Protected areas in the ocean now exceed size of Europe

Nearly three percent of the world’s oceans – an area slightly larger than Europe – now lies within designated marine protected areas, according to new data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is a significant increase from 2010 when the area protected was just 1.2 per cent. However, many of the new protected zones may be of little value in terms of conservation.

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65 Absolutely Amazing Underwater Photographs | CreativeFan

The oceans are still one of the most mysterious places on our planet. Whether it’s the depths of the ocean, where light is scarce and the only life huddles around hydrothermal vents, or it’s the beautiful coral reefs where life is colorful and abundant, underwater environments never cease to amaze us.  Because of this, underwater photography is a very popular and growing aspect of digital photography, used both for biology, traditional photography, and advertising.

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What is the Big Deal About Ocean Acidification?

If you have been paying attention to environmental news lately you may have read or heard a little bit about this thing called ocean acidification. But what is ocean acidification and why is it such a big deal?

What is ocean acidification?

Ocean acidification, as the name suggests, is an increase in acidity of the world’s oceans which can be shown by a decrease in pH. This increase in acidity parallels an increase in CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere. This parallel increase occurs because CO2 stays balanced between the ocean and the atmosphere, so if the CO2 increases in the atmosphere, the ocean absorbs more CO2 to stay in equilibrium.

In the ocean, CO2 is also getting used up through a reaction with water and carbonate (a molecule that occurs naturally in the ocean) that creates bicarbonate and carbonic acid, both of which are acidic and decrease the pH of the ocean. Overall, this reaction causes an increase in acidity, a decrease in carbonate, and a decrease in CO2 in the ocean, which pulls more CO2 out of the atmosphere to maintain the CO2 balance. Find out more here.

What can you do to help? Get informed! Learn more about ocean acidification. Tell your friends! Tell your U.S. Senators or Representative that you are worried about the impacts of ocean acidification and that they should be too!

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‘Microplastic’ threat to shores

Via Scoop.itOcean News

Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study warns.

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