Almost everyday we are confronted with news stories, social media posts, and videos telling us that climate change is underway and the level of our oceans is rising. And while we are certainly keen supporters of healthier oceans and natural environments, we’re not here to get into a debate about climate change, we just thought we’d mention that this sounds like another good reason to take up sailing!
Around 71% of the earth’s surface is already covered with water, and approximately 96% percent of it lies in oceans, seas, bays, rivers, and lakes. That equates to over 321,000,000 cubic miles of potentially sailable waters. Surely that in itself is enough reason to jump on board. But what about the potential increases in oceans levels due to the impacts of climate change?
According to an article published by ABC SCIENCE in October, we are “currently experiencing one of the highest rates of sea level rises for thousands of years, linked to global warming.” In keeping with this, the article states that a rise above current global temperatures of just 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius (34.7 - 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit) could ultimately increase sea levels by 40 centimeters (that’s almost 16 inches). Although this rise is forecast to occur over thousands of years, it certainly suggests that water will eventually cover more than 71% of the earth’s surface.
Which brings us back to sailing. If you don’t have enough reason already to get out and undock your boat or learn to sail, think about how much easier it could be to get around in the future if you’re already accustomed to sailing. Though if you think about it even further, perhaps more people sailing now can help slow or even help reverse the effects of climate change.
Sailboats need little more than wind and a happy, enthusiastic crew to get them going. Being out on the water regularly alerts us to the state of the ocean, and hopefully encourages us to engage in our own ‘clean’ practices. Examples of how sailors can and do get involved in looking after waterways can be found by visiting Sailors for the Sea.
Sailors for the Sea are a wealth of information and have readily accessible resources and programs designed to help us all improve and care for the earth’s watery masses. Perhaps the best scenario overall is to get out of the house and get sailing, and while you’re there pay attention and do what you can to help slow the effects of climate change and improve the health of the ocean. Last time we checked, this was the only planet we have, and it’s worth looking after.