Can The Oceans Cope With Any More?

Earlier this month President Barack Obama created the Atlantic Ocean's first United States marine monument, called the Northeast Cannons and Seamounts Marine national Monument.

President Obama made the announcement at an ocean conservation meeting

shortly after he issued a proclamation protecting an area of ocean off the coast of Cape Cod with a total area roughly equal to the size of Connecticut.

The move came after a week of disturbing news about the world's oceans.

One recent report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature shows that the oceans have absorbed much of the energy that's been added to Earth's atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels into the atmosphere.

Another recent study published in "Global Biogeochemical Cycles" shows how all of the CO2 that we've dumped into the atmosphere is causing the oceans to acidify - which is having profound negative impacts on deep-sea shell-forming organisms like sea urchins and snails.

And another study from Stanford University showed that larger marine animals are going extinct faster than smaller animals - marking "a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth, and one that is likely driven by human fishing."

How urgent are these threats to our oceans - and what type of efforts will it take to avoid an oceanic mass extinction event?

And what will it take to go even further - to repair our ocean's ecosystems?

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