Beyond global warming: Stressed oceans, globe-wide in the Anthropocene


The footprint of human activities on the planet is so profound that many scientists are already suggesting that we have entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene. From among these activities, those that are accompanied by large emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) affect our entire planet and, especially, the oceans. Besides becoming warmer, the oceans are also growing progressively more acidic and less oxygenated. In this article we discuss the extent of these global stresses on the oceans after contextualising the disproportionate anthropogenic increase in CO2 and examining how it is distributed. We conclude with a discussion of mitigation possibilities that use the oceans themselves, stressing the urgent need to tackle the problem, especially during this present decade.


Anthropocene; warming; acidification; deoxygenation; global change

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