With all the glorious tasks oxygen molecules facilitate when taken in by each human breath, it’s no wonder why we praise their presence in our lives. Their presence is delivered to us in part by forests and flora, and in near equal proportions by the ocean.
These habitats host organisms called primary producers whose main jobs are to receive light energy and carbon dioxide, and convert them into organic compounds and oxygen gas for creatures to take in. This commonly recognized process of photosynthesis is in many cases disappearing and leaving us not with a gasping planet, but with an over-heated planet due to the translation of decreasing photosynthetic processes into increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
With 80% of our world’s ancient forests already gone and illegal logging accounting for 90% of total logging activities in some countries, deforestation is an issue that we consumers need to address. We can start by checking for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label that guarantees a viable source, or by utilizing a special directory that enables one to confirm a product’s sustainability before purchasing.
In our oceans, over 400 “dead zones” are present in which oxygen levels are too low to support life. These zones are created when excess nutrients from fertilizer and other industrial operations enter the water and cause algae blooms that leave no oxygen in their wake. Because these dead zones are likely to intensify with global warming, there’s a strong need for worldwide cooperation in utilizing preventative measures. Let’s get to work.
Related: Reforestation efforts via carbonfund.org