Save the waves

By Priyanka Saurabh

Understanding the importance of oceans in life, we earthlings must turn our attention to keeping the existence of the oceans intact. At present, the effect of human activities is also visible on the seas.
Oxygen level in oceans is steadily declining and life is in danger due to the presence of huge amounts of pollutants in the seawater in coastal areas. When seawater is muddy due to oil spills from oil tankers, sunlight does not reach the depths in it, making it difficult for life to flourish there and also affecting biodiversity in those places. The increasing level of pollution in the coastal areas of the oceans is also worrisome.
World Ocean Day was celebrated on June 8 all over the world. The ocean is not only a symbol of life on Earth but also plays an important role in environmental balance. Its main purpose is to make people aware of the increasing pollution in the sea and the dangers posed by it. It is difficult to imagine life on Earth without the oceans, as the oceans are considered extremely useful socially, economically and culturally, despite the rapidly rising levels of pollution in the oceans.
Oceans are slowly becoming a dump yard of plastic waste that is also having a bad effect on the health of marine organisms as marine organisms mistakenly consider plastic as their food which causes them to lose their lives.
Every year World Oceans Day is celebrated according to different themes. This time the theme was ‘Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean’, the purpose behind celebrating World Oceans Day is not only to spread awareness about the oceans, the importance of oceans around the world, and the challenges they face.
Not only this, on this day many oceanic aspects like food security, biodiversity, ecological balance, indiscriminate use of marine resources, climate change, etc. are to be highlighted.
Over the past decades, global warming has caused massive damage to ice sheets and glaciers, decreased ice cover and the Arctic’s maritime boundary and thickness, and increased temperatures. As global mean sea levels rise, these changes have affected terrestrial and freshwater species and ecosystems, coastal ecosystems are affected by ocean warming, including intense ocean temperature, acidification, oxygen loss, salinity, and Includes sea level rise. Adverse effects from human activities on the sea and land are already being seen on habitat, biodiversity, as well as the functioning and services of ecosystems.
Oceans and the cryosphere (icy Arctic regions) play an important role in the earth’s system. Powered by solar energy, large amounts of energy, water, and biochemical elements are mainly exchanged between carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen among all the components of the earth.
From the sun the energy of the earth’s surface is converted into various forms, which fundamentally change the weather system in the atmosphere and the currents in the sea, the fuel photosynthesis in the land and sea, and so on.
The ocean has a large capacity to store and release heat and this is responsible for climate change compared to the atmosphere. Evaporation from the surface ocean is the main source of water in the atmosphere, which is carried back to Earth’s surface in the form of precipitation.
The sea and the cryosphere are interconnected in many ways. Evaporation from the sea provides snowfall which forms ice sheets and glaciers and accumulates large amounts of frozen water on land. Ocean temperature and sea level affect ice sheet, glacier, and ice-shelf stability in places where the ice water base is in direct contact with seawater. The melting reaction of ice to changes in ocean temperature means that a slight increase in sea temperature has the potential to rapidly melt and destabilise an ice sheet or a large portion of an ice shelf.
Due to future global warming, four Indian coastal cities — Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat and Chennai — are among the 45 coastal cities globally where a 50 cm rise in sea level will cause floods.
Extreme sea-level events that used to occur once in a century in the past will occur in many areas every year until the middle century. Asia will face the strongest influence in the 10 major river valleys in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. These include TN Shan, Kun Loon, Pamir, Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Himalayas, and Hengduan and high altitude Tibetan plateau areas. There will be massive uncertainty in rainfall patterns. The floods will become more frequent and severe due to the increase in the incidence of excessive rainfall in the hilly and low lying areas of the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys.
Climate change is weighing heavily on the ocean’s ecosystems and depicts a disastrous future for most people’s lives at sea, so today we have a long way to go to address concerns about the effects on the ocean’s environment and ecosystems.
Renewable energy for policy development by reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; Shipping and transportation; Protection and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems; Fisheries, aquaculture, and shifting diets; And there is a need to focus on carbon storage in Seabed.
According to current forecasts, depending on the warming scenario, regional temperatures are likely to rise between 3.5°C and 6°C by 2100, causing significant losses of 36-64 per cent in glacier volume. This will affect the flow of water and its availability.
Global warming will directly “affect” domestic use of water resources, agriculture, and hydropower, and all countries will make new efforts to study and develop renewable energy resources and energy-efficient coastal and offshore infrastructure in time should start. And to live, we must save the oceans.

(The author is a poet,
columnist & an independent journalist)
Photo courtesy: Pexels

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