The ocean plays an integral role in sustaining our environment and climate, so do sharks and every other creature that lives below the surface. Life on earth depends on the delicate balance of this vast life support system. Sharks have gained an identity of the vengeful, bloodthirsty monsters of the deep, as portrayed by award-winning movies like Jaws. Ever since the movie, the box office has seen an onslaught of shark movies. The balance between the shark vs. human attacks has been shockingly disturbed by shark culling.
The five major Mass Extinctions around 65 million years ago that wiped over three-quarters of the planet’s species is old news now, and we made peace with the fact that “nothing lasts forever.” Species are bound to go extinct, as proposed by Charles Darwin. It is part of the evolutionary life cycle to adapt to diverse ecological niches on the Earth. The extinction of one or more species favors the evolution of other species.
What is alarming is that we are dealing with another Mass Extinction for which we are responsible. Scientists are calling it the Anthropocene Extinction, because it is caused by anthropogenic factors.
The fact that human-induced emissions have largely contributed to climate change, is overwhelmingly endorsed by researchers and scientists. This has led countries to introduce and implement stringent environmental regulations and taxes. The ever-present emissions of greenhouse gases are expanding planetary temperature graphs, thawing glaciers and permafrost, changing atmospheric circulations and precipitation patterns, increasing sea-levels, washing out coral reefs, and affecting flora and fauna biodiversity in terrestrial as well as aquatic ecosystems.
These changes in environmental processes are responsible for the collateral damage of the infrastructure, the agricultural productivity, and the economy. However, these socio-economic costs are not considered in the prices for energy commodities. Thus, legislations like the carbon dividend act are the blueprint to mitigate the looming climate crisis. Carbon pricing provides strong market incentives for emission reductions and alternative energy resources.
When was the first time you heard the phrase; The Arctic Is Melting?
I have grown up through adulthood listening to and reading this expression. Like some climate skeptics, I also wonder, “Has it not already melted?” It was prophesied that the ice of the Arctic Ocean would disappear by 2035. But now scientists are proposing a new end mark: 2050. However, it has already lost two-thirds of its ice sheet.
The icy Arctic is a climate-sensitive, fragile ecosystem. It is characterized by its ice and snow-covered land, peaks, and native wildlife including polar bears, reindeer, walruses, arctic cod, and seals. Currently, the polar natives are left with only small chunks of ice. In a few decades, the Arctic, and all its native life, will vanish.