The world’s oceans are challenged by climate change: warming water, acidification, dropping oxygen, rising levels. But they also are a big part of the solution. Earth’s seven seas absorb the vast bulk of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, and capture about one-fourth of the carbon dioxide we humans generate. While the Oceans are in crisis, and the heat absorbed is causing significant damage and problems, the Oceans can be part of the solution and host possible benefits—not only for climate, but for human health and biodiversity, too—if we steward them well.
Stay tuned as we examine the effects of climate change on our Oceans, how this affects us all, and where we dive deeply into the specific threats and solutions.
OCEANS: A Climate Crisis Series
Oceans in Crisis — A look at the World Today, and How Climate Change is Threatening All Life on Earth Tomorrow. The Oceans Role in Everything Story.
The Physics of Weather and the Atmosphere on Earth — Extreme Weather—Hurricanes, Cyclones, Typhoons, Wildfires, Floods and Drought. The Life on Land – Driven by Water Story.
150-Billion Tons of Freshwater — It’s Hard to Chill Out When Your Icebergs and Glaciers are Melting. The Story of the A68A Iceberg and other Mega-Giants.
The Vanishing Kelp Forests of California and Other Coastlines of the World — The 95% Already-Lost Story of Whales, Urchins, Starfish and Sharks.
The Coral Seas and Marine Sanctuaries — Their Role in Climate, Coastal Protection and Ecosystem Survival. The 30% Already Gone and Going Story.
Jakarta is Moving — Biodiversity Under Threat. Indonesia’s Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts. The One-Million Species Already Extinct Story.
The Vanishing Culture of Time Immemorial — The Story of Climate Change and its Effect on Indigenous Peoples in the Pacific Northwest. The Loss of All Sustainable Fisheries Story.
Weather Rages, Climate Changes — A look at the World Today, and How Climate Change is Threatening All Life on Earth Tomorrow. The Oceans Role in Everything Story.
Uniting the World To tackle Climate Change — The Ocean is Alive, Awake, and Unhappy. Two Billion People—Already on the Move. The Ultimate Mass Migration Story.
Superhuman Solutions — Technology, Innovation and Hero’s. Visionaries, and Generational Voices. The “Change Climate-Change” Story – Stepping up to the Challenge and Back from the Precipice.
Keith Wolf takes the viewer on a fantastic and awe-inspiring journey through coral seas, marine sanctuaries, hurricane alleys, iceberg flotillas, and the deep ocean atmosphere. This is a voyage of discovery about how the World’s Oceans provide everything we, and the indispensable aquatic ecosystems we need to survive, are weathering the threat of Climate Change.
Dr. Wolf, and the hundreds of experts he’s engaged, tell stories in ways that are experiential accessible, and understandable, to everyone. He leads us above, below and across the World’s Oceans, and investigates the very nature of how Ocean’s make our planet habitable. Until now, the role of the sea and human survival has been decoupled from public view and obscured by biased viewpoints and ignorance. Inaction has brought us to the brink of mass extinction.
The beauty of the Oceans, their awesome power, complexity and magnificence, and their fragile limits, are showcased for everyone who is experiencing climate change – and today, that’s every person on Earth.
Covering 70 percent of Earth’s surface, the ocean exerts major control on climate by dominating Earth’s energy and water cycles. It absorbs vast amounts of solar energy. Heat and water vapor are redistributed globally through ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. Changes in ocean circulation caused by movements in Earth’s crust or large influxes of fresh water from melting polar ice can lead to significant and even abrupt changes in climate, both locally and on global scales.
Unlike the weather, which can change drastically every day, changes in the ocean happen slowly, and the ability to maintain this stability is like the “memory” of the ocean.
Furthermore, the oceans are, by far, the largest reservoir of water on earth — over 96% of all of Earth’s water exists in the oceans. Not only do the oceans provide evaporated water to the water cycle, but they also allow water to move all around the globe as ocean currents. Oceans are the storehouses of water and nature uses them to run the water cycle.
