The Latest IPCC Report Is An Alarm For The World's Oceans

Pablo Tucker
September 28, 2019

But what you might not have known is that the effects of climate change are also seeping down into the ocean's chemistry.

The climate crisis has made global bodies of water warmer, more acidic and less oxygenated, according a new report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. According to experts, sea levels are rising extremely fast.

Sea levels could rise by a meter and force millions of people to migrate by 2100 if current trends in climate change continue unabated, according to a United Nations report on Wednesday. Scientists from 19 different countries have teamed up to figure out why the Arctic is warming faster than any other region on the planet by capturing data of samples of the area.

This would entail sticking to the Paris Agreement, which not only looks to limit the temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius before pre-industrial levels but also rein in temperature increases to 1.5C, as well as ensuring veritable coordination between governments and worldwide agencies. The co-chair of IPCC Working Group II, Dr Debra Roberts, said that "unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society" were required: "The more decisively and the earlier we act, the more able we will be to address unavoidable changes, manage risks, improve our lives and achieve sustainability for ecosystems and people around the world".

Some island countries are very likely to become uninhabitable because of climate change, but habitability thresholds remain exceptionally hard to check, say the report's writers.

-Arctic June snow cover has shrunk more than half since 1967, down almost 1 million square miles (2.5 million square kilometers).

Arctic sea ice is declining in every month of the year, and is getting thinner.

Many glaciers are projected to disappear regardless of future emissions. Some of the ice will return through autumn and winter but late-season melts and winds between now and October could further have an impact on the region. Jack Kohler, of the Norwegian Polar Institute said that the situation is without parallel.

They also considered that the increase in the level of water is caused, mainly, by the melting of ice in Greenland and Antarctica, as they anticipate that the tropical glaciers of the Andes, central Europe and northern Asia will lose 80 percent ice in 2100 in a scenario of high Carbon dioxide emissions.

Kohler added that the environmental damage won't be limited to the Arctic and repeated the warning not to buy coastal property.

"Certainly sea level rise is a big deal for us", said Max Holmes, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Center.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, the rise in sea levels will increase to several centimetres per year in the 22nd century and several metres per year in the 23rd century. Since the most recent National Climate Assessment was released previous year, the United States has seen unprecedented flooding in the Midwest, wildfires in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, heatwaves in the Southeast, red tides in gulf states, extreme cold across the northern parts of the country, the northern spread of vector borne diseases, and abnormally dry conditions across most of the country. "The models that scientists used to predict temperature increase and sea level rise to this point are starting to be borne out and there's no reason to believe they've got it wrong now", he said.

One outcome would be that glaciers in high mountainous areas will shrink, while some in the Alps will disappear altogether.

Connected to the fate of the world's oceans is the fate of the world's frozen areas, or the cryosphere, on which close to 1.5 billion people's lives directs depend.

"What's really sobering is that greenhouse gas emissions globally are increasing and we're not really tackling it and time is running out".

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