Kenny Um / Flintridge Prep11th Grade
Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide and other significant greenhouse gases has undoubtedly escalated. Dr. Michael Gunson from NASA points to the fact that our CO2 levels have reached an all-time high: 400 parts per million. And, with the development of new technologies, it is relatively simple to see that the main cause of the rise in CO2 is due mainly because of humans. Now, the question that the government is confronted with is not why CO2 levels are increasing, but how to stop it.
In our status quo, over four billion dollars, since 1998, has been spent on various programs and startups in order to decrease CO2 emissions from cars, or to hinder deforestation. However, what’s missing in these funds is the focus on the ocean. The rise in greenhouse gases has had a devastating impact on the ocean. In fact, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, “The ocean has absorbed about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide humans have sent into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution some 150 billion tons.” Because of the rise in CO2, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 100 acres of coral reefs have been bleached due to the increase of salinity. And, this increase of salinity impedes the oxygen production of the plants, which affects the animals dependent on these important parts of the ocean. For instance, in 2016 alone, the amount of deaths from fish has increased over 29%. It is the government’s duty to hinder this high death rate for fish, as fish and many other speciesserve as an important staple for many people across the world.
According to Conservation International, in addition to the increase in ocean salinity, global warming has also increased the sea levels across the globe. Due to the increase in temperature and, in effect, the melting of polar ice caps, a variety of marine-species find it harder to swim to shallower waters that can provide a crucial place for them to rest, reproduce, or place their eggs. In the next hundred years, Conservation
International estimates, “up to 30 percent of the country’s mangroves are estimated to be lost to sea level rise by 2100.” The EPA should broaden its impact to affect all aspects of the environment, from the air to the ocean. However, recently, the EPA has been criticized for its extravagant spending of over 92 million over the past decade on furniture, Adam Andrzejewski from Forbes writes. The need to help the ocean is substantial and it is the duty of both the government and the EPA to take action.
<Kenny Um / Flintridge Prep11th Grade