Perspective

The silent services of the world ocean

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Science  13 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6262, pp. 764-765
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac8720

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Abstract

The most recent comprehensive assessment carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that “Human influence on the climate system is clear,” a headline statement that was approved by all governments in consensus. This influence will have long-lasting consequences for ecosystems, and the resulting impacts will continue to be felt millennia from now. Although the terrestrial impacts of climate change are readily apparent now and have received widespread public attention, the effects of climate change on the oceans have been relatively invisible. However, the world ocean provides a number of crucial services that are of global significance, all of which come with an increasing price caused by human activities. This needs to be taken into account when considering adaptation to and mitigation of anthropogenic climate change.

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