The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track global extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Why a New Ocean Treaty Is a Big Deal
Dear Diary. Why would a new landmark treaty protecting sea creatures in our oceans be good for the fight against climate change? Simply put, any international cooperation that protects the environment greases the proverbial skids for further moves to bolster climate change treaties. A healthy ocean is essential to maintain a healthy atmosphere, which can slowly cool if we limit greenhouse gases, although at this point that may take hundreds of years.
Also, this treaty overlaps with climate change measures such that plastic waste pollution is limited. We should move away from plastic packaging not only because a lot eventually winds up in our oceans, but its production does release some carbon in the atmosphere.
I’ve selected a BBC article for details on the new landmark ocean treaty. Many more links to other news sources on the treaty can be found at the end of the BBC article:
Ocean treaty: Historic agreement reached after decade of talks
By Esme Stallard
Climate and Science Reporter, BBC News
Nations have reached a historic agreement to protect the world’s oceans following 10 years of negotiations.
The High Seas Treaty aims to help place 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030, to safeguard and recuperate marine nature.
The agreement was reached on Saturday evening, after 38 hours of talks, at UN headquarters in New York.
The negotiations had been held up for years over disagreements on funding and fishing rights.
The last international agreement on ocean protection was signed 40 years ago in 1982 – the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
That agreement established an area called the high seas – international waters where all countries have a right to fish, ship and do research – but only 1.2% of these waters are protected.
Marine life living outside these protected areas has been at risk from climate change, overfishing and shipping traffic.
In the latest assessment of global marine species, nearly 10% were found to be at risk of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The High Seas Treaty establishes marine protected areas in these high seas which will help achieve the global goal of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans – made at the UN biodiversity conference last year.
These areas will put limits on how much fishing can take place, the routes of shipping lanes and exploration activities like deep sea mining – when minerals are taken from a sea bed 200m or more below the surface.
Environmental groups have been concerned that mining processes could disturb animal breeding grounds, create noise pollution and be toxic for marine life.
The International Seabed Authority that oversees licensing told the BBC that “any future activity in the deep seabed will be subject to strict environmental regulations and oversight to ensure that they are carried out sustainably and responsibly”.
IISD/ENB MIKE MUZURAKISImage caption,
President Rena Lee huddles with country delegates during intense evening negotiations
Rena Lee, UN Ambassador for Oceans, brought down the gavel after two weeks of negotiations that at times threatened to unravel.
Minna Epps, director of the IUCN Ocean team, said the main issue was over the sharing of marine genetic resources.
Marine genetic resources are biological material from plants and animals in the ocean that can have benefits for society, such as pharmaceuticals, industrial processes and food.
Richer nations currently have the resources and funding to explore the deep ocean but poorer nations wanted to ensure any benefits they find are shared equally.
Sea sponges have yielded key ingredients for HIV and cancer treatments
Dr Robert Blasiak, ocean researcher at Stockholm University, said the challenge was that no one knows how much ocean resources are worth and therefore how they could be split.
He said: “If you imagine a big, high-definition, widescreen TV, and if only like three or four of the pixels on that giant screen are working, that’s our knowledge of the deep ocean. So we’ve recorded about 230,000 species in the ocean, but it’s estimated that there are over two million.”
Laura Meller, an oceans campaigner for Greenpeace Nordic, commended countries for “putting aside differences and delivering a treaty that will let us protect the oceans, build our resilience to climate change and safeguard the lives and livelihoods of billions of people”.
“This is a historic day for conservation and a sign that in a divided world, protecting nature and people can triumph over geopolitics,” she added.
ALEXIS ROSENFELD/GETTY IMAGESImage caption,
Marine protected areas could help endangered species like the whale shark – the largest living fish – recover
Countries will need to meet again to formally adopt the agreement and then have plenty of work to do before the treaty can be implemented.
Liz Karan, director of Pews Trust ocean governance team, told the BBC: “It will take some time to take effect. Countries have to ratify it [legally adopt it] for it to enter force. Then there are a lot of institutional bodies like the Science and Technical Committee that have to get set up.”
Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports:
Here is some new February 2023 climatology:
Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
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Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”