Changing Ocans by Professor J. Murray Roberts
We live on a blue planet with the oceans covering over 70% of Earth’s surface. We rely on the oceans not only for food and recreation but also for the oxygen in every fourth breath we take. The oceans were the cradle for life on Earth and today support an incredible array of habitats from shallow tropical coral reefs to the vast expanses of the deep sea. However, we have entered a period of unprecedented global change. Human activities are not only warming the planet but causing the chemistry of the seas the change more rapidly than at any point in the past. Our oceans have absorbed approximately a third of carbon dioxide released since the industrial revolution. This is shifting the chemistry of seawater towards acidification, a shift that could stress marine life with limestone shells or skeletons.
This lecture will examine the potential implications for life in these changing oceans taking examples from the incredible diversity of marine ecosystems in Scotland’s seas.