The world's oceans play an essential role in regulating our atmosphere. Seventy percent of the planets oxygen is produced by our oceans and they are vital in the management of atmospheric temperatures. Our oceans make Earth an inhabitable planet.
As the levels of carbon dioxide and heat rise in the atmosphere, so do their levels in the oceans. Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have added close to 1.5 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The world's oceans have absorbed about a third of that amount. as well as 80 percent of the heat that has been added to the atmosphere as a result of carbon emmissions.
As the oceans become "full" of carbon dioxide, the rate at which they can continue to absorb carbon dioxide slows, resulting in more carbon dioxide remaining in the atmosphere and affecting our climate.
The impacts of absorbing such huge amounts of carbon dioxide and heat include ocean acidification, sea level rise, disrupted marine food webs and harsher storms among many other unforseeable consequences.
Large-scale ecosystemconservation is a front line strategy for both climate chanage mitigation and adaptation. A substantial amount of carbon dioxide is stored in forests, wetlands, mangroves and other ecosystems. It is essential that we dramatically reduced our global carbon emissions. Additionally, it is vital that we conserve intact pristine ecosystems, such as the riparian areas and mangroves found on the Baja California Peninsula.
Through our Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast conserservation intiative, WiLDCOAST has protected over 20,000 acres of undeveloped coastine on the central Pacific Coast of Baja California. WiLDCOAST, in partnership with Mexico's National Comission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) is also in the process of protecting 40,000 acres of mangroves (among the world's greatest carbon sequesterers) in Bahia Magdalena, Laguna San Ignacio and the Sea of Cortez, through conservation concessions. Mangrove deforestation not only results in the release of stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere but also reduces future carbon sequestration.
WiLDCOAST's coastal conservation strategic efforts are combating global climate change while maintaining biodiversity and essential ecosystem services.
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Program Manager: WiLDLANDS
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