Keith, his producers, sound and graphic teams, and film crews, tell these purposeful stories by framing the episode topics through a clear, and brightly focused, climate lens to capture clarity and depth. Narration is once again the story told by the generation that is most at risk and from a woman’s insightful perspective. He engages a wide variety of experts from academia, government, indigenous people, and the public, to bring reason, facts, and sometimes, hard truths, to the fore. These stories are intended to inform and entertain, while letting science, facts, solutions, and the innovation light a clear-cut pathway out of this global pandemic.
This episode provides a preview of the next eleven installments with an opening focus on how the ocean absorbs almost all the heat generated by Green House Gas and its physical effects.
The Greatest Generation hasn’t done the job, and this isn’t TikTok science; but it is fast-paced, entertaining and edifying. This series is for Gen Alpha, X, Z and Millennials. It is intended to give them the knowledge to be influencers and impactors and fix what we have collectively broken, says Wolf.
This episode focuses on the physics of the ocean and atmosphere, and Life on Earth. US and Global Experts present the Fact, Truth, and Science behind how the Ocean affects all life on land.
The ocean is not a still body of water. There is constant motion in the ocean in the form of a global ocean conveyor belt. This motion is caused by currents formed by a combination of temperature and salinity in the deep ocean and wind-driven currents on the surface. Cold, salty water is dense and sinks to the bottom of the ocean while warm water is less dense and remains on the surface. This is the engine that enables life on Earth to exist.
Specifically, the ocean conveyor gets its “start” in the Norwegian Sea, where warm water from the Gulf Stream heats the atmosphere in the cold northern latitudes. This loss of heat to the atmosphere makes the water cooler and denser, causing it to sink to the bottom of the ocean. As more warm water is transported north, the cooler water sinks and moves south to make room for the incoming warm water. This cold bottom water flows south of the equator all the way down to Antarctica. Eventually, the cold bottom waters return to the surface through mixing and wind-driven upwelling, continuing the conveyor belt that encircles the globe.
Further, Climate Change has been a key factor in increasing the risk and extent of wildfires in the Western United States. Wildfire risk depends on several factors, including temperature, soil moisture, and the presence of trees, shrubs, and other potential fuel. All these factors have strong direct or indirect ties to climate variability and climate change. Climate change enhances the drying of organic matter in forests (the material that burns and spreads wildfire) and has doubled the number of large fires between 1984 and 2015 in the western United States.
The risk of drought is expected to grow at a global scale due to reduced precipitation and higher temperatures caused by climate change. Drought’s far-reaching impacts can ripple through communities, regions, watersheds, economies, and ecosystems. The risk of drought is increasing due in part, to climate change-caused reduced precipitation, higher temperatures and shifting seasons. Drought can have far-reaching impacts on agriculture, landscaping, recreation, infrastructure, and public health.
The past century alone has seen global temperature increase dramatically. This tracks exactly with the changes in average global sea level over the past decade and continues to rise steadily. Is this just part of the natural cycle? How much of this warming is due to the burning of fossil fuels? Is human nature affecting Mother Nature? What should we do? Our response to the challenge of climate change begins by formulating the right set of questions.
Over 90% of the extra heat trapped to the Earth by humanity’s carbon emissions is stored in the ocean – only about 2.3% warms the atmosphere, while the rest melts snow and ice and warms the land. As a result, the atmosphere is warming less quickly than it otherwise would.
Excess heat contributes to sea level rise due to thermal expansion, anoxic (without oxygen) ocean areas, melting of sea ice, marine heatwaves, coral bleaching, and other inhospitable environments for marine life. These are the effects that scientists have predicted would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice; accelerated sea level rise; longer, more intense heat waves; and extreme weather events.
The deterioration in ocean memory, or what can be thought of as normalized physical and biological conditions in the oceans, is being lost to random and otherwise disaster-level anomalous events. These represent a new normal and a new set of memories – most of them bad.
