Need a car to get around? Diver medical & research organisation Dan Europe would like you to consider making that car all-electric – and one reason for that is to help combat ocean acidification.
Two DAN Europe Ambassadors have embarked on an extended summer road-trip around the UK and Ireland to inform the scuba-diving community about the acidification threat.
They want as many divers as possible to meet them to learn more – and to explore ways in which their underwater experiences could help towards solving the global problem.
Through to September, DAN sustainability consultants Alana Alvarez and Manu Bustelo and their team are touring – carbon-neutrally – in a 100% electric Hyundai Kona SUV, offering a series of presentations at some 50 dive-centres as well as schools and swimming clubs.
The central message is simple enough: climate change results from excess carbon dioxide emissions, and marine ecosystems are severely affected not only by rising temperatures but by the acidity increase caused when more CO2 than the ocean can absorb dissolves in sea water.
Acidification, coupled with other human factors, is adversely affecting many ocean species, especially organisms such as corals and oysters. And the evidence shows that UK and Irish waters are fully in line with the global trend towards ocean acidification driven by atmospheric CO2.
DAN Europe set up the Sustainable Tour as an environmental education project to raise awareness and seek solutions. While switching to sustainable all-electric transport is one positive move towards correcting the balance, DAN also hopes that in a later phase of the project recreational divers will be engaged as citizen-scientists to collect ocean pH data.
In mid-September the team will be at Plymouth Marine Laboratory to discuss just how this could be made to happen in coastal areas of the UK and Ireland.
The Sustainable Tourists say they will charge their car exclusively through IONITY’s high-power charging stations, which use only electricity generated from renewable sources of energy.
Founded in 2017, IONITY is a Munich-based joint venture between car manufacturers BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen Group and investment company BlackRock. It is building a pan-European network of stations for electric vehicles of all brands, aiming to help decarbonise the transport and mobility sector that is responsible for 25% of all EU greenhouse-gas emissions.
“Travelling to and from mainland Europe emissions-free and carbon-neutral is absolutely possible with IONITY,” claims the company. Last summer’s DAN Sustainable Tour covered 25,000km around the continent in this way, carrying its message through 17 European countries.
Find out more about the ideas behind the Sustainable Tour and a map showing the locations on the intended route. Alvarez and Bustelo stress that projected dates are likely to shift as circumstances change, so divers should contact local dive centres in advance to check when they will be there.
There will also be a chance for divers who attend to take part in a “DAN Europe by the Sea” Instagram competition, using this barcode. Prizes include diving courses, underwater cameras, diving equipment and paddle-boards.