Celebrate World Oceans Day From Home With the UN This Monday
Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?
Luckily, the UN has you covered with a fascinating lineup of talks focusing on the theme of "innovation for a sustainable ocean." UN World Oceans Day (UNWOD) is usually an invite-only affair at the UN headquarters in New York, but this year anyone can join in by following the live stream on the UNWOD website from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
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When the world feels like it’s at a standstill, it’s important to remember what keeps it spinning. Our ocean is our life source, supporting us & every other organism on earth. Celebrate @UNWorldOceansDay on June 8th with @UnitedNations and @Oceanic.Global to learn what thought leaders around the world are doing to protect the ocean and how you can be part of the solution. Featured ocean voices include @caradelevingne, @fatoumata_diawara__, @ashadevos, @c.syresmith, @fcousteau, @jackharries, @dr.sylviaearle, @thegreatbubblebarrier, @codysimpson, @oceanx, @alessandraambrosio, @lillys_plastic_pickup and more. This all-digital event is free and open to all online. See the full line-up and RSVP: UNWorldOceansDay.org/2020
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The event is a partnership with solutions-focused non-profit Oceanic Global.
"It's an honor to partner with the United Nations on World Oceans Day 2020," the group's founder and executive director Lea d'Auriol said in a statement. "As an organization, Oceanic Global focuses on industry and individual solutions that engage new audiences in ocean conservation. This year's World Oceans Day theme, 'Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean' ties perfectly into our mission as we are always seeking new paths forward to further support ocean health as well as amplify the voices within the ocean community."
Here is a selection of some of the voices you will get a chance to hear by tuning in:
1. Cara Delevingne: Delevingne is an actress and musician who also launched EcoResolution to encourage people to take action on the climate crisis. She will deliver the opening remarks, focusing on how we are connected to the ocean and the importance of protecting it.
When: 10 a.m.
2. Francis Zoet: Zoet developed the Great Bubble Barrier to stop some of the eight billion kilos of plastic that enter the oceans every year. Zoet's barrier stops plastic from entering the ocean from rivers or canals while allowing fish and ships to pass through. She will explain the barrier and how it could be scaled up on a panel with other innovators called "Spotlight Solutions" for the Ocean.
When: 11 a.m.
3. Jean-Michel, Céline and Fabien Cousteau: The family of explorers and conservationists will speak on how their family has used technology to increase our understanding of the ocean over time and therefore of what needs protecting and how.
When: 12 p.m.
4. Lilly Platt: Platt has cleaned up more than 100 thousand pieces of plastic since launching Lilly's Plastic Pickup in 2015, when she was just seven years old. She will speak on her experience of youth environmental activism along with other young ocean advocates on a panel called Youth Driving Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.
When: 3 p.m.
5. A Concert for the Ocean: The day will wrap up with live performances from musicians around the world, including Fatoumata Diawara, Vieux Farka Touré and Alice Phoebe Lou.
When: 4 p.m.
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A Game of Jenga<p>Think of it as a game of Jenga and the planet's climate system as the tower. For generations, we have been slowly removing blocks. But at some point, we will remove a pivotal block, such as the collapse of one of the major global ocean circulation systems, for example the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that will cause all or part of the global climate system to fall into a planetary emergency.</p><p>But worse still, it could cause runaway damage: Where the tipping points form a domino-like cascade, where breaching one triggers breaches of others, creating an unstoppable shift to a radically and swiftly changing climate.</p><p>One of the most concerning tipping points is mass methane release. Methane can be found in deep freeze storage within permafrost and at the bottom of the deepest oceans in the form of methane hydrates. But rising sea and air temperatures are beginning to thaw these stores of methane.</p><p>This would release a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, 30-times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. This would drastically increase temperatures and rush us towards the breach of other tipping points.</p><p>This could include the acceleration of ice thaw on all three of the globe's large, land-based ice sheets – Greenland, West Antarctica and the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica. The potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is seen as a key tipping point, as its loss could eventually <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901" target="_blank">raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters</a> with important regional variations.</p><p>More than that, we would be on the irreversible path to full land-ice melt, causing sea levels to rise by up to 30 meters, roughly at the rate of two meters per century, or maybe faster. Just look at the raised beaches around the world, at the last high stand of global sea level, at the end of the Pleistocene period around 120,0000 years ago, to see the evidence of such a warm world, which was just 2°C warmer than the present day.</p>
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The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation has a major effect on the climate. Praetorius (2018)
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