Green Pulse Podcast: How humans are changing the oceans

In this episode, we speak with Prof. Benjamin Horton, a climate scientist and director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University on the role of the ocean in keeping our planet cool. PHOTO: AFP

Synopsis: Every first and third Monday of the month, The Straits Times analyses the beat of the changing environment, from biodiversity conservation to climate change.

In May, the World Meteorological Organisation released a report that detailed how four key climate change indicators set new records in 2021. Three of them relate to the ocean: sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification. 

Global mean sea level reached a new record high in 2021, the upper 2,000m of the ocean is warming at a rate that is irreversible on timescales of hundreds to thousands of years, while the open ocean pH - a measure of acidity - is likely to be the lowest it has been for at least 26,000 years. Greenhouse gas concentrations also reached a new global high in 2020, when the concentration of carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas driving climate change - reached 413.2 parts per million globally, or 149 per cent of the pre-industrial level.

In this episode, The Straits Times environment correspondent Audrey Tan and climate change editor David Fogarty discuss the role of the ocean in keeping our planet cool with Professor Benjamin Horton, a climate scientist and director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University. 

Highlights (click/tap above):

01:57 How important is the ocean to the global climate? 

03:00 Does climate action matter, when climate impacts like sea level rise are irreversible? 

07:00 What are the impacts of a warmer ocean? 

11:55 Why is the ocean becoming more acidic? 

Produced by: Audrey Tan (audreyt@sph.com.sg), David Fogarty (dfogarty@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis and Hadyu Rahim

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim

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