REVOLUTION: Facts & Figures from the Documentary
Need something to do tomorrow in order to celebrate Earth Day? Check out this new documentary titled REVOLUTION which opens worldwide tomorrow!
REVOLUTION takes the fight to save the oceans to the next level and hopes to inspire audiences to help save our oceans and our planet. Filmed over four years in locations spanning 15 countries, from the coral reefs in Papua New Guinea to the rainforests in Madagascar, REVOLUTION is the response to the pleas of leading scientists who insist that by the middle of this century, we could have no fish in the sea, no coral reefs, no rainforests and a planet that can’t sustain many forms of life. Two thirds of the world’s species could be gone by the end of the century if we don’t act now. Directed and produced by Rob Stewart, a leading conservationist and award-winning filmmaker, REVOLUTION is an empowering firsthand look into the most important issues facing us today. The film trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21hGAKv_0Bs. Read and see more at The Revolution.
REVOLUTION: Facts & Figures
Fact: The last time something of this magnitude happened was the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction which took place 65 million years ago, and it is estimated that 75% of all species vanished.
Jablonski, D (1994). “Extinctions in the fossil record (and discussion)”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B 344: 11–17. doi:10.1098/rstb.1994.0045.
Fact: Most of the “Big Five” mass extinction events can be directly attributable to ocean acidification.
Source: J.E.N. Veron. “Mass extinctions and ocean acidification: biological constraints on geological dilemmas.” Coral Reefs. 2008.
Fact: Properly managed coral reefs can yield an average of 15 tons of fish and other seafood per square kilometer each year.
Cesar, H. 1996. Economic Analysis of Indonesian Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
Fact: Since the Industrial Revolution we have released approximately 1 quadrillion pounds (1,000,000,000,000,000) of CO2 into the atmosphere.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “NOAA, partners: Earth’s oceans and ecosystems still abosorbing about half the greenhouse gases emitted by people.” Aug. 1, 2012.
Fact: 21% of the air in our atmosphere is oxygen, which animals need to survive. At least half of our oxygen comes from phytoplankton in the oceans, which function as the lungs of the earth. Phytoplankton forms the basis of the ocean’s food chains, supporting everything from whale sharks to humans.
Source: Hellum, “Why Zooplankton are important (marine food webs)” Dec 5 2012
Fact: Studies have found that phytoplankton levels have diminished by up to forty percent over the last fifty years in 8 out of 10 ocean regions. If this depletion of phytoplankton continues it will basically starve the ocean, because phytoplankton is the food source for everything that lives in the ocean.
Marshall, Jessica. Rising Ocean Acidity May Deplete Vital Phytoplankton. 14 January, 2010.
Fact: The Great Barrier Reef has declined in coral cover by 38 percent over the last 25 years. Coral cover in the Caribbean has declined by as much as 90 percent.
Source: J.E.N. Veron. “Mass extinctions and ocean acidification: biological constraints on geological dilemmas.” Coral Reefs. 2008
Fact: It took four million years for corals to rebuild reefs after the last extinction.
Source: Revolution and Global Reef Project. Retrieved from http://www.globalreefproject.com/blog/
Fact: Southeast Asia’s coral reef fisheries alone are estimated to yield US$ 2.4 billion annually.
Source: Multiple reports: http://www.icran.org/peoplereefs-fastfacts.html via:
Burke, L., Selig, E., and Spalding, M. 2002. Reefs at Risk in Southeast Asia, World Resources Institute
Fact: Every year we discard approximately 40 billion pounds of dead fish as by-catch, because it wasn’t the species we were targeting.
Source: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome. (2012). State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012. Retrieved from www.fao.org
Fact: Deforestation is the second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, and contributor to ocean acidification.
Sources: Undated: http://whatsyourimpact.org/greenhouse-gases/carbon-dioxide-sources ; Le Quéré, C. et al. (2013). The global carbon budget 1959-2011.
Fact: Tropical forests are home to more than half of the world’s species, and produce a third of our oxygen.
Source: Undated, author not cited http://www.rainforestconcern.org/rainforest_facts/why_are_rainforests_important/
Fact: Madagascar has already lost 90% of its forest.
Source: Undated, World Wildlife Foundation, http://www.wwf.mg/ourwork/cssp/species_report/factsmada/
Fact: 75% of the world’s forests are gone due to deforestation.
Source: Think Global Green, December 2014. Retrieved from http://www.thinkglobalgreen.org/deforestation.html
Fact: Canada hopes to build pipelines to transport the oil out of Alberta, expanding the tar sands 20 times. The latest Tar Sands Keystone pipeline was just vetoed by President Obama.
Source: Gregory Korte, USA Today, February 25, 2015 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/02/24/obama-keystone-veto/23879735/
Fact: The Earth’s population will increase from nearly 7 billion in 2013 to approximately 9 billion by 2050 and we are already exhausting the capacity of the planet to provide for us at our current level of population and consumption.
Sources: UN Press Release: World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050 with most growth in developing regions, especially Africa” (PDF). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. June 13, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2015. “UN Press Release: World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050 with most growth in developing regions, especially Africa” (PDF). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. June 13, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
Photo credits: © Rob Stewart