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close this bookDiversity, Globalization, and the Ways of Nature (IDRC, 1995, 234 p.)
close this folder3. Planet-wide deterioration
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOur sister planet
View the documentThe unusual, oxygenated planet
View the documentThe paradox of ozone
View the documentOceans can be degraded too
View the documentThe rivers are becoming muddy
View the documentOvershooting

Oceans can be degraded too

Oceans and large bodies of water are also being degraded by human activities. Although oceans are very large, occupying nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface, the continuous outflow of untreated effluents into the sea has had persistent and increasing effects, particularly along the shores. Sediment accumulations have increased at the outlets of several large rivers, “plumes” of industrial and urban pollutants are flowing into many coastal areas, and overfishing has had a profound negative effect on marine ecosystems. Thin films of petroleum, foam from detergents, and various floating wastes can be found even far from populated areas. The degradation of oceanic basins has become a planetary phenomenon.