Oceans are Key to Securing the Environment's Future: Human Population Flocks to the Coast

First Posted: Sep 08, 2015 09:11 AM EDT

When it comes to saving the environment, understanding the world's oceans is crucial. Scientists have announced that a greater understanding of our oceans is essentially for the well being of the world's population.

The announcement comes after the presentation of a report, called the Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 (GMTT 2030) report. This report is actually the culmination of a collaborative project looking at the future of commercial shipping, navies, and the health of the oceans.

The report forecasts that by the year 2030, there will be twice as many offshore structures, including 100 times more wind turbines. In addition about 50 percent of the world's oil will be produced offshore. Researchers also predict that within the next 15 years, 50 percent of the global population will live in coastal regions.

So what should we do? Turn to technology. Researchers believe that, in particular, materials science and sustainable energy generation will be crucial in the future.

"We believe that working together, these technologies can be used to protect the ocean environment from excess exploitation and misuse as we gain a deeper understanding of the impact of human activity on the geology, meteorology and ecology of the ocean space," said Ajit Shenoi, Director of the SMMI, in a news release. "We can also better protect people living in coastal areas from extreme natural forces such as hurricanes and tsunamis. Given the depletion of land-based resources, people will increasingly look to the ocean for food, materials, energy and medicines. In fact, the potential of the ocean to provide these resources is already being realized. It will become necessary to deploy advanced and sustainable technologies to harvest these valuable ocean resources."

The report can be found online.

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