Topic_20___Impact_on_Oceans

Topic_20___Impact_on_Oceans - Topic 20: Human impacts on...

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Topic 20: Human impacts on the Hydrosphere – Part II: The oceans I. Major impact issues: perturbation of biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles and ecosystems A. Historical view of oceans as vast reservoir that could not be perturbed by man’s activities. So much of it is remote and inaccessible that even scientists could not conceive of how man could have an impact: "All the great sea fisheries are inexhaustible" – Thomas Huxley, 1883, famous British scientific philosopher B. The most pressing threats to the oceans’ health today are human induced and synergistic (McGinn, 1999) 1. Species overexploitation 2. Habitat degradation 3. Pollution: Heavy metals, organic toxins, petroleum spills (What 10 year anniversary did we just celebrate?) 4. Introduction of alien species 5. Climate change A. Fundamental part of world economy is based in oceans, especially since end of cold war 1. Fisheries $80 billion 2. Seaborne Trade and Shipping $155 billion 3. Navies $242 billion 4. Offshore Oil and Gas Extraction $132 billion 5. Future: Tidal and thermal energy production $? I.
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Topic_20___Impact_on_Oceans - Topic 20: Human impacts on...

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