The loss of the oceanic processes that sustain life on Earth as we know it, is also reducing lead times for all kind’s warnings about hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and drought. This hinders our ability to forecast monsoons, marine and terrestrial heat waves, and periods of severe weather, among other things.
This episode will dive deep into extreme weather and its effects on every one of us, our families, friends, and neighbors.
A68A, as it was known, covered an area of nearly 6,000 sq km (2,300 sq miles) when it broke away from Antarctica in 2017. It is, or was, the largest iceberg on Earth. Satellites revealed that 152 billion tons of fresh water entered the seas around the sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia when the megaberg A68A melted over 3 months in 2020/2021.
What happens when you add 150-billion tons of freshwater into the Ocean? Its exactly like adding oil to water, says Wolf. This two don’t mix, in fact, they layer and stratify the normal mix of salinity and temperature. These are the things that fuel the engines of the Ocean, I’d liken the effect to what would happen if you put regular gas into a diesel engine – it just breaks, he says.
This is a huge amount of meltwater, and the next thing we want to learn is the scale of effects on impact on critical ocean processes and current patterns. A68A is like a small country; it’s equal to a quarter of the size of Wales. But satellites show the mega-berg has now virtually gone, broken into countless small fragments that the US National Ice Center says are no longer worth tracking.
Today, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere on earth, and the sea ice there is declining by more than 10% every 10 years. As this ice melts, darker patches of ocean start to emerge, eliminating the effect that previously cooled the poles, creating warmer air temperatures and in turn disrupting normal patterns of ocean circulation. Research shows the polar vortex is appearing outside of the Arctic more frequently because of changes to the jet stream, caused by a combination of warming air and ocean temperatures in the Arctic and the tropics.
A68 calved from the Larson C Ice Shelf on the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, and for a year it hardly moved. But then it started to drift north with increasing speed, riding on strong currents and winds.
Before it completely melted, A68a lost more than 152 billion tons (138 billion metric
tons) of fresh water in just three months — a mass equal to an incomprehensible volume of water that could fill more than 60 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
This episode also helps us understand the difference between sea ice and glaciers, because icebergs, sea ice and glacier are all melting and causing changes to the Ocean. Sea ice forms and melts strictly in the ocean whereas glaciers are formed on land. Icebergs are chunks of glacial ice that break off glaciers and fall into the ocean.
The melting of ice sheets and glaciers, combined with the thermal expansion of seawater as the ocean warms, is causing sea level to rise. Seawater is increasingly flooding low-lying land, submerging coastal habitats, facilities, and roads, and contaminating coastal freshwater habitats and sources. Sea level rise increases the risk of damage to homes and buildings from storm surges, such as those that accompany hurricanes.
Rising sea level will encroach upon shorelines, narrowing beaches, increasing erosion, and affecting coastal ecosystems in our national marine sanctuaries, including nesting habitat for seabirds and marine mammal haul-out sites.
Rising sea level may damage docks, boat houses, and other coastal structures, as well as those owned and operated by individuals and companies that use sanctuary resources (e.g., fishermen, whale watch companies, divers).
Coastal flooding from rising sea level mobilizes pollutants and fertilizers that drain into the ocean, creating harmful algal blooms and ocean dead zones.
How much and how quickly these Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt in the future will largely determine how much ocean levels rise in the future. If emissions continue to rise, the current rate of melting on the Greenland ice sheet is expected to double by the end of the century. Alarmingly, if all the ice on Greenland melted, it would raise global sea levels by 20 feet.
The kelp forests off the coast of California are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. Known as the “sequoias of the sea”, some species of kelp can reach heights of 150 feet and grow up to 2 feet per day, absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide. Kelp forests provide food and shelter for hundreds of marine species, from tiny amphipods to playful sea lions and even migrating gray whales. They also act as a nursery for juvenile sharks by offering protection from predators as well as an abundance of prey, like stingrays.
