Could the Sport of Scuba Diving Disappear by the Year 2050?

Source: Forbes/Lauren Mowery - June 16, 2017 in Adventure

Could the Sport of Scuba Diving Disappear by the Year 2050?
Photo: Tony Malkevist/Israeli Ministry of Tourism/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Yesterday, Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. Donald Trump — not all Americans. In fact, the majority of the U.S. wanted to remain in the accord. Politics aside, while nobody yet knows the true impact of this potentially fateful decision, scientists have already modeled a variety of detrimental repercussions from preventing a global temperature increase of 2 degrees. In some areas of the world, the effects of climate change are real and evident. Consider our ocean reef systems.

As a 17-year open water diver certified by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), I’ve witnessed the rapid degradation of our coral reefs. Gray, broken, and dead. Dwindling schools of colorful fish. Increasingly, that description fits a large number of dive sites around the world. Last month, I dove in the Bahamas. Not long after, Nevis. After we surfaced near St. Kitts, the dive master admitted nearly 80% of the surrounding coral was declared lifeless. Confirming these anecdotal impressions was the recent newsabout the Great Barrier Reef: In the last two decades, the 25 million-year-old ecosystem has bleached to the point of fear for its total and complete extinction.

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