Since preindustrial time until present, the influence of external inputs and the forcings (an environmental influence that causes change in a system) on the global coastal ocean has increased enormously, and consequently, the role of the coastal ocean in the cycling of carbon and other elements has changed significantly. Increased industrialisation, transportation, and agricultural activities globally, particularly since the end of World War II, and the dramatic rise in the growth of the world’s economies are responsible for the enhanced fluxes that add materials from human activities to the Earth’s landscape, its atmosphere, and ocean (Fig. 9.1).

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