So this sounds familiar. We have all read something like this in the final credits of a movie.
To clarify things up front this is not a disclaimer for some particular incident that I, the filmmaker, was responsible for. It is about the big picture.
Originally released as a 2 channel video within the solo exhibition ‘Uprising’ at Sauerbier House, South Australia in February 2021 on two flat screens. This re-creation has been produced to share online and specifically for COCE2021 (Conference on Communication and Environment) hosted virtually in June 2021 by the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA).
Want to read more about the Impacts in the film?
Here is some additional information and links for further reading. The majority of links are to the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) that I visited back in 2020.
(You can either click on the link that’ll open in a new Tab, or copy and paste).
Ocean acidification results from seawater absorbing excess CO2that has been emitted into the atmosphere. The CO2 dissolves in the seawater where it changes the chemistry.
“We know now that oceans are taking up about 23% of the excess CO2from the air. They actually provide a service to humanity by slowing climate change. But the price to pay is that the seawater’s carbon chemistry is changing, and we didn’t know it was happening in dynamic coastal waters at such fast rates,” Dr Fabricius said.
Coral bleaching is a coral’s response to stressful conditions and can result in its death.
The 2020 Status of the World’s Coral Reef Report showed 14% of the world’s coral reefs have died since 2009, and coral bleaching caused by marine heatwaves have driven this loss. This pressure is predicted to continue with climate change.
Increased runoff of sediment, nutrients and contaminants from the land has lowered coastal water quality and marine ecosystem health across northern Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef.
Increased sediment runoff ultimately increases sedimentation on coastal reefs, reduces the clarity of coastal waters and restricts the growth of light-dependent plants and animals. Increased nutrient inputs stimulate algal growth on reefs and in reef waters, increase the occurrence of coral disease, and may influence crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.
Unregulated disposal of wastes and other materials into the ocean degrades marine and natural resources and poses human health risks.
Deep-sea mining is the process of extracting and often excavating mineral deposits from the deep seabed. The deep seabed is the seabed at ocean depths greater than 200m, and covers about two-thirds of the total seafloor. Research suggests deep-sea mining could severely harm marine biodiversity and ecosystems.
AIMS estimates that average yearly inputs of nitrogen from the land have nearly doubled from 23 000 to 43 000 tonnes over the past 150 years, while phosphorus inputs have tripled from 2400 tonnes to 7100 tonnes. In wetter years, these inputs can be many times higher.
The ocean generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the excess heat generated by these emissions. It is not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest ‘carbon sink’ – a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change.
The ocean is central to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and stabilizing the Earth’s climate.
However, increasing greenhouse gas emissions have affected the health of the ocean – warming and acidifying seawater – causing detrimental changes to life under water and on land, and reducing the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide and safeguard life on the planet.
Over the past century, habitat loss has been the most common cause of extinction for freshwater fish in the United States. Many saltwater fish are also in decline due to habitat degradation. When habitats are damaged or lost, they are difficult and costly to restore.
The number of overfished stocks globally has tripled in half a century and today fully one-third of the world’s assessed fisheries are currently pushed beyond their biological limits, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The study found UV light changes the impacts of the chemical compounds in petroleum oil – amplifying their toxicity by an average of 30% across the early life stages of coral. At its most extreme, UV was able to increase the potency of oil by 94 times.
Ocean pollution can also be found far beyond national jurisdictions in the open oceans, the deepest oceanic trenches, and on the shores of remote islands. Ocean pollution knows no borders.
QUITE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE SAID WE WOULD DO
Extreme rainfall events will increase, with larger amounts of low-salinity freshwater and sediment extending further out from the coast.
Shipping comprises about 90 percent of world trade by volume, contributing approximately twelve percent of the total marine pollution arising from human activities on the ocean.
Coal dust enters the marine environment at loading and storage facilities when it is blown or washed into the sea, during transport, and in rare shipping disasters.