From the air to the land, the oceans are the epicenter of global warming.
A growing number of studies have suggested that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are contributing to sea level rise, the destruction of coastal cities, and a wider variety of environmental harms.
But what’s it all about?
The Atlantic Ocean has been the focus of research since the early 2000s.
Now, it’s becoming clear that some of the biggest risks to our oceans are not only occurring within its boundaries, but in its deep interior.
As a result, it seems important to know what we can do to protect our oceans from rising seas, which in turn might help to mitigate global warming and protect our climate.
In this special report, VICE News explores the challenges facing the oceans and how we can address them.
In the meantime, here are six things you should know about the oceans.
The deep ocean The deep water is the vast interior of the planet’s oceans.
Its temperature ranges from a few hundred degrees to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 to 9,000 Celsius), with a maximum depth of more than 1,400 miles (1.8 kilometers).
It contains trillions of tiny, tiny organisms, including bacteria, crustaceans, protists, and crustacean algae.
The oceans are home to more than 700 million creatures, ranging from microscopic crustaceas to giant sharks.
They can survive up to 20 feet (6 meters) deep, and their life cycles are complex.
As they age, they become more dependent on oxygen, becoming more vulnerable to acidification, acidification-induced bleaching, and marine ecosystems that can be impacted by rising CO2.
Some species, like sharks and rays, are capable of surviving the deep, but other species, including fish, are more vulnerable.
A study published in the journal Nature this year found that the oceans have been changing over the past few hundred years, and that humans have been contributing to the process.
The study’s authors hypothesized that a warmer ocean is bringing with it a more acidic surface.
To test this hypothesis, they studied the oxygen isotope compositions of ocean sediments dating back to the beginning of the 20th century.
The researchers analyzed samples from nearly 1,000 different sites and found that at least some of them contain evidence of carbon-rich sediments that were once part of the ocean’s deep ocean.
This is important because carbon-based lifeforms are known to be extremely stable under elevated CO2, and as ocean acidification rates increase, the ocean will become more acidic and less hospitable for them.
When it comes to the deep ocean, it looks like we’re heading into a “gold rush,” said University of Washington oceanographer James Cook.
“It’s going to be really exciting,” he said.
The deeper the ocean gets, the more acidic it becomes.
Cook is one of the world’s leading oceanographers and has spent years studying ocean chemistry in the deep.
He told VICE News that his work shows that the deep water has been “reversing the trend” of warming and acidification in the ocean over the last 100 years, even though CO2 concentrations have continued to rise.
“There’s always going to have been some CO2 concentration in the water,” he explained.
“But that concentration is probably lower than it was 100 years ago.”
This is a particularly worrisome development, Cook added.
He said that the rapid rate of warming of the oceans, coupled with the rising carbon concentrations in the air, could accelerate these changes.
Cook said that over the next few decades, “the [Ocean Acidification] trend will accelerate.”
In addition to the CO2 we’re releasing into the atmosphere, the deep oceans also have a number of potentially harmful substances in them that are changing the way they interact with the atmosphere.
“The deep water [is] a pretty big place,” said James Cook, University of California, Davis, oceanographer.
“You can see it change in the oxygen content of the sediments in the bottom of the water, and you can see the change in chemistry in certain sediments,” he added.
These sediments can absorb large amounts of CO2 as they are exposed to the air.
But when the water gets too acidic, it can break down the sediment and produce compounds that can react with the air in the environment.
One of the most potent compounds, known as CO2-60, is what Cook referred to as a “bitter, acidic carbon,” which is responsible for “biting the throat” of corals, corals that live in the oceans’ deep waters.
When these organisms are exposed for too long to the corrosive CO2 they produce, they are damaged, and can die.
When they die, their tissues decompose, and the organisms themselves can break apart, releasing CO2 into the water.
That’s when the carbon-containing material that is present in these sediments gets mixed up with the CO 2-60.
That process can cause the dissolved minerals in the sed