Climate change is a reality, the climate is changing and global warming is already exceeding 1 degree celcius. The sixth IPCC report is yet another reminder of the alarming state of climate change, underlining the vulnerability of ecosystems and populations, especially those in the intertropical zones, which are mainly made up of developing countries. The oceans are the world’s largest carbon sequestration lungs, but with climate change we’re seeing an increase in ocean acidification and deoxygenation. In addition to climate change, we recognize the negative impact of nutrients as a cause of ocean acidification, leading to degradation of ocean water quality, degradation of biodiversity and marine ecosystems, and reduced social and cultural development of coastal peoples.
According to the IPCC, around 30% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions have already been absorbed by the oceans and seas. On contact with water, carbon dioxide is transformed into carbonic acid. Seawater acidifies, i.e. its pH decreases. According to the IPCC, ocean acidification is set to continue between now and the end of the 21st century. Acidification of marine waters poses a major risk to coral reefs, molluscs and certain types of plankton due to their calcareous structure or shell. Indeed, increasing ocean acidification reduces the availability of carbonate minerals in seawater, important components for marine plants and animals. Combined with warming marine waters, pollution and the eutrophication of aquatic environments, this phenomenon threatens the equilibrium of many ecosystems. By 2050, scientists predict that 86% of the world’s oceans will be warmer and more acidic than at any time in modern history. By 2100, the pH of the surface ocean could fall to less than 7.8, more than 150% lower than today’s already corrosive state, and potentially even more, in some particularly sensitive parts of the planet, such as the Arctic Ocean.
It is against this backdrop that the African Environmental Network launched its Ocean Observation Program at COP 28 on December 03, 2024 during the world cafe, with the aim of ensuring general ocean monitoring through research, communication, information, awareness-raising and training for better integrated ocean management.
Strengthen resilience and integrated ocean management through continuous ocean observation
- Conduct research on: ocean water quality and ph monitoring, ocean nutrients (their origins, quality and quantity)
- Conduct research into the impact of acidification on marine and coastal ecosystems.
- Raise awareness and provide information on nutrients contributing to ocean acidification
- Train local populations in the best approaches to resilience in the face of new ocean dynamics during the Worl