World Oceans Day 2019
Since 2009, the United Nations has celebrated June 8th as World Oceans Day to draw attention to the threats to the waters. Because although about 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water and our oceans contain up to 97% of the world's water resources, they are still among the least protected areas on earth - even though they are essential for us humans. For example, marine flora produces about 70% of the oxygen we breathe in every day. With the worldwide anniversary, the UN is now taking action: by 2020, protected areas are to be set up for at least 10% of the sea surface.
The oceans are drowning in plastic
We humans are one of the greatest threats to our oceans. According to NABU, up to 10 million tons of waste end up in our waters every year. An estimated 8 million tons of this is plastic waste, some of which takes up to 600 years to decompose. According to UNEP, up to 18,000 pieces of plastic are floating on the surface of the sea per square kilometer. If we do nothing, it is projected that by 2025 there will be about one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish - and by 2050 there would be more plastic waste than fish in our oceans. The garbage already costs the lives of up to 100,000 marine mammals and a million seabirds every year. In addition, there are the tiny, microplastic particles that are almost unrecognizable to the eye. Small plastic particles that not only get into our own body, but also into the water cycle, for example via conventional cosmetics.
One ocean, one climate
Our water surface absorbs about a third of the carbon dioxide emitted worldwide. This constantly leads to acidification of the seas, which not only affects sea creatures and small creatures, but also affects the entire oceanic system. Scientists suspect that this is one of the reasons why corals are dying in many places. And because huge amounts of heat are stored in our seas and distributed with the ocean currents, each of our oceans contributes directly to the climate.