Northern California’s kelp forests are declining due to two stressors. First, there has been unusual and drastic ocean warming in the area. Second, sea star wasting disease is killing the main predator of sea urchins, the sunflower sea star. Since their only predator in the ecosystem is dying, sea urchin numbers are increasing dramatically. Sea urchins feed on kelp, and this has ultimately led to a decrease in kelp forests. Areas which used to have forests of kelp and many other species have turned into beds of sea urchins. Sea otters have historically also been a predator of sea urchins, but due to over hunting in the past, have very low numbers in Northern California.
Satellite imagery shows that the area covered by kelp forests off the coast of Northern California has dropped by more than 95%, with just a few small, isolated patches of the bull kelp remaining. Species-rich kelp forests have been replaced by “urchin barrens,” where purple sea urchins cover a seafloor devoid of kelp and other algae.
Kelp forests provide food, nursery areas, and shelter—including protection from predators and storms—for hundreds of commercially and recreationally important fish species as well as West Coast marine wildlife. They also provide cover for many species, including grey whales and their young. Without this protection, whale calves are targeted by orca whales and sharks.
Kelp forests, underwater coastal areas that contain “canopies” of the algae kelp, sustain a large number of species, which make them typically very resilient ecosystems. However, Northern California’s kelp forests have decreased in size by 95% from 2008 to 2019, an alarming trend that may be predictive of what is to come in other kelp forests around the world. Kelp forests provide many ecosystem and commercial benefits. For example, kelp is harvested for pharmaceuticals and fire proofing fabric. Kelp forests can reduce climate change through carbon sequestration and other physical and biological processes we will examine in this episode. A recent study suggests kelp takes in twice as much carbon dioxide as originally thought. And because this carbon is stored away from land, it is less likely to be disturbed than forests on land and returned to the atmosphere. There are even efforts to farm kelp to reduce climate change.
In 2019 and 2020, 481 whales have stranded along the beaches of North America, including 69 in California. Though it’s possible the die-off is part of a natural cycle, if the trend continues, and the loss of kelp forests as an essential marine ecosystem, then climate change will have contributed to the loss, and possible extinction, of dozens of animals.
These underwater forests also prevent erosion by reducing the speed and size of waves and protect the coast from storm-driven tides and surges. Although kelp forests are crucial for the health of our planet, we’re losing these habitats at an alarming rate. Kelp in some areas of Southern California has been reduced by 75 percent, and Northern California has seen their kelp canopy drop by 95 percent in recent years. Pollution, climate change, and overfishing have taken a toll on kelp around the globe.
Kelp forests depend on predators, like otters and sheepshead, to keep the purple urchin populations in balance. One of these predators, the sunflower sea star, has been important in keeping urchins at bay along the Pacific coast. However, warming oceans — and one marine heatwave event in particular — exacerbated a disease that decimated sea star populations. In just three years, sea star wasting syndrome killed off more than 90% of the global population.
The demise of California’s kelp forests is a perfect example of how small impacts to an ecosystem can have drastic consequences. The establishment of marine protected areas is an important step in protecting these critical habitats from further degradation and giving them an opportunity to grow back.
Coral reefs are some of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. 75% of the world’s coral reefs are currently threatened, 90% of coral reefs will be threatened by 2030, and 100% of reefs will be threatened by 2050 if we don’t act now, says Wolf. Some scientists predict that 90% of global reefs will experience severe bleaching annually by 2055.
Coral reefs are an important resource of the medicine being developed for fatal diseases; we also rely on them for jobs; a reduction in coral reefs affects tourism and would put millions out of work. Climate issues threatening our coral reefs are going unnoticed by society as oceans take the consequences.
In this episode, we will visit Belize, in Central America, home to the second largest barrier coral reef system in the World. We will also visit Grey’s Reef off the Southeastern USA shore, The Florida Keys, the Flower Garden Banks, and the Monterey Bay – National Marine Sanctuaries to look at the effect of climate change on these protected, but not unaffected, coral and kelp reef systems. The same is true for the Great Barrier Reef, and many other around the World. We will also visit Indonesia in another episode and looks at the loss of biodiversity throughout the Coral Seas.
