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At Madrid climate talks, remember ocean protection is climate action

By Jay Ritchlin & Bill Wareham      

COP25 is one of our best chances to ensure that the ocean remains healthy enough to withstand and help mitigate the effects of climate breakdown.

Maintaining ocean resilience and health is a climate action. On average, the ocean’s uptake of human-caused emissions is enormous—approximately 2.6 billion tons of carbon annually. If the ocean didn’t act as a climate shield over the past decades, Earth’s atmosphere could have warmed by 36 C. Scientists conclude it is unlikely that the oceans will be able to keep up this pace year in and year out. Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

The ocean has nourished and protected a great abundance of life on Earth for billions of years. If we aim to save ourselves from a complete climate breakdown, it’s time to start returning the favour. The UN COP25 climate conference in Madrid is a prime opportunity to declare ocean protection a vital component of our global climate emergency action plan.

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