Oceans Also F-cked — UN Climate Report


"It's a pretty stark message for us to listen to and to act on", Massey University professor Bruce Glavovic said.

"The scary thing is that most of those changes are happening faster than scientists predicted", Holmes said. Douglass says including such emerging issues in climate reports shows how valuable it is for scientists to understand uncertainty to measure and project the effects of climate change. In fact, the worldwide team of scientists projected for the first time that some island nations will probably become uninhabitable. But the new United Nations report says the ocean has absorbed more than 90 percent of the extra heat generated since the 1970s, and it can't keep up.

The IPCC report points to some potentially irreversible changes and growing threats to the Earth's oceans and shrinking cryosphere.

Following a subsequent report published last month on land use and farming, the IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere - or "frozen world" - was the final piece in a scientific jigsaw revealing the global sweep of climate impacts. "The consequences for nature and humanity are sweeping and severe". If greenhouse gases are reduced dramatically, global average sea levels could still rise by two to three feet above current levels by 2100, but if those gas emissions continue to rise unabated the world could see 3.6 feet of global average sea level rise by 2100.

-From 2006 to 2015, the ice melting from Greenland, Antarctica and the world's mountain glaciers has accelerated. The amount of ice these places are losing every year is 720 billion tons.

Around 10% of the Earth is covered by glaciers and ice sheets, and these are melting at an alarming rate.

She said: "This year's sea ice extent is tied for the second-lowest in the satellite record and will negatively impact polar bear populations in many areas". The SROCC, which was approved by 195 governments, directly associates rising greenhouse gas emissions to changes in the ocean environment. "I shouldn't be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean".

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"In a high emissions scenario, the chances of having any reasonable foothold to deal with the impacts becomes much smaller", said Matthias Garschagen, chair in human geography at LMU Munich and one of the report's authors. However, if the Paris agreement were to be implemented, the sea level could rise by "just" 30 to 60 centimeters at the end of the century. Other measures, such as building flood defence mechanisms serve only as temporary measures, and will not be able to handle the future sea level rises.

Willis said people should be prepared for a rise in sea levels to be twice these IPCC projections. Most warm-water coral reefs are expected to die.

However, world leaders meeting at emergency summit in NY this week were warned we are still on course for a 3-4C rise.

Outside scientists praised the work but were disturbed by it.

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that four Indian cities, including Mumbai, Kolkata, Surat and Chennai - located on India's coast- will be severely threatened due to rise in sea level, The Times of India has reported. "What's particularly disturbing as a scientist is that virtually all of these changes were predicted years or decades ago".

"As the ... report makes clear, this is a global problem, which requires action by everyone - countries, companies, and civil society - to solve", Enric Sala, explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society emphasized.