Particularly in Belize, bleaching has become extremely severe, according to a recent report from the World Heritage Organization. Within the Belize barrier reef system, the bleaching stress level catapulted from a 1.7 level between 1985-2014 to a 3 severe level in 2014-2017. Given the fact that bleaching nearly doubled within three years, Belize is under serious threat. The Belize coral reef system not only is a global beauty; it also fuels Belize’s tourism industry. Without the reefs, Belize’s economy could crumble.
Over the course of just the past four years, this barrier reef system has endured severe damage that could jeopardize its existence in the future. The Belize Barrier Reef, which is located between the Yucatan Peninsula from Mexico to Belize, holds both a sublime and fragile coral reef system. Due to elevated temperatures, caused by climate change, much of the reef environments have been transformed from vibrant to dull as massive coral bleaching has devastated the reef’s wildlife.
With entire communities of people and precious wildlife at stake, the need for action on climate change in Belize and the greater Caribbean area is necessary. With the Mesoamerican Barrier reef—the second largest in the world—threatened, there needs to be action before it’s too late.
Most corals have a narrow temperature tolerance. When temperatures become too warm, corals will expel the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) that live inside them causing them to turn white and lose an important food source. Although corals can survive a bleaching event, they are more vulnerable to disease and will eventually die if the marine heatwave lasts too long.
Climate Change is resulting in stronger storms. 200 million people depend on coral reefs to protect them from storm surges and waves. As sea surface temperatures rise, hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons that damage coral reefs become stronger. Heavy rainfall from the storms can also erode coastal lands and bring more polluted runoff into the ocean.
And finally, another aspect of overall Ocean health affecting all ecosystems and species is examined in future episodes. For example, Ocean Acidification: 48% of fossil fuel emissions are absorbed by the ocean; and as oceans absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), they become more acidic. This affects the ability of reef-building corals to grow their skeletons and form the foundation for coral reefs. Weaker skeletons also make corals more vulnerable to disease and destruction by storms. In fact, research shows that when exposed to high levels of CO2, corals stop being productive and their risk of bleaching increases by up to 50%. Ocean Acidification is a major factor in marine survival for many fish, and all sustainable fisheries on Earth. So, as go the coral reefs of the World, so goes the fisheries providing over 78% of the food feeding 83% of the people on Earth.
If we lose coral reefs, some of the direct and immediate impacts will include 200 million people in coastal communities will be displaced, resulting in mass migration, if coral growth does not keep up with sea level rise.
Our next episode looks at superstorms and megadroughts and how these are already resulting in mass migration of humans, and the mass extinction of animal and plant species.
This episode features the after-effects of an angry ocean and focuses on the catastrophic effects of climate change; experiences that are now part of daily life in many parts of the World, the 17,000 islands of the Republic of Indonesia.
Keith and his production team travel along the archipelago around Jakarta, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali, Bima and parts of Timor-Leste to document the effects of climate change on these coastal and island regions. And we will explore the marine ecosystems of the Java, Banda, and Timor Seas.
Climate change in Indonesia is of particular significance, because its enormous coastal population is particularly at risk to sea level rise. The livelihoods of many of Indonesians dependent on agriculture, mariculture and fishing could be severely impacted by temperature, rainfall and other climatic changes.
Some environmental issues in Indonesia such as the cutting of mangrove forests (i.e. in Java) to make room for fish farms further worsen the effects of climate change (i.e. sea level rise). Jakarta has been listed as the world’s most vulnerable city to climate change.
Each year, climate and weather-related events drive tens of millions of people from their homes. And as climate change causes more extreme weather, growing food insecurity, and rising sea levels, more people will become climate displaced.
