Monday, 13 June 2011

Survival of Seagrass

I saw interesting article from The Ecologist today that I wanted to share. It was actually the beginning of this piece that shocked me most: "Every hour, an area of seagrass meadows the size of two football pitches is lost." Wow. The rate of biodiversity loss never fails to amaze me (although I do sometimes wonder how they work out these statistics having done studies myself).
The other point being made here was the lack of attention seagrass receives. We have keystone species and habitats such as the amazon which are heavily focused on when raising money and awareness about environmental issues, but I'm sure the average person on the street couldn't tell you what seagrass was, let alone give details on its status. And yet approximately 1 BILLION people live within 50km of a seagrass meadow.
Seagrass may not be charasmatic or glamorous like other marine environments such as coral reefs, but it is still an important habitat in its own right for many species of fish, turtles and many others.
Personally, I believe another issue here is that people don't really see the ocean as threatened, or in need of environmental protection. They think that because we don't primarily exist in water we can't possibly be doing it much harm. They are much more inclined to take responsibility for woodland loss, or air pollution.
However, we should remember the importance the ocean has in transportation, ecotourism and its aesthetic value. It is shrouded in biodiversity and unlike land, it has masses of unexplored territory. Species are being lost that we are not even aware exist.
Should we accept defeat and explore these parts before they are lost forever? Or fight for their survival?

Monday, 6 June 2011

A Small Summary

I apologise for the lack of attention to my blog recently. Due to finishing university, weddings and other things in life, time got away from me. I have however, been keeping up with the news...

There have been the obvious big news stories - legislation changes and disease outbreaks, but I have also noticed a focus on the effects of climate change and other human activities more recently.

One study from the University of Miama has demonstrated how ocean acidification and the increasing ocean temperatures will reduce ecosystem biodiversity, especially in coral reefs - and not in hundreds of years, SOON. Another described how arctic ice is becoming so thin certain animals will not be able to reside on it for much longer, causing mass extinction.
There was also an interesting piece on possible POSITIVE effects of climate change - see here:

Most of the news stories I have read are extremely negative and accepting. Shouldn't these types of articles aim to create physical change and give people such insight they perhaps change their daily routines to be more eco-friendly? I think there have been enough studies now to show that global warming and the like, is in fact happening, and instead of speculation about it or plain ignorance, people may need to be forced to be more environmentally friendly. Nevermind, O2 emission targets by the government, laws need to be adapted. There needs to be harsher punishments for people who can't do the simplest of tasks, such as recycle. Huge taxes for people who drive 4 x 4s when it isn't required. Even the work place should be made to encourage carpooling or walking to work. It sounds harsh but nobody is willing to change voluntarily.

Otherwise, we will still be drowning in speculation and vague targets when the world comes crashing down.