COP18 (04/12/12) – Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary, UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission talks about the importance of the oceans to the planet.
She talks about the role oceans play in controlling the climate and says it is the interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean that gives us our weather and climate. She uses the example of Hurricane Sandy and says that we should be paying a lot more attention to the seas.
She describes the ocean as hot, sour and breathless. The hot she says is because the oceans absorb 80% of the heat from the atmosphere. She says that the top three meters of ocean have more heat capacity than the entire atmosphere, and warns this rising temperature in the oceans is already having an impact.
The breathless, she says is due to the decrease in oxygen in the ocean. She says dead zones have increased from 49 to well over 400 and warns most marine species can not live without oxygen.
The sour, she says is because of the ocean acidification. She says this is not caused by climate change but says that it is a direct consequence of the ocean absorbing CO2.