They cover 71% of our planet, and hold 97% of our water!
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
Oceans cover 71% of our planet, and hold 97% of our water … do we ever stop to wonder what they are really like? Mount Everest would disappear if dropped into the Pacific Ocean - there is a whole landscape of valleys and mountains under the sea. We still haven’t explored 95% of our oceans and scientists estimate we have only identified around a 10thof the species that live in them.
Our oceans are struggling with the impacts of climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Oceans have absorbed 90% of the heat already caused by climate change, since the 1970s, and excess carbon dioxide being absorbed by sea water it is causing it to become more acidic. HOWEVER our oceans also offer many solutions – if we can ‘think outside the box’. Tackling climate change requires problem solvers and pioneers (people who are prepared to be the first to try something). Can you believe that businesses have just helped to launch a ‘Seaweed manifesto’?
Your challenge this week is to learn about our magnificent oceans and some of the pioneering ideas associated with oceans and climate change. We need to cut our carbon emissions to help save our oceans – this week can you taken at least one action – reduce your electricity consumed, petrol guzzled or plastic bought - to reduce your impact on our oceans?
Here are some pioneering ideas that might inspire you …
Seaweed – Biofuels and Carbon storage. Seaweed can be converted into various types of biofuel which can be used instead of burning fossil fuels. In addition, a seaweed forest can store 35 times more carbon than the Amazon rainforest per hectare. Would you like to be involved in this project when you’re older? https://youtu.be/rlxwiOuZ61o
Underwater farms – Feeding our planet. Seaweed is low in fat, high in protein and rich in nutrients. Can you imagine underwater farms (not coastal farming) changing the way we feed ourselves? Take a look and see what you think? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYZpxRy5Mfg
Green transport – Shipping. 80% of what we buy will have travelled by sea. 2.5% of global carbon emissions relate to shipping. Businesses are looking to reduce the carbon footprint of their supply chain. Here’s an example - Renault and Neoline are working in partnership to develop this incredible sailing cargo ship. https://www.neoline.eu/en/.
Restoring coastal habitats – Protection from sea level rises, floods and storms. 40% of the world’s population live within 100km of the coast. Mangrove swamp restoration, with its sturdy root system, can form a natural barrier against violent storm surges and floods. Could you help manage this project? https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/protecting-sri-lankas-precious-mangroves/vi-BBZHV7E
Don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you’ve learnt more about our oceans and taken one action to reduce your impact.
There is a growing call on world leaders to protect 30% of our ocean by 2030, with a network of highly protected marine conservation areas #Love30x30. You may like to watch this WWF video showing the success story of a conservation area in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. https://www.ourplanet.com/en/explorable-globe/coastal-seas/ (spin the globe, then click on ‘protection works’ and ‘species factory’).
By the time you’re leaving school, there will be many ‘green’ jobs. Maybe you’ll be the designer, engineer, farmer, scientist, project manager or entrepreneur who gets similar pioneering projects up and running?
Please remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you’ve completed this challenge!