Urgent Action against Human-Caused Climate Change

Posted 25 September 2020 by under Announcements & Notices • Journal: African Journal of Aquatic Science
Urgent Action against Human-Caused Climate Change

The Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists (SASAqS) has a membership of 250 representing individuals and organisations involved in all aspects of aquatic sciences in academia, private sector (environmental consultancies, environmental practioners in industry, etc.) and government (local, provincial and national government). 

On 14 September 2020 SASAqS joined forces with 110 aquatic scientific societies representing more than 80,000 scientists across the world to sound a climate change alarm. The societies call for drastically curtailed global greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of man-made climate change to fish and aquatic ecosystems. Unless urgent action is taken to reduce emissions, scientists predict catastrophic impacts to commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries and human health and global economies.

A letter from the SASAqS President, Victor Wepener, published in the latest issue of the African Journal of Aquatic Science, summarizes key scientific findings highlighting the effect of climate changes on aquatic ecosystems. These findings provide evidence of what effects are currently happening and why world policymakers and all of humankind need to act jointly and launch concerted actions now if they wish to mitigate these impacts.

The world’s aquatic resources are now under their greatest threat in human history. Human-caused climate change is accelerating the degradation of aquatic ecosystems and the services they provide. Aquatic ecosystems are among the most affected worldwide (e.g., in case of freshwater ecosystems, one measure of biodiversity, the freshwater living planet index for species populations, declined 83% from 1970 to 2014, while up to 90% of coral reefs will disappear by mid-century if the current trends continue).

"We, the world’s aquatic scientists, spend our lives studying these systems. We see exceptional and disturbing changes in the world’s aquatic ecosystems due to climate change and believe that we must continue to share peer-reviewed scientific findings with the public and policymakers to emphasize the seriousness of this threat and the need for immediate action." said the SASAqS President in his Letter addressing the Statement of World Aquatic Scientific Societies on the Need to Take Urgent Action against Human-Cause Climate Change, Based on Scientific Evidence.

The document and letter summarizes key scientific findings highlighting the effect of climate changes on aquatic ecosystems. The  findings provide evidence of what effects are currently happening and why world policymakers and all of humankind need to act jointly and launch concerted actions now if they wish to mitigate these impacts. Read more here

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