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ECO Church - The problem of Ocean plastic - continued 3

The Australian Great Barrier Reef has suffered from bleaching due to raised sea temperatures.picture of the ocean Over the last 3 years, over two thirds of the world's coral reefs are thought to have suffered from rises in ocean temperatures. If ocean temperatures continue to rise, it is thought that all coral reefs could be gone by the end of the century.

Rising temperatures is not the only hazard that coral reefs face.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is dissolved in the ocean where it forms carbonic acid making the sea water more acidic. The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the more acidic the ocean becomes. Evidence points to the burning of fossil fuels as the primary cause of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

We have the opportunity now to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by switching to renewable fuels such as wind and solar instead of using natural fossil fuels. It is up to us.

Research in the Arctic is revealing how the fundamental chemistry of the ocean is changing. Coral reefs are made of calcium carbonate and the acid in the ocean is dissolving it.

Beyond question, this situation is man made but it can be altered if we are able to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions.

As the climate changes and the seas warm our oceans are being seriously affected. In Antarctica the ice shelf is breaking up and allowing extra water to flow into the sea causing levels to rise. By the end of the century sea levels are predicted to rise by 1 to 2 meters. Around the world, 100's of millions of families live near the coast and as sea level rise, their lives will be seriously affected. Miami is under threat.

We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet and never before have we had the power to do something about it.

Oceans provide us with oxygen, they regulate temperature, provide us with food and energy supplies and it is unthinkable to have a world without a healthy ocean.

An optimistic view of climate change in 2018 is struck by Transition Chesterfield. Wind turbines now produce twice as much electricity as coal plants making it inevitable that another significant milestone will be reached this year, when at some point, for several hours, wind, solar and hydro will together, for the first time, provide more than half of Britain's electricity generation.

St Andrew's