Oceans & Seas

Oceans and seas play a vital role in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they significantly contribute to the Earth's biosphere's health and the global economy. They are critical to sustaining life on earth, acting as a major source of food and oxygen while also serving as natural carbon sinks that mitigate climate change impacts. SDG 14, "Life Below Water," explicitly acknowledges the importance of conservation and the sustainable use of the world's oceans, seas, and marine resources.

Oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming. However, this process has implications such as ocean acidification, negatively impacting marine biodiversity and ecosystems. These impacts, coupled with unsustainable fishing practices and pollution, threaten the health of our oceans and seas. SDG 14 sets targets to prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems, and regulate harvesting and end overfishing to restore fish stocks to sustainable levels.

Oceans also support economic wellbeing. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. By protecting oceanic ecosystems, the SDGs also support SDG 1, "No Poverty," and SDG 8, "Decent Work and Economic Growth." Furthermore, the oceanic routes are critical for global trade, supporting SDG 9, "Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure."

Furthermore, by implementing strategies for cleaner and more sustainable use of oceans and seas, it can also contribute to SDG 13, "Climate Action." For instance, developing and implementing new technologies to harness energy from waves and tides can promote renewable energy usage and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, aligning with SDG 7, "Affordable and Clean Energy."

Aquatic foods are increasingly being recognized as having an important role to play in an environmentally sustainable and nutritionally sufficient food system. Proposals for increasing aquatic food production often center around species, environments, and ambitious hi-tech solutions that mainly will benefit the 16% of the global population living in high-income countries.
Coral reefs worldwide are facing impacts from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. The cumulative effect of these impacts on global capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services is unknown. Here, we evaluate global changes in extent of coral reef habitat, coral reef fishery catches and effort, Indigenous consumption of coral reef fishes, and coral-reef-associated biodiversity. Global coverage of living coral has declined by half since the 1950s.

The Physical Oceanography of the Arctic Mediterranean Sea, Exploration, Observations, Interpretations, 2022, Pages 433-477

This book chapter advances SDG 14 by explaining the significant change in the exploration, study, and understanding of the oceanography of the Arctic Mediterranean. The first SCISEX cruise with USS Pargo 1993 indicated that the salinity and temperature in the upper layer of the Eurasian Basin were higher than previously reported, while the upper layer salih upward-looking sonars, and when the newly observed thicknesses were compared with those measured 30 years earlier, they indicated that the mean ice thickness had been reduced by about 40%. Suddenly change rather than constancy became the focus, and observations spread over time, which previously had been used to describe the mean circulation and the mean state, now acquired a time dimension.

Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 30, August 2021

Since the launch of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the SDGs have been widely adopted by governments and corporations in an effort to improve their sustainability. There are 17 SDGs, comprising 169 targets, which are measurable against 247 unique indicators. Despite pervasive global pollution from (micro)plastics, there is only one indicator (14.1.1b) under Goal 14, specifically related to reducing impacts from (micro)plastics.

Sea level rise (SLR) has and will continue to impact coastal communities in the coming decades. Despite the widespread availability of data on SLR projections, little is known about the differential impact of SLR on minority or economically disadvantaged populations. In this study, we aim to identify the geographic areas in which low-income and communities of color along the North and South Carolina coastline in the United States will experience the most severe effects of SLR.
This chapter aligns with Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 13: Climate Action by discussing the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biological processes and highlighting future research directions to understand and preserve marine biodiversity.
Global warming is adversely affecting the earth's climate system due to rapid emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Consequently, the world's coastal ecosystems are rapidly approaching a dangerous situation. In this study, we formulate a mathematical model to assess the impact of rapid emissions of GHGs on climate change and coastal ecosystems. Furthermore, we develop a mitigation method involving two control strategies: coastal greenbelt and desulfurization.
The findings support the possibility that FBOM-δ13C can be used as a paleoceanographic proxy for surface water [CO2(aq)] and thus atmospheric pCO2.
This chapter aligns with Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 13: Climate Action by highlighting how past marine ecosystem changes can improve our understanding of future climactic and chemical conditions of global oceans.

Ocean Currents, Physical Drivers in a Changing World, 2021, Pages 497-520

This book chapter advances SDG 14 by explaining how ocean currents further influence climate via freshwater transports that influence dense water formation at high latitudes. Under a warming climate and an intensifying hydrological cycle, ocean currents convey salinity anomalies that could destabilize the circulation.