Los océanos y el cambio climático

Oceans and climate change: the final frontier.

Los océanos y el cambio climático

The UN’s action plan on climate change warns of the long history of human impact on the oceans. At one of the most recent UN briefings, Secretary-General António Guterres warned that “the era of global warming is over, the era of global boiling is now upon us”. This declaration marks a turning point in the understanding of climate change in the seas and oceans, and underlines the urgency of finding immediate solutions to counteract the ravages suffered by marine ecosystems.

Climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also rising sea levels, acidification (increased CO2 in the oceans) and oxygen depletion. Changes that have a direct impact on marine ecosystems, affecting all species and causing cascading changes that affect the human communities that depend on them.

It is vital for the scientific community to improve understanding and research into the consequences of climate change and to seek ways to mitigate it. In this sense, national marine science programmes such as ThinkinAzul are key initiatives to develop solutions to mitigate climate change in blue economy sectors such as aquaculture.

Climate change and oceans

According to the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, we humans are the main cause of the increase in ocean heat and heat waves since the 1970s, due to the excess greenhouse gases we produce.

The oceans play a crucial role in this battle, acting as the planet’s main carbon sinks, absorbing excess heat and energy trapped in the atmosphere.

But the consequences are countless and tangible: year after year, summer after summer, this rise in temperature leads to a tropicalisation of our waters, which become ideal habitats for invasive species, while causing the death and displacement of many native species. In this new context, the ongoing dialogue between the sea and the ocean is intensified by major storms and catastrophic events such as Gloria, which left shattered beaches, floods and missing people in its wake.

Its role as a carbon sink, a priori a perfect solution to the accumulation of atmospheric CO2, disrupts the chemical balance in the water by increasing the acidity of the oceans. This imbalance affects the growth, development and survival of animals that depend on this carbonate, such as corals, molluscs and crustaceans, with negative consequences for marine biodiversity as a whole.

Climate change mitigation, the collective solution

In a world increasingly aware of the challenges of climate change, collective action is becoming a fundamental pillar of a sustainable future. We all have a role to play in mitigating the devastating effects of climate change, from local communities to international organisations. Solutions can range from small-scale measures, such as choosing more sustainable modes of transport (bicycles, buses, etc.), to policies that support the conservation and restoration of ecosystems, which help reduce gas emissions and promote biodiversity and ecosystem resilience to climate change. The blue economy can play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. The Valencian Community, through the ThinkInAzul project, is committed to achieving a sustainable and resilient aquaculture that promotes the conservation and reduction of human impact on the marine environment, by improving the monitoring and control of environmental data, the valorisation of fishing discards as an ingredient in animal feed or the design of new, more sustainable products with biodegradable packaging. (See the project’s research lines: Observation and monitoring, Sustainable aquaculture, Blue economy).

The blue economy can play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. The Valencian Community, through the ThinkInAzul project, is committed to achieving a sustainable and resilient aquaculture that promotes the conservation and reduction of human impact on the marine environment, by improving the monitoring and control of environmental data, the valorisation of fishing discards as an ingredient in animal feed or the design of new, more sustainable products with biodegradable packaging. (See the project’s research lines: Observation and monitoring, Sustainable aquaculture, Blue economy).

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