Member Highlight: Study Shows Human Impacts On Oceans Nearly Doubled In Recent Decade, Could Double Again Without Adequate Action

2019-10-01T10:36:53+00:00 September 30, 2019|
Great Barrier Reef

(Click to enlarge image) Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (Credit: NASA)

(From UC Santa Barbara/ By Jenny Seifert) — Over the recent decade, total human impacts to the world’s oceans have, on average, nearly doubled and could double again in the next decade without adequate action. That’s according to a new study by researchers from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara.

Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the study assessed for the first time where the combined impacts that humans are having on oceans — from nutrient pollution to overfishing — are changing and how quickly. In nearly 60% of the ocean, the cumulative impacts are increasing significantly and, in many places, at a pace that appears to be accelerating.

“That creates even more urgency to solve these problems,” said lead author Ben Halpern, director of NCEAS and a professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.

Climate change is a key factor driving the increase across the world, as seas warm, acidify and rise. On top of that, commercial fishing, runoff from land-based pollution and shipping are intensifying progressively each year in many areas of the ocean.

“It’s a multifactor problem that we need to solve. We can’t just fix one thing if we want to slow and eventually stop the rate of increase in cumulative impacts,” said Halpern.

The study also projected…

Read the full article here: https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2019/019585/doubling-down