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Why do oceans matter for climate change?

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

As the climate crisis gets worse, oceans — the planet’s greatest carbon sink — can no longer be overlooked. 

Spanning 70 per cent of the globe, oceans have absorbed nearly a third of the planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans and 90 per cent of the excess heat those gases create. 

The heat stored in the Earth’s entire atmosphere is equal to what’s stored in the top few metres of our oceans. If that wasn’t enough, oceans produce more than 50 per cent of the planet’s oxygen and regulate our climate and weather patterns. 

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