Risk of ‘sea desertification’ challenges Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge 11 Jul 16;

Climate change is one of the reasons behind sea desertification. It warms the air temperature and sea water and lowers nitrogen, phosphorus and oxygen concentration, thus paving the way for the formation of a ‘dead sea area’ or desertification of the sea.

‘Sea desertification’ is a new terminology used to describe the area where all sea creatures cannot live because of poor natural conditions, water quality and land.

According to experts from the General Department of Sea and Islands, there are six factors which can lead to sea desertification. First, climate change.

Second, the discharging of hazardous waste to the sea, causing greenhouse gas emissions. This causes an increase in the acid concentration in the sea, disrupts the supply of nutrients to the sea, reduces biodiversity and interrupts the periodic operation of oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorous.

The ocean acidification causes coral bleaching, habitat for sea creatures changing, the water quality degrading and nutrients decreasing, which then causes desertification.

Climate change is one of the reasons behind sea desertification. It warms the air temperature and sea water and lowers nitrogen, phosphorus and oxygen concentration, thus paving the way for the formation of a ‘dead sea area’ or desertification of the sea.
The third reason lies in ocean currents.

Fourth, the destruction of important marine ecosystems such as coral ecosystems, mangrove and sea grass ecosystems by explosives and toxic chemicals. Fifth, the rapid development of coastal urban areas and industrial zones which spoils the air quality, surface water and sea water.

Finally, the air transportation, which concentrates in some certain areas.

In general, experts say the major reason behind desertification is sea pollution caused by human activities.

According to Du Van Toan from the General Department of Sea and Islands, it is necessary to conduct research to determine the origin and find the development, location and classification mechanism, and to build up a sea desertification map of coastal waters and offshore of Vietnam.

It is also necessary to conduct research to assess the possible impact on the environment, socio-economic development and security in the sea desert areas.

Toan has urged a new monitoring system with an aim to keep special control over the areas prone to desertification.

International cooperation in scientific research will play a very important role in preventing sea desertification. Residents in coastal areas need to be warned about the dangerous phenomenon and asked to cooperate to prevent it.

Vietnam now has 16 MPAs (marine protection areas). Though they cover a small area, just 0.3 percent of total waters, they still can help maintain ecological balance if they can be managed well.

MPAs are believed to create a restoration effect after five years, and later create a spillover effect which helps disperse nutrients to the surrounding areas.

No comments:

Post a Comment