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5 Human Habits Harmful to Ocean Health

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5 Human Habits Harmful to Ocean Health

By Jaymi Heimbuch, Planet Green

No matter where we live, even if we’re in the middle of the Mojave desert or the middle of farmland in the mid-west, our connection to the ocean is surprisingly direct. The planet’s marine systems are intricately linked with our daily activities, even when those activities seem trivial or distant. Here are five ways small choices add up to big problems for the ocean’s health.

1. Carbon Emissions and Ocean Acidification

Every time we flip on the lights, turn on the water faucet, charge a cell phone, hop a plane or in any other way create carbon emissions, we’re directly causing the acidification of the ocean and the harmful disruption of marine life that results. The ocean can absorb about two-thirds of the carbon emissions in the atmosphere, but the more CO2 it tries to absorb, the more acidic it becomes. This altered pH causes everything from the softening or thickening of crustacean shells to the bleaching of corals to the overabundance of jellyfish. As we pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, ocean acidification worsens and marine life is being thrown out of whack.

Decisions like skipping an unnecessary plane ride, eating less meat, and buying green power can radically reduce your carbon footprint, and help alleviate one of the biggest threats facing our oceans.

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Samantha, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, PlanetGreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

349 comments

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4:05PM PDT on Apr 1, 2014

Great post.

12:46AM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

Thanks for the info to Protect Our Beautiful Oceans.

9:05AM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

9:04AM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:00AM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

noted

9:05AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

'We' are so bad. Nature is how we survive. They are taking that away from us. It pains me to see this happening. To creatures that can't fight back. Very sad. Let's send this to all of our friends and post to our facebook pages so it spreads everywhere. We need to make people more aware. Especially our representatives, etc. Vote for the environment.

12:04PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

They missed dumping of raw sewage and effluent into oceans :(

1:17PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

We must now all to our part and stop our destructive behaviours - it is imperative! thank you for the reminder!

1:13PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Please! Let's all take this to heart and stop nature's abuse.

5:34AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Good thing I don't drive & no longer eat seafood. Not a single light in my room that's not LED!

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