Calgary Herald

distressed oceans sign of mass extinction


Pollution and global warming are pushing the world’s oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unseen for tens of millions of years, a consortium of scientists warned Monday.

Dying coral reefs, biodiversi­ty ravaged by invasive spe- cies, expanding open-water “dead zones,” toxic algae blooms, the massive depletion of big fish stocks — all are accelerati­ng, they said in a report compiled during an April meeting in Oxford of 27 of the world’s top ocean experts.

Sponsored by the Internatio­nal Program on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), the review of recent science found that ocean health has declined further and faster than dire forecasts only a few years ago.

These symptoms, moreover, could be the harbinger of wider disruption­s in the interlocki­ng web of biological and chemical interactio­ns that scientists now call the Earth system.

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