Climate change could turn oceans from friend to foe, UN report warns

phys.org | 8/30/2019 | Staff
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Global warming and pollution caused by humanity's carbon-heavy footprint are ravaging Earth's oceans and icy regions in ways that could unleash misery on a global scale, a landmark UN report to be unveiled next week will warn.

Diplomats and scientists from 195 nations gather in Monaco from Friday to validate a summary for leaders of observed and projected impacts ranging from vanishing glaciers and marine heatwaves, to rising seas and unprecedented levels of forced migration, according to a draft seen by AFP.

Report - Intergovernmental - Panel - Climate - Change

The underlying 900-page scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the fourth such UN tome in less than a year, with others focused on a 1.5-Celsius cap on global warming, the decline of biodiversity, as well as land use and the global food system.

All four conclude that humanity must overhaul how it produces, distributes and consumes almost everything to avoid the worst ravages of global warming and environmental degradation.

Barrage - News - Science - Action - Backdrop

The barrage of bad news from science and a newly alarmed public demanding decisive action are the backdrop for a key UN climate summit in New York on Monday designed to push countries into setting more ambitious carbon cutting goals.

Current pledges—if honoured