US Fish & Wildlife Service
Statement of World Aquatic Scientific Societies on the Need to Take Urgent Action Against Human-caused Climate Change, Based on Scientific Evidence [Dear Colleague Letter]
Date of this Version
Dear Colleague Letter from the American Fisheries Society, with the Statement of World Aquatic Scientific Societies on the Need to Take Urgent Action Against Human-Caused Climate Change, Based on Scientific Evidence
July 25, 2020
Dear Colleague Letter from the American Fisheries Society to fellow scientific societies, July 25, 2020, about the urgent need for responsive collective action to mitigate impending radical climate change. Includes the Statement of World Aquatic Scientific Societies on the Need to Take Urgent Action Against Human-Caused Climate Change, Based on Scientific Evidence, emphasizing the importance of aquatic ecosystems. Includes extensive citations and notes.
"Water is the most important natural resource on Earth as it is vital for life. Aquatic ecosystems, freshwater or marine, provide multiple benefits to human society, such as provisioning of oxygen, food, drinking water, genetic resources; regulation of atmospheric composition and climate; water purification; storm buffering; mitigation of floods/droughts; recreation areas, and other purposes. Our existence and well-being depend on the health and well-functioning of aquatic ecosystems. People naturally distribute around water--approximately 40% of the world's population lives within 100 km (62 mi) of a coast.
"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 services they provide. Aquatic ecosystems are among the most affected worldwide, e.g. in case of freshwater ecosystems, a biodiversity decline of 83% was recorded only between 1970–2014, while up to 90% of coral reefs will disappear by mid-century, if the current trends continue."
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