Ocean wave

El año de la regeneración de los océanos

OXFORD – La importancia que los océanos tienen en el mundo no puede ser exagerada. Ellos suministran el 50% del oxígeno que respiramos, alimentan miles de millones de personas; y, además, proporcionan medios de vida a millones de personas. Ellos son la gran bomba biológica de regulación atmosférica y térmica a nivel mundial, y son los impulsores de los ciclos del agua y los nutrientes. Y, se encuentran entre las herramientas más poderosas para mitigar los efectos del cambio climático. En resumen, los océanos son un aliado de importancia crítica y debemos hacer todo lo posible por protegerlos.

Esto es aún más importante, si se tiene en cuenta las amenazas impredecibles y sin precedentes a las que nos enfrentamos en la actualidad. Si bien los océanos ha sido parte integral de la desaceleración del cambio climático, ya que absorben más del 30% de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero y el 90% del exceso de calor generado desde la revolución industrial, el costo ha sido enorme. La acidificación y calentamiento de los océanos han estado progresando a un ritmo alarmante, y ya están teniendo un fuerte impacto en algunos de nuestros ecosistemas marinos más apreciados – un impacto que se intensificará.

Hoy en día, vastas regiones del mundo están experimentando lo que es probablemente el fenómeno del niño más fuerte registrado en la historia. Se espera que el clima adverso causado por este fenómeno – que tiene su origen en el océano Pacífico, pero que afecta a todos los océanos a lo largo del mundo – afecte negativamente a más de 60 millones de personas este año, agravando la miseria infligida el año pasado. Es un recordatorio aleccionador de nuestra vulnerabilidad frente a ambos tipos de shocks que afectan a los sistemas de la Tierra: los naturales y los provocados por el hombre.

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