Climate change will continue to impact weather patterns throughout many known and relatively unknown population centers. With periods of unprecedented rainfall expected to increase in frequency and intensity in the years to come, there is no telling exactly when megaevents will occur, but the research has made it clear: the storms are here to stay. It has become clear that there’s final threat looming just over the horizon: the superstorm and megaflood and the cataclysmic human migration that will follow.
People who lose their homes in climate disasters are not considered “refugees,” and thus are not afforded the same international protections. Refugees International is leading efforts to address this enormous gap in international law, build resiliency in frontline communities, and forge innovative protection pathways for people displaced by climate.
Superstorms, often referred to as atmospheric rivers, will put all coastal flood mitigation infrastructure: levees, dams, floodplains and more to the ultimate test. Communities in the floodplains in showcased and visited countries are filmed, and interviews with local experts and indigenous historian uncover vulnerable bays, estuaries, rivers, and the coastlines that face the greatest risk from flood events that haven’t been witnessed in our lifetime.
Over the past two decades, billions of dollars have been spent on the restoration of aquatic habitats throughout the United States. In the northwestern U.S., aquatic habitat restoration has been driven largely by the Endangered Species Act, under which several species of Pacific salmon have been listed as threatened or endangered and nearing extinction.
The listings have led to the development of salmon recovery plans for watersheds throughout the region. Long-term freshwater habitat protection and restoration projects are central to all plans. Planners rely heavily on fish habitat models to evaluate the potential effectiveness of proposed restoration strategies, and numerous models have been developed to predict restoration effects. In almost all cases, these models assume stationary future climate conditions when assessing how restoration will affect fish abundance and productivity.
Despite massive cuts in harvest, careful use of hatcheries, and a huge financial investment in restoration during the past four decades, salmon continue to decline along with their habitat. This trend shows no signs of improvement. As the salmon disappear, so do the tribal cultures and treaty rights.
Throughout the world, efforts are under way to restore watersheds, but restoration planning rarely accounts for future climate change. Using Traditional Knowledge from the Pacific Northwest’s indigenous peoples, this episode looks at the effects of climate, land cover, hydrology, and salmon, whale, and other species’ population dynamics that once provided subsistence, culture and economy to US Tribes and Canadian First Nations and sustainable fisheries to recreational and commercial fisheries.
We investigate the impacts of climate change on the effectiveness of proposed habitat restoration efforts designed to recover depleted fish, marine mammal, and invertebrate populations in a Pacific Northwest River basin. These, along with a functioning marine food web and ocean conditions, are needed to support and rebuild endangered fish stocks.
Climate Change in the Oceans has the potential to undermine all the efforts and resources spent over the last thirty years. More importantly, climate change has the strong potential to push dozens of species of salmon, steelhead, cod, crab, and others, to the point of extinction no matter what we do in current restoration programs.
Today, a key driver of particular concern is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). This is a climate pattern that involves changes in sea surface temperatures (SST). Although centered around the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, associated variations in SSTs can be found in other parts of the world. These systems have been around since the beginning of the Earth and life on the Plants; however, these systems, and other like them, are way out of whack.
This episode will focus on highlighting the anomalous “triple-dip” La Nina phenomenon and take us back to the origin of our spate of natural disasters and how the natural resources of the ocean and freshwaters in the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Alaska, and California are threatened.
Major storms are by far the world’s costliest natural weather disasters, in some cases causing well over $100 billion in damage. There’s now evidence that the unnatural effects of human caused global warming are already making hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons stronger and more destructive. The latest research shows the trend is likely to continue for the next 2-3 decades and only begin to return to normal if we do everything possible to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
Whether called hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean, or cyclones in the Indian Ocean, strong tropical cyclones are an example of nature’s fiercest fury. The warmer the water temperatures, the more heat energy is available and the higher the potential for tropical cyclones to develop.
So, it’s reasonable to assume that as humans continue to release planet-warming greenhouse gases, the likelihood of tropical cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes increases.
