Recent studies of marine life have shown both the wonders and likely horrors that are facing our oceans. The Census of Marine Life is a decade-long global study examining the diversity of marine life from polar to tropical regions and involves thousands of marine scientists from many countries. Although the full report is due the end of this year, some preliminary findings have been released. Over 5,000 new species have been discovered and research suggests that many thousands of additional species are lurking somewhere in the briny depths. New species range from hairy crabs to sponges that contain anti-cancer drugs.
World leaders gathered last week in Copenhagen at the UN Climate Summit to discuss climate change with the aim to set targets to reduce CO2 emissions. The scientific community stated that industrialized nations needed to cut emissions by 40% by 2020 to reduce the severity of climate change. Although climate change is a global problem, and will impact small island nations more than most, it was left largely to the USA and China to broker a political agreement. Although the agreement recognizes the scientific merit of limiting temperature rises to no more than 2 C (3.6 F), it does not set CO2 targets to achieve this. In that sense, the UN Climate Summit was a failure.