Today’s Solutions: April 21, 2024

A global team of researchers recently published an article in the scientific journal Nature detailing the state of our ocean’s health, and unlike most projections of the ocean’s future health, this paper cautiously explains that we can successfully restore the ocean by 2050—if we act fast.

The researchers point toward the remarkable resiliency of the ocean, which has been on display in the past year as whale populations have rebounded greatly. In fact, the proportion of marine species assessed as threatened with global extinction by the IUCN has dropped from 18 percent in 2000 to 11.4 percent in 2019.

The researchers identified nine components that are key to rebuilding the oceans: salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, coral reefs, kelp, oyster reefs, fisheries, megafauna, and the deep ocean. The scientists recommend a range of actions that are required including protecting species, harvesting wisely and restoring habitats. A big challenge is climate change, which is raising sea levels and making the waters more acidic. The amount of warming that has already taken place will likely make rebuilding tropical reefs quite difficult.

Another big question is money. The new study estimates that it will cost $10 to 20 billion a year to rebuild marine life by 2050. But the review also points out that for every dollar invested, the expected return would be $10. The authors acknowledge that governments have many other issues on their minds right now but they believe that rescuing the oceans is a very achievable goal. In other words, let’s get to work!

Source study: NatureRebuilding marine life

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