The fragile balance of marine ecosystems
Small changes can upset the fragile balance of many marine ecosystems. Coral and krill are two clear examples of how ocean warming caused by our carbon footprint can have “devastating effects”, as Sara Casals, junior product manager at 11Onze, explains.
The greenhouse gases we emit into the atmosphere are causing global warming. And marine ecosystems are no strangers to this process. Over the last century, ocean temperatures are estimated to have risen by 0.1 °C. Although this may not seem like much, even small changes in temperature can have “devastating effects” on these environments, as Sara Casals explains.
Two very obvious examples of the impact of our carbon footprint on marine ecosystems are coral and krill. “Coral bleaching is a clear example of how a small change can trigger the mass extinction of these organisms,” warns Casals. As for krill, she explains that rising water temperatures are causing this small crustacean “to reproduce in much lower numbers”.
The reduction in the krill population has a knock-on effect on other animal species, as krill is “a fundamental step in the Antarctic food chain”. Furthermore, krill are capable of capturing carbon dioxide and depositing it on the seabed, so a reduction in their population increases the amount of CO₂ reaching the atmosphere.
These two examples show that the planet’s ecosystems maintain a fragile balance and that each species has a fundamental role to play in maintaining it. “A minimal alteration of this natural order generates devastating changes for the Earth and the life on it,” according to Casals.
An urgent question
Humans tend to relativise things when we see them as a distant problem or one that does not affect us directly. That is why, for example, many institutions have stopped talking about “climate change”, which seems to be a progressive and long-term process, to talk about “climate emergency”, which better reflects the urgency of the measures humanity has to take to stop warming.
As Sara Casals points out, “it is now up to us to change our mindset, since our habits and forms of consumption have brought us to this point”. It is, therefore, necessary that we become aware of the consequences of our activities. Only then will we be able to take the necessary measures to reduce our carbon footprint.
If you want to discover how to drink the best water, save money and help the planet, go to 11Onze Essentials.
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