Rising global carbon dioxide levels are pushing the ocean beyond capacity
23-07-2019 By Vishaal Kumar, Fiji Times
This was one of the messages highlighted by Pacific Community (SPC) Deputy Director General, Cameron Diver while speaking at the SPC Workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 at Nouméa in New Caledonia yesterday.
Mr Diver said "rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are resulting in increased uptake by the ocean".
He said research showed about 26 percent of the increasing emissions of carbon dioxide was absorbed by the ocean.
"The resulting acidification of the ocean was occurring at different rates around the seas, but ultimately this impacts marine species greatly," he said.
He added these impacts affected the people of the Pacific with increased severity of storms and extreme weather.
He said changes in the ocean life-cycle directly impacted the communities, economies, cultures and future of the region.
Mr Diver stressed that regional stakeholders must build their capacity to conduct and apply ocean science, and accelerate the transfer of new marine technology into the region.
"The transfer of marine technology needs to be designed and it needs to based on the needs of the region," he said.
Long-term and sustained resourcing and funding were crucial for this, Mr Diver added.
He highlighted that the region was best placed to understand the challenges caused by the existential threat of climate change.
Various practitioners, specialists, scientists and agencies from the region are attending the three day workshop which concludes on Thursday.
Vishaal Kumar’s story has been developed as part of the Pacific Community Workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030. This was made possible through SPC’s Australian funded Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac). COSPPac works to help translate ocean science that is critical and relevant to the Pacific region to better inform evidence based decision making for our climate and oceans.