives. One major effect is the increased number of invasive species and diseases that are spreading to new areas. Blue whales face decreased food supplies, polar bears struggle to survive due to melting sea ice, and salmon populations are disappearing. Sea levels are rising worldwide, posing a major threat to low-lying coastal areas. One area that is in grave danger is North Carolina’s Outer Banks, which lies below sea level, and cannot withstand a continuous rise in the waters.

Violent storms and coastal surges also pose an extreme threat to areas around the world, including North Carolina’s coastal communities. Recent years have shown the devastation that atypical weather patterns can cause, including major hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and severe thunderstorms. Each year our beach community is in peril of being the victim of a devastating storm, which is forecasted by the increased water temperatures.

Although countless people are still unaware of the connection between the ocean, climate, and future, more citizens each day are calling for action to be taken against the climate crisis. The ocean that we leave for future generations lies in our hands, and we must make the decision to conserve our “Blue Backyard”. Participating in World Oceans Day is an excellent way to start making a difference.
*Information and picture from The Ocean Project

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