Elysium Heart of The Coral Triangle Expedition Report by Michael Aw – Project Leader
The Elysium Heart of the Coral Triangle expedition stems from its explorers’ shared understanding that climate change is intimately related to ocean change. The oceans play an essential role in regulating global climate and regional temperature, and are crucial for controlling the carbon, oxygen, and water cycles of the planet. The oceans are a vital part of the complex geophysical and biochemical systems that support life on Earth.
The exchanges of cold and warm water that take place in the Antarctic’s Southern Ocean and the seas of the Arctic are key drivers of thermohaline circulation throughout all the oceans across the globe, and thermohaline circulation in turn plays a fundamental role in controlling the world’s climate. There is strong evidence that, due to impacts on our atmosphere stemming from the emission of greenhouse gases, significant changes are taking place in the chemical composition of the oceans. Those changes are affecting the oceans’ pH levels and productivity, and are impairing the ability of ocean life to survive and thrive. Impacts on the well-being of ocean life are beginning to affect other forms of life as well. These issues are vital signs, telling us that our planet is in distress.
Human impact on the ocean is increasing every year with globalclimate changeand acidification reducing ocean productivity, overdevelopment and pollution contaminating the sea, and an increasing demand for food causing over-harvesting of the world’s fisheries. Addressing these issues requires a combination of exploration and quantitative analysis to understand the underlying processes controlling diversity and productivity of marine life.
To read the entire report in the BHS library, click here…Elysium Report