World Ocean Observatory newsletter

World Ocean Observer - October 2006

Welcome to the World Ocean Observatory

In 1998, The Independent World Commission on the Future of the Oceans, chaired by Mario Soares of Portugal, issued the report, The Ocean: Our Future, its seminal analysis and recommendations for ocean policy in the 21st century.

World Ocean Observer - December 2006

High Seas: The Last Frontier for Oceans Management


Charlotte de Fontaubert, Ph.D.

The high seas are open ocean and deep-sea areas that lie beyond
national jurisdiction, covering more than a third of the Earth's
surface. Despite their extensive nature, these areas remain woefully
understudied and misunderstood. Until recent decades it was widely
assumed that below a depth of a few thousand meters, life was almost
impossible and mostly irrelevant.

World Ocean Observer - Ocean Acidification

Dropping pH in the Oceans Causing a Rising Tide of Alarm

Tundi Agardy, Ph.D.

One of the most unexpected consequences of global climate change may
well turn out to be one of the most severe in terms of impacts on life
on earth. As continued carbon emissions accelerate global warming, the
carbon dioxide contained in those emissions is able to silently yet
dramatically reduce the alkalinity of the oceans. And as the pH drops,
marine organisms that produce shells and carbonate skeletons grow weak
and die off.

World Ocean Observer - Ocean Zoning

Ocean Zoning is Coming! Ocean Zoning is Coming!
Music to Some Ears, A Fearsome Sound to Others

Tundi Agardy, Ph.D.

Ocean zoning may be an inevitable future development as nations and
communities struggle to better manage marine resources and limit
negative impacts on ecosystems. Yet by all accounts, the "z word" is
used with trepidation by decision makers, even in places where the move
from land use planning to similar spatial management offshore has
already begun.

World Ocean Observer - Cities and Oceans

Saving Our Oceans-An Urban Challenge1

Mayor Jeremy Harris, Ret.
The Sustainable Cities Institute

The oceans are in jeopardy. At no time in the span of human
civilization have we faced such extreme and global threats to our
marine ecosystems. Pollution levels in coastal habitats are
reaching alarming levels. Heavy metal contamination is yielding some
commercial fish stocks unsafe, and many species are exploited to the
brink of collapse.

World Ocean Observer - International Polar Year

International Polar Year 2007 Will Mark a Major Leap in Our Understanding and Appreciaton of Polar Ecosystems

Tundi Agardy, PhD.

IPY is a joint program of the International Union of Science (ICSU) and
the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) involving thousands of
scientists from over 60 countries who will conduct more than 150
physical, biological and social sciences research studies in the Arctic
and Antarctic.

World Ocean Observer - Exporting Pollution

Exporting Pollution

Tundi Agardy, Ph.D.

Ships have changed the world. Consider the role that sea-going vessels
have had in rise of some of the greatest civilizations: those of
ancient India and China, the Vikings, or the Mediterranean-based
Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. Maritime traffic has allowed cultural,
biological, and commercial exchange, profoundly influencing the
development of both individual societies and the world as a whole1.

World Ocean Observer - Sea Turtles

How Sea Turtles Draw Us In To the Broader Challenges of Conservation

Tundi Agardy, PhD.

What is it about sea turtles? How are they able to move us so deeply,
perhaps more than any other marine creature? And why has the compassion
that they have managed to generate not translated into effective
conservation of marine turtle species throughout the world?