Currently, the three biggest threats to ocean life are probably: ocean acidification, trash pollution, and algal blooms. Ocean acidification results from the ocean being forced to absorb the increased amounts of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into the atmosphere, and threatens to render many ocean creatures, especially shelled organisms, extinct. Oceans end up receiving 10 percent of all plastic trash humans throw out, which has obvious repercussions for ocean life. And finally, certain conditions (warmer temperatures, more sunlight) can cause explosions in toxic populations of ocean algae, which are currently sweeping the planet thanks to early signs of global warming, depleting oceans of oxygen and making vast swathes of ocean uninhabitable.
Ocean acidification is probably the most threatening with our changing climate. Changes in pH balance could have devastating effects on many tropical areas and reefs with relatively homeostatic environments. In a related note, pollution from rivers draining into the oceans has also irreparably damages many parts of the oceans including leaving a ‘Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. Pesticides, Fertilizers and other chemicals from the Mississippi flow into the Gulf, choking any and all life and has left an area the size of New Jersey that cannot support life.
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