500 years of ocean change

The global ocean has changed dramatically since Ferdinand Magellan undertook the first circumnavigation of the world  in 1519-1522. The ocean has increasingly become a connecting element among nations and people, while the human impact has largely increased and ocean observation is now an important tool in managing its waters.

This visual, based on scientific data, shows how the ocean has evolved in terms of temperature, acidity, sea-level, ice-cover, plastic pollution, shipping, stocks of larger animals, etc. in the past 500 years. It also displays some of the efforts made with regard to ocean observation. This graphic is produced by artist Glynn Gorick and by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), in cooperation with the Oceans Past Initiative (OPI).

500 years of ocean change