By the year 2025, the projected rapid increase in coastal populations could expose 75% of the world's population to ocean-related hazards. These hazards will be exacerbated by climate-related sea level rise and storms intensified by ocean heat. GOOS supports real-time services through ocean hazard early warnings, weather and ocean forecasting, and helping to define a path toward sustainable development.
Tsunamis, storm surges, and high waves can all pose hazards to human life and property on the coast. Mariners have particular needs for weather and ocean hazard forecasts to prevent harm to themselves and to the environment.
Humans are also dependent on the ocean for food, pharmaceuticals, minerals, shipping, transportation, and recreation. Other valuable ocean resources are tied to our energy needs, both renewable (e.g., wind, wave, tidal) and non-renewable (e.g., oil, gas). We are dependent on the ocean and coastal areas for habitat and economy, so human vulnerability is linked to the ocean not just through hazards on the coast, but also through the health of ocean ecosystems.
The Ocean is a Key Economic Resource
GOOS contributes to each of the four high-level objectives of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC):
- The value of marine activities globally is 5% of global GDP, or about US$2.7 trillion
- 90% of all goods in the world are shipped by sea
- Fisheries provide 1 billion people with their main source of protein