Scientists warn of massive ocean extinctions

Jun 27, 2011 By Sandy Bauers

When we think of mass extinctions, we think of the dinosaurs. Nothing that could happen in the modern era, right?

But a panel of who met earlier this year in Oxford, England, have concluded that the world's oceans are facing an unprecedented loss of species. As the London Independent reports today, "The seas are degenerating far faster than anyone has predicted, the report says, because of the cumulative impact of a number of severe individual stresses, ranging from and sea-water acidification, to widespread and gross overfishing."

They concluded that the negative impacts are greater than predicted, and that mass extinctions could occur within one human generation.

The scientists were brought together by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) and the International Union for the (IUCN). Click on both links for more information from those groups and a copy of the report.

"The world's leading experts on oceans are surprised by the rate and magnitude of changes we are seeing," says Dan Laffoley, Marine Chair of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas, senior advisor on Marine Science and Conservation for IUCN and co-author of the report. He was quoted in a press release. "The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations, we know what now needs to happen. The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent."

One of the threats that hit home for because it shows how all of us affect what's going on in the oceans: "New science also suggests that pollutants including flame retardant chemicals (in foam and plastics) and synthetic musks found in detergents are being traced in the Polar Seas, and that these chemicals can be absorbed by tiny in the ocean which are in turn eaten by ."

Explore further: Climate change report identifies 'the most vulnerable'

4.5 /5 (11 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Oceans threatened by mass extinction

Jun 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- An international panel of marine scientists has warned that the world’s oceans are at risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.

Panel: Problems with oceans multiplying, worsening

Jun 20, 2011

(AP) -- The health of the world's oceans is declining much faster than originally thought - under siege from pollution, overfishing and other man-made problems all at once - scientists say in a new report.

Oceans in distress foreshadow mass extinction

Jun 20, 2011

Pollution and global warming are pushing the world's oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unseen for tens of millions of years, a consortium of scientists warned Monday.

World's coral reefs could be gone by 2050: study

Feb 23, 2011

The world's coral reefs could be wiped out by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to stop threats posed to the "rainforests of the sea" by everything from overfishing to climate change, a report warned.

Recommended for you

Climate change report identifies 'the most vulnerable'

17 minutes ago

Extreme weather events leave populations with not enough food both in the short- and the long-term. A new report by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the School of Geography and the Environment ...

Obama readies climate change push at UN summit

3 hours ago

President Barack Obama will seek to galvanize international support in the fight against climate change on Tuesday when he addresses the United Nations, with time running out on his hopes of leaving a lasting ...

New toxic spill traced to Mexico mine

3 hours ago

Civil protection authorities have confirmed new toxic spills in northwestern Mexico, where a massive acid spill from a copper mine contaminated waterways.

World greenhouse emissions threaten warming goal

17 hours ago

Emissions of greenhouse gases are rising so fast that within one generation the world will have used up its margin of safety for limiting global warming to 2°C (3.6°F), an international team of scientists ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NANOBRAIN
not rated yet Jun 29, 2011
NATURE WILL WORK TO CLEANSE EVERYTHING FOR BALANCE.EVEN IF IT HAS TO CLEANSE HUMANITY.WE MAY SAVE THE EARTH WITH TECHNOLOGIES POSSIBLY.NATURE HAS ALL THE ANSWERS,SECRETS FOR US TO WORK WITH HER.