العربية  |  English  |  Español  |  Français  |  Русский

IDB2012 booklet

IDB 2012

PDF low resolution (web):

En - Pt

PDF high resolution (print): En

The Green Wave

International Day for Biological Diversity 2012


Marine Biodiversity was the theme for International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) in 2012. Designation of IDB 2012 on the theme of marine ecosystems provides Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and everyone interested in marine life, the opportunity to raise awareness of the issue and increase practical action.


 

How Much Life Is in the Sea?

From 2000 to 2010, an unprecedented worldwide collaboration by scientists around the world set out to try and determine how much life is in the sea.

Dubbed the ‘Census of Marine Life’, the effort involved 2,700 scientists from over 80 nations, who participated in 540 expeditions around the world. They studied surface seawater and probed the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean, sailed tropical seas and explored ice-strewn oceans in the Arctic and Antarctic.

By the time the Census ended, it had added 1,200 species to the known roster of life in the sea; scientists are still working their way through another 5,000 specimens to determine whether they are also newly-discovered species. The estimate of the number of known marine species - the species that have been identified and the ones that have been documented but await classification - has increased as a direct result of the Census efforts, and is now around 250,000. (This total does not include some microbial life forms such as marine viruses.) In its final report, the Census team suggested it could be at least a million. Some think the figure could be twice as high.


Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

Along the Coast

The Continental Shelf

The Open Ocean

The Deep

Great Migrations

The Human Impact

Causes of Decline

A Warmer Ocean

A More Acidic Ocean

The Problem of Over-Fishing

Why We Should Care

Blue Carbon

The Value of Marine Reserves

CBD and the Jakarta Mandate


A More Acidic Ocean

The ocean has absorbed approximately 30 percent of the carbon dioxide that has been emitted by human activities since the Industrial Revolution. That has helped limit the overall extent of global warming, but as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it makes that water more acidic. Such increasing ocean acidification may make it more difficult for species that build carbonate shells and skeletons – from shellfish to corals – to do so, and may even ultimately cause those structures to decay or break. The study of ocean acidification is in its relative infancy, and much more remains to be learned.

Back to top

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme