Have you ever listen to sailors speaking about their various experiences from their trips? Well you will understand how magical seas are; you will see this light appearing in their eyes when they talk about abnormal waves, unexpected rendezvous with whales and even more one can understand that sea is so important in the Greek tradition when hearing traditional songs; so many refer to the sea because it has a vital role in our world and specially in the Greek society since ever.
Seas/lakes/rivers represent a home, not for human but for a lot of aquatic species, they are the place where they reproduce, evolve and where human and other species can eat from. Our oceans feed one in four people on the planet every day, so if we continue destroying them, what will happen? Not only water represent the home of a huge number of animals, it is also a major employer all around the world, like for Greece, many communities live from fishing and any other activity relying on it. The major problems seas are facing is over-fishing, meaning that we fish much more fishes that nature produces. This has a disastrous result the last 20 years, 30 % of Europe’s commercial fish stocks are now fished beyond SBL (safe biological limits) and in 2010 70% of commercial stocks were fished above maximum sustainable yield and a lot of commercial marine fish species are threatened, like the Mediterranean tuna, of extinction. Plastic pollution, marine pollution, noise pollution are also causing this damage on fish stock. We need balance.
Our seas and ocean are key factor to our surviving, not only because Earth is the only planet on our solar system that has liquid water, they produce 50% of the atmospheric oxygen we breathe. So if we continue polluting them, how good can become this oxygen? Finally they also regulate the climate and make our planet habitable. They are integral to our very survival, for the simple reason that it has a key-role in the cycle of water, also known as the hydrologic cycle or the H2O cycle, see following scheme:
The water cycle involves exchanges of energy impacting temperatures powered from solar energy. Globally water evaporation occurs by 86% from the oceans, by evaporative cooling. This process helps cooling the entire planet’s temperature enough for human to survive (without this effect the surface temperature would be at 67 °C (153 °F). Aquifer drawdown and the pumping of fossil water increases the total amount of water in the hydrosphere is also a fact contributing to the rise of sea-levels. Many human activities impact the water cycle, and should implement special management processes in order to take water cycle in account: agriculture, industry, alteration of the chemical composition of the atmosphere, construction of dams, deforestation, removal of groundwater from wells, water abstraction from rivers, urbanization.
Imagine a world where the seas are un-swimmable, if fishes there are, they are uneatable, where the seas are forbidden in order to keep out of contaminations… Wouldn’t be just hell on Earth? Sustainable water management but also human awareness and correct behavior are a crucial element for our future, because “healthy and resilient ecosystems provide the services needed to sustain human wellbeing and our economy”. Inform yourself, care about your waters and behave as a responsible human.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, http://www.catlinseaviewsurvey.com/
The European environment | State and outlook 2010 Marine and coastal environment © EEA, Copenhagen, 2010 www.europa.eu
European waters — current status and future challenges, European Environment Agency, © EEA, Copenhagen, 2012 EEA Report No 9/2012 www.europa.eu
Article “Océans: bientôt des déserts bleus?“, Alternatives Economiques n° 314 – June 2012, written by Manuel Domergue, http://www.alternatives-economiques.fr/oceans–bientot-des-deserts-bleus_fr_art_1149_59107.html
Water cycle, Wikipedia information http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_cycle
- How Does the Water Cycle Work? (pbeardsleyschoonmaker.wordpress.com)
- The Cycles of Water (seaborn11.wordpress.com)
- Did you know? (MissBlue Blog)