Scientists Map Out Plan To Protect One-Third Of World’s Oceans By 2030

Source: Phys.org/University of York

Photo: Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash

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Scientists at the University of York have mapped out how to protect over a third of the world’s oceans by 2030, in order to safeguard wildlife and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The research explores what it would mean to fully protect 30 percent and 50 percent of the global oceans. These targets have been widely discussed as part of negotiations at the U.N. towards a Global Ocean Treaty to protect oceans outside of national borders, covering 230 million square kilometres.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers broke down the global oceans – which cover almost half the planet – into 25,000 squares of 100×100 km. They then mapped the distribution of 458 different conservation features, including wildlife, habitats and key oceanographic features, generating hundreds of scenarios for what a planet-wide network of sanctuaries, free from harmful human activity, could look like.

The team, which included researchers at the University of York, the University of Oxford, and Greenpeace, showed that targets could be achieved by employing a network of across the high seas to protect wildlife hotspots.

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Photo: Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash

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