One example where mass migration is already happening is continent of Southern Asia. Climate change is prompting mass migration in many parts of the world, but Bangladesh’s low sea level, high population density and inadequate infrastructure make it particularly vulnerable. This has been particularly evident in recent weeks as torrential monsoon rains killed at least 60 people, submerged villages and inundated major rivers.
Here, mighty rivers that run through Bangladesh, such as the Mehgna, originate in the Himalayas or in Tibet, and run through northern and northeastern regions of the country before flowing down to the sea in the south. More than 130 rivers crisscross through the low-lying nation, some of them prone to severe flooding. Bangladesh, officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in southern Asia in the Ganges River delta on the Bay of Bengal. The state borders India in west, north, and east and has a small border with Myanmar (Burma) in the southeast. We will visit the region to document the
The country, which is approximately the same size as New York State, has a population of 168 million. Currently, there are over 10 million climate refugees, and an estimated 2,000 people are moving to Dhaka every day.
Experts say climate change is causing erratic weather conditions in the country, resulting in a rapid collapse of riverbanks and the destruction of village after village. During the monsoon season, which runs from June to October, many rivers change course, devouring markets, schools, mosques, and homes near their banks.
Millions are at risk of being displaced and becoming “climate refugees” because of sea level rise, river erosion, cyclonic storms and salty water creeping inland, scientists say. Bangladesh is expected to have about a third of South Asia’s internal climate refugees by 2050.
Other example are: Indigenous communities in the states of Washington and Alaska who have been watching their villages wash away for decades as sea level rises, tsunami threats increase and permafrost melts at an alarming rate. Many are already moving their villages to higher ground, including relocation of their buried ancestors. Tribal residents along the coast of Louisiana lose a football field’s worth of land to the Gulf of Mexico every 90 minutes, due to rising sea levels and land subsidence.
Nations in the Pacific Ocean, like Kiribati in the Central Pacific Ocean, are calling for action as their 33 islands slowly slip beneath the waves.
The list goes on and on and this episode look at these present-day migration events and talk to the experts who can cast a light on what we should expect over the next two decades, and beyond.
This episode will dive deep into what the leaders of the World know, don’t know, don’t acknowledge, and are and aren’t doing. This episode will bring truth forward, but also focus on what is being done, where and how.
We begin with a look the COP27, held in November of 2022 in Egypt. COP stands for the Convening of the Parties and is the implementing body of The Paris Agreement. This Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties (the Parties) at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015. We will highlight what policies dominating the agenda and where progress and failures
Our team will travel to the United Arab Emirates to document COP28 to interview World Leaders, scientists, and climate change change-innovators.
First convened in 2008 in Spain, The Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans hosted events on a diverse and exciting range of topics and disciplines within and across the natural and social sciences that can potentially contribute to; the Seventh Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR7), the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, implementation of actions identified in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the goals and climate negotiations in COP27.
Millions of people throughout the world are confronting the impacts of simultaneous crises in energy, food, water, and cost of living, aggravated by severe geopolitical conflicts and tensions. In this adverse context, some countries have begun to stall or reverse climate policies and doubled down on fossil fuel use. “With the Paris Rulebook essentially concluded thanks to COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, the litmus test of this and every future COP is how far deliberations are accompanied by action. Everybody, every single day, everywhere in the world, needs to do everything they possibly can to avert the climate crisis,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell.
The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. has near universal membership (198 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
We will ask our Leaders to engage in direct dialog about how the ocean can only hold so much heat, where ultimately, much of the ocean’s newly absorbed heat will flow out into the atmosphere. This fact, and its effect on life on Earth, has not yet been factually and honestly told. It’s time for the quiet part to be told out loud and this episodes will get right to the point.
The real threat may not be the gradual rise in global temperature and sea level, but the redistribution of heat over the Earth’s surface, and its effects to the freshwater cycle, ocean currents and ultimately, all life, says Wolf. He also makes it clear that where leadership is lacking, this film with confront the “why” and “where” and then challenge all of us to act impactfully on implementing the “what, when and how” for solving complex climate effects, issues, funding, and policy.
