Recently, the American Fisheries Society released a historic document in which 111 aquatic scientific societies from around the world called for decisive action to combat climate change (https://climate.fisheries.org/world-climate-statement/). These societies, representing more than 80,000 scientists, produced this unprecedented plea to world leaders with a staggering amount of evidence showing the consequences of climate change.
Scientists agree that increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for more extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding, which have harmed water supplies and water quality. Climate changes have been linked to recent wildfires that have destroyed aquatic habitats. The negative effects of climate change on marine systems are alarming. Oceans cover 68% of the globe and 40% of the world’s population live within about 60 miles of the coast. As ocean temperatures rise, rates of ice cap melting have increased, sea levels are rising, and coastal infrastructure is increasingly threatened. Oceans are becoming more acidic and dissolved oxygen is declining. More than 90% of coral reefs will be lost in 30 years, if trends continue at the current rate. Harvest of important food fishes has been declining precipitously.
When this many scientists present such compelling evidence for the effect of climate change on our planet, we need to pay attention. And, we need to demand that our political leaders take immediate action to reduce fossil fuel emissions and increase carbon storage.
Our planet depends on it.
Robert Carline, Ferguson Township
This article originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times.