Climate Change

Promoting a Stable Climate

The oceans play an important role in regulating the Earth's temperature. As the levels of carbon dioxide and heat rise in the atmosphere, so do their levels in the oceans.

The Campaign

Oceana campaigns to stop climate change through legislative advocacy, source control, public education and awareness and ecosystem protection.

The oceans play an important role in regulating the Earth's temperature. As the levels of carbon dioxide and heat rise in the atmosphere, so do their levels in the oceans. Since the Industrial Revolution, we have added close to 1.5 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and the oceans have absorbed about a third of that amount. The oceans have also absorbed 80 percent of the heat that has been added to the atmosphere. Without the oceans, global warming would be far worse than it already is.
Unfortunately, the oceans are being overwhelmed by the massive amounts of carbon dioxide they are absorbing. As the oceans become "full" of carbon dioxide, the rate at which they can continue to absorb carbon dioxide slows down, resulting in more carbon dioxide remaining in the atmosphere, affecting the climate. The impacts of absorbing such huge amounts of carbon dioxide and heat include ocean acidification, sea level rise, disrupted marine food webs, depleted ecosystems and more.

Recently, it was found that the Southern Ocean, the most important "carbon sink" of all the oceans, has greatly slowed its uptake of carbon dioxide because of climate change. The absorption of heat and carbon dioxide by the oceans is currently slowing the effects of global warming; however, the oceans are becoming overburdened and may not be able to perform this function for much longer.

  • we have added close to 1.5 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere

Signs of Climate Change

Effects of Climate Change

Climate Change and the Arctic

What Oceana Does

Source Control

Oceana is working to prevent a virtually unregulated major source of greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change -- climate pollution from the shipping industry. Oceana is identifying solutions that can reduce emissions of pollutants like carbon dioxide, black carbon and others from the global shipping fleet. This will help stem the release of greenhouse gas emissions and turn the tide on climate change.

Ecosystem Protection

Oceana supports and encourages the development of both offshore wind and energy from other sources of marine origin, provided they comply with all requirements for environmental impact.

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