A new report on the state of the world’s oceans is gaining considerable attention this week. The report by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature warns that combined threats to oceans are creating conditions where there is ‘a high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history’. Dr Alex Rogers, scientific director of the IPSO, calls the new findings ‘shocking’.
While to some this language may seem extreme, the reality is that an unprecedented range of threats are coming together to challenge the health of oceans and underwater life. The report identifies the main drivers of these threats, including: climate change, overexploitation, pollution and habitat loss. The report also finds increasing hypoxia (low oxygen levels) and anoxia (absence of oxygen, known as ocean dead zones) along with warming oceans and increasing acidification