Ecologists have calculated the extent of human influence on the oceans

© AP Photo / Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Mario AguileraОчистка of the Pacific ocean from trash in the Great garbage patches. Archival photoEcologists have calculated the extent of human influence on the oceans© AP Photo / Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Mario AguileraПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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A group of scientists from Australia and the United States analyzed the state of oceans and estimate the number of unaffected human areas. Their study published in the journal Current Biology.

According to the study, the total area of pristine waters is about 55 million square kilometers — about 13 percent of the World’s oceans and less than five percent of these waters are protected by legislation.

In their study, the scientists studied how the ocean affected 12 types of human activities, including shipping, transport, fishing, discharge of industrial wastewater and agricultural fertilizers. Unaffected person is considered that almost does not affected at least 15 factors from the list — an indicator of anthropogenic impact there was less than ten percent.

As a result, scientists have found that the most extensive «wild» waters are found in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as in the Arctic and Antarctica, and their area is about 16 million square kilometers. Least of all the untouched areas were in the waters surrounding South Africa.

According to the researchers, these «wild» areas are crucial for the Earth’s environment, because the level of diversity of species in them is much higher than in other areas. Protecting such areas will help to preserve the planet’s biodiversity.

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