Ocean Action Hub

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are rising as a result of human activities, such as fossil fuel burning, and are increasing the acidity of seawater. This process is known as ocean acidification. Historically, the ocean has absorbed approximately 30% of all CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans since the start of the industrial revolution, resulting in a 26% increase in the acidity of the ocean (average global decrease in ocean pH of about 0.1 unit).

Ocean acidification makes it more difficult for the numerous organisms that fix calcium carbonate in their skeletons and shells to do so, and can also impact metabolic and reproductive processes in many marine species. By impacting marine ecosystems at multiple levels, it has significant potential to affect food security and livelihoods that depend upon healthy marine ecosystems. The economic impact of ocean acidification could be substantial.

Reducing CO2 emissions is the only way to minimize long-term, large-scale risks from ocean acidification (IGBP, IOC, SCOR, 2013, p. 1).

Latest

6 Jun 2018 - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that there would be more plastic than fish by 2050 if the present trends continue.

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5 Jun 2018 - Managed marine protected areas are an effective tool in coastal ocean conservation. They are also ripe to be included in investment structures. The upsides for everyone may help push the protected area of the world’s seas from 2% to 30% by 2030.

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4 Jun 2018 - The celebrated author Margaret Atwood has told a conference that humanity's future is linked to the survival of ocean ecosystems.

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30 May 2018 - In line with SDG 14, development of Blue Economy sector must also promote social inclusion while ensuring environmental sustainability.

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24 May 2018 - We need to act now to save biodiversity and ecosystems.

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21 May 2018 - Peter Thomson on how a sustainable blue economy will feed and support future generations.

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14 May 2018 - As climate change brings worsening threats, insurance may be a way to insure against ocean losses.

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11 May 2018 - World Ocean's Day, the annual global event aimed at tackling some of the biggest threats facing our oceans, will take place on June 8, 2018.

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4 May 2018 - Hawaii has become the first US state to pass a bill banning the sale of any sunscreens that have chemicals known to harm coral reefs.

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27 Apr 2018 - Learn more about the serious problem of plastic in the ocean with this infographic.
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UNDP Ocean Advocate, Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson, explains what nutrient pollution is and the risk it poses to marine life.

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UNDP Ocean Advocate, Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson, talks about the chemical reactions that occur when CO2 is absorved by sea water.

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