Additionally, this episode will examine other gatherings such as: the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) – 5th International Symposium – to examine the Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans, in Bergen, Norway. We will highlight the processes in the United States where the 5th Annual Climate Change Assessment is nearing completion, and dive deep into the Biden Administrations, Climate-Ready-Nation efforts.
In the film, we focus on issues with transformative potential emanating from these Agreements and forums. We scan the science and policy for emerging threats, and we stimulate new thinking by questioning the UN, on how they, and the Parties, intend to deliver better for everyone, everywhere.
Politics should not lull us into inaction or cause delay in taking every step possible to address the causes of climate change. The effects will be left to the people on the ground.
Technological change is undoubtedly one of the keys to ensuring that climate change can be addressed without compromising economic growth or failing at protecting the Earth from catastrophe.
In this episode, we will interview children, teens and young adults from generations Alpha, K-8, X, Z and Millennials to showcase their thoughts and ideas. We will focus on one school in Portland Oregon, where Arts and Science leads the curriculum and the students are taking an active role in this documentary, and crafting messages that challenge all of us all to tackle climate change head on. We will also create a network between 15 schools from around the World to take on the challenge of solving climate change problems.
To begin, we survey the complex terrain of the imagination as a way of understanding and exploring climate change in culture and society. Fresh imagination and perspectives here is understood as a way of seeing, sensing, thinking, and dreaming what creates the conditions for problem solving and solution, and political sensibilities of the world for these generations.
We will also draw upon literary, film, and creative arts to argue that imaginative practices from the arts and humanities play a critical role in thinking through our representations of environmental change and offer strategies for developing diverse forms of environmental understanding, cross generational cultural divides. The interplay between current scientific practices and futuristic imagination is also addressed. Thematically, this addresses the realities of climate futures, adaptive strategies, and practices of climate change policy and science.
Our collective challenge is to provide progressive, predictable and long-term policy plans and give potential innovators and adopters of climate-friendly technologies the confidence to undertake the change climate change challenge with the necessary attention, support and investments.
We will ask how, and if for example, we should put a price on GHG emissions, through taxes or tradable permits, in order to provide incentives across all stages of the innovation cycle, and or how can we balance the portfolio of technologies for which support is provided. What is stopping us now from making greater gains in hydrogen power, blue carbon, regenerative agriculture, green infrastructure and nuclear power? How can we get to deployment of these proven technologies on the scale of solar, wind and electric vehicles?
Since the sources of innovation are widely dispersed, these young adults will look into the areas of research and development in complementary fields, and not just energy. We ask: What are the common-sense things we should be doing in a World racing against the clock, and their future?
Finally, we will match our students with the visionaries of today, and talk about the Heroes who came first, warned us early, and blazed the trail for us to find our heading in a climate changed world and to Change Climate Change. A picture of the past, present, and especially the future, will emerge from this episode.
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Dr. Keith Wolf is a professional biologist, climate scientist and filmmaker. He and his colleagues been involved in underwater documentary film and production for over thirty years, documenting nocturnal shark behavior in the French Polynesian Islands and human-induced ecological stressors on reef systems in Belize, Central America, and Bonaire Island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. He has also studied and documented the effects of large port operations on marine ecosystems in Washington State, and recently, in Cozumel Mexico.
He filmed, wrote, directed, and produced the original Under Puget Sound in 1997, and in 2022, is releasing an expanded version of the original documentary to examine the effects of climate change throughout the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest. He is also currently in pre-production on a 12-part series documenting the effects of climate change on the ocean’s biological, physical, and chemical environments in the Red Sea, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Bali Sea, Sulawesi and New Guinea, the US Florida Keys and California Coast, and the Coral Sea reefs of Australia. Oceans, A Climate Crisis Series, will be released in 2023
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