How is Pollution Hurting Our Oceans?
For millions of years our oceans’ have maintained a stable acidity level, providing an ideal environment that has allowed various animals and plants to flourish. However, recent research shows that this ideal balance is now in danger, as increasing ocean pollution has led to a severe drop in surface pH that might have devastating consequences for all ocean life and the environment.
What has caused this rapid drop in acidity level? Since the industrial revolution, humanity has emitted billions of tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It is now known that over time about half of all emitted carbon dioxide has been absorbed by the Earth’s oceans, about 22 million tons a day. While this has slowed climate change by prohibiting these emissions from remaining in the air, it has also caused an alteration in water chemistry which is affecting marine organisms and is even suspected to cause reproductive orders in fish.
How? When dissolved in the ocean, carbon dioxide quickly turns into carbonic acid, which leads to an increase in the ocean’s acidity level. Today, ocean pH is around 8.1, representing a drop of 0.1 pH units and a 25 percent increase in acidity over the past 200 years. Unless climate action is taken, continued emissions are estimated to cause further reduction of ocean pH by an additional 0.5 units.
Not only will our oceans continue to turn black due to acidification, but they will also increasingly lose their capacity to store carbon. This means that more carbon dioxide will remain in the atmosphere and further exacerbate climate change. The worst part is that carbonic acid is not the only source of ocean pollution. According to the National Ocean Service around 80% of pollution to the oceans comes from the land, as a result of soil erosion and water runoff. These runoffs contain top soils from fields and farms carrying toxic chemical fertilizers that harm fish and wildlife habitats and lead to so-called “dead zones”; areas in the ocean of such low oxygen concentration that animal life is unable to survive.
Help restore the ocean’s balance by supporting natural agricultural practices like neem! As a natural, non-toxic biopesticide and fertilizer, neem is completely harmless to the oceans and wildlife. What’s more, neem is a strong alley in the fight against climate change, as it restores soil health and improves its ability to sequester carbon, thereby reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So, what will you choose?