Climate change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) uses the term “climate change” to refer to climate change directly or indirectly attributable to human activities, while “climate variability” is the one generated by natural causes.

The climate on earth has changed many times due to natural causes, but today we have entered a new era for climate, with rising temperatures caused by CO2 concentrations emitted by human activities.

The most important impact of global warming is on the oceans.

Climate change poses a serious threat to life in our seas, including coral reefs and fisheries, with repercussions on marine ecosystems, the economy and society, especially those most dependent on natural resources. The risk posed by climate change can be reduced by limiting global warming to no more than 1,5 °C.

The importance of the ocean

The ocean is essential for all aspects of human well-being and livelihood.It provides key services such as climate regulation, through energy balance, carbon cycle and nutrient cycle. The ocean is the home of biodiversity, from microbes to marine mammals, which are part of a wide variety of ecosystems in the ocean.

Rising temperatures

Carbon emissions from human activities are causing ocean warming, acidification and oxygen loss with some evidence of changes in the nutrient cycle and primary production. Ocean warming is affecting marine organisms at multiple trophic levels, affecting fisheries with implications for food production and human communities. Concerns about the effectiveness of the current governance of the oceans and fisheries have already been raised, highlighting the need to mitigate these changes as soon as possible.
Rising temperatures are one of the causes of biodiversity loss. More and more organisms are under severe stress due to climatic changes. Several species of animals and plants, in order to escape the warming of the planet, move their distribution towards greater latitudes or altitudes, causing strong imbalances at the ecosystem level.

Effects of increasing greenhouse gases

  • increase of the average temperatures of the planet;
  • change in rain distribution and intensity;
  • changes in the cryosphere: ice cover, snow and permafrost;
  • sea level rise;
  • oceans acidification;
  • increased desertification and soil erosion;
  • increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme events;
  • change in ecosystem characteristics;
  • increased threats to human health;
  • increased human vulnerability on the planet.

It is important to underline that the release of carbon dioxide from the industrial revolution to date has increased considerably exceeding 400 ppm in the atmosphere. In particular, the release of chlorofluorocarbons (are part of hydrocarbons, chemical compounds containing chlorine atoms, fluorine and carbon) determines the release of chlorine atoms that contribute to the degradation of the ozone layer with very serious consequences. Among these, the increase in the penetration of UVB rays that cause a sudden rise in temperature and can lead to significant damage at the cellular and physiological level, Not only: stimulate mechanisms of response to intense light radiation, which lead to a considerable consumption of energy and induce repair mechanisms that expose organisms to strong stress and consequent abatement and immune defenses, exposing them more to extinction phenomena.

Oceans acidification

The increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the subsequent contact with water determines the formation of carbon acid This process is called precisely acidification of the oceans. This acidification causes an imbalance for example in the calcification mechanisms of marine organisms such as corals, which no longer find the ideal conditions for the deposition of calcium carbonate, meet the so-called phenomenon of bleaching.
The alteration of the carbon cycle prevents the formation of shell shells of many marine organisms and causes their disappearance damaging food chains around the planet.

The climate conferences

The history of the Cop (Conference of the parties), the conferences on the climate of the countries that have acceded to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) starts from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 to arrive at the Madrid Cop 25 in 2019.

Despite thousands of scientific evidence and the tangible consequences of global warming, the world leaders’ meetings to address the climate emergency and contain the rise in temperatures has not yet produced improvements in the reduction of CO2. A path that is not at all simple, but in fact unstoppable, since every one comes up against the reality of the consequences that affect all regions of the world.

In Italy the Climate Coalition was founded in 2015, of which Marevivo is a member, with the aim of building joint initiatives and mobilizations, national and territorial, to achieve the highest possible awareness of the fight against climate change and to reach a fair, binding and effective agreement to keep global warming well below 2° C.
Climate Coalition is composed of over 200 organizations in the third sector, unions, businesses, schools and universities, as well as thousands of citizens.

Go to the Climate Coalition website

Marevivo's proposals

We know what we’re up against, and the only good news is that we still have time to turn around. World governments must immediately put the oceans at the centre of climate change action, as the only way to avoid disaster.
For these reasons it is essential to start from solutions that point to the ocean to save the planet from global warming.

Marevivo asks governments to:

1. Remove impacts that alter marine ecosystems such as seagrass beds, coral reefs, mangroves and other marine-coastal ecosystems, which are essential for the preservation and maintenance of biodiversity.

2. Invest in the search for renewable energy from the sea (waves, tides, currents…) to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions on land. Global warming is the main impact on marine ecosystems. The transition to decarbonisation is an essential objective.

3. To keep fish populations within biologically safe limits. To do this it is essential to prevent fishing during the breeding periods of fish species, so that the size of the first sexual maturity is guaranteed.

4. To remove plastics from production processes and, in the meantime, to provide incentives for testing and installation of waste collection systems carried by rivers to intercept them before they reach the sea, together with a reduction in consumption and a ban on disposable plastic objects.

5. To reduce pollution of all types, including noise caused by maritime traffic and mining activities. In fact, the sound waves emitted by these actions disturb all marine fauna and especially marine mammals, compromising their communication and orientation mechanisms and sometimes causing their beaching.

the association asks that these measures are adopted also in line with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC), that it previews the attainment of the good environmental state (GES) and the environmental targets previewed from the same Directive.

What is climate change?

Watch our educational video about climate change, its effects on the health of humans and the planet and the tools to combat them.

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