Home ScienceEnvironment Study Suggests Marine Reserves Can Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

Study Suggests Marine Reserves Can Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

Climate change has long been a concern for everyone as researchers are trying to find solution to the problems created by the long standing phenomenon. Now, researchers have found that better protected marine reserves can actually help to protect our planet from the negative effects of global warming.

While only about 1.5 percent of the ocean is well protected from resource exploitation, researchers have said that in order to protect our environment, oceans must be preserved. In a news release, Jane Lubchenco wrote, “Marine reserves cannot halt or completely offset the growing impacts of climate change. But they can make marine ecosystems more resilient to changes and, in some cases, help slow down the rate of climate change.”

Researchers at the Oregon State University surveyed results of 145 peer-reviewed studies and identified five major areas of concern due to ongoing changes. They are, ocean acidification, rising sea levels, extreme weather, oxygen loss and shifts in the distribution of species.

Interestingly, the group’s research found that the marine preserves can protect the environment in much better way. Lead research Callum Roberts said, “It was soon quite clear that they can offer the ocean ecosystem and people critical resilience benefits to rapid climate change.”

Lubchenco pointed out the threats the marine ecosystems are currently facing. She said, “Unfortunately, these ecosystems are some of the most threatened coastal areas and have experienced substantial reductions in the past several decades. Wetland protection should be seen as a key element in achieving greater resilience for coast communities.”

“We have seen how marine reserves can be a haven for some species that are under duress from over-fishing or habitat loss, and as a ‘stepping-stone’ for other species that are recolonizing or moving into new areas. In short, reserves are one of the most powerful tools in our adaptation toolbox. Reserves enhance the resilience of marine ecosystems, and thus our resilience.”

This latest findings proves the importance of the goal of protecting 10 percent of the planet’s water as it was mentioned earlier by different nations. However, if we are to mitigate the effects of climate change, then our best chance is to protect the marine ecosystem from further damage.

Featured Image: NASA

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