The overall theme for Season of Creation in 2019 is ‘Web of Life’ and week one is dedicated to the theme “Ocean”. This week we reflect on the magnificence of oceans and our interconnectedness with them. We also mourn and lament the realities of human impacts on ocean health.
Oceans and the Web of Life
· We need oceans to keep us alive. They cover 70% of Earth’s surface and keep it at a perfect temperature for life to flourish. 80% of all the planet’s oxygen comes from the ocean’s algae. More life exists in the oceans than on land.
· The oxygen for 3 of every 4 of our breaths comes from the ocean.
· At the front line of climate change, the ocean, the coastlines and coastal communities are being disproportionately impacted by increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. The ocean plays a central role in regulating the Earth's climate.
· Ocean life is suffering due to massive amounts of plastics being accumulated. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch spans waters from the West Coast of North America to Japan.
· For many people, the idea of a “garbage patch” conjures up images of an island of rubbish floating on the ocean. In reality, these patches are almost entirely made up of tiny bits of plastic, called microplastics. Microplastics can’t always be seen by the naked eye. They can simply make the water look like a cloudy soup.
· Heatwaves in Australia are now 5 times more likely due to the climate emergency.
· Of all the extra heat trapped in our atmosphere, 93% of it ends up in the oceans.
· Ocean heat content has doubled in the last 20 years and continues to rise.
· Heat intensifies the water cycle resulting in more water vapour in the sky and more intense, damaging storms on land.
· Storm surge increases due to sea level rise caused by melted sea ice.
· The heat also causes coral bleaching and acidification of the ocean. The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in the last 30 years—and 30% just since 2016.
Resources for celebrating the theme of Ocean along with each of the themes of Season of Creation, through prayer, reflection and ritual, can be found here: https://www.rahamim.org.au/season-of-creation-2019 . A different resource is available for each of the weeks of the month-long celebration.