Oceans and Climate Change – What does it mean for Small Island States?
“Oceans serve an important function in regulating the global climate system. From heat absorption and circulation, to exchanging heat with the atmosphere. Oceans also provide a reservoir for carbon dioxide, the primary gas of the greenhouse gases which are the attributable causes of human-induced climate change. The ocean contains 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere and is exchanging large amounts of CO2 with the atmosphere every year. Additionally, through photosynthesis, biological uptake accounts for the sequestering of carbon in the deep ocean. However, with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the global surface temperature as well as that of the oceans, have been increasing as well as increasing acidification. This temperature increase and increasing acidification has implications for the proper functioning of the world’s oceans and by extension the associated marine biodiversity such as fisheries and coral reefs. This in turn has knock-on effects that could pose significant challenges for small island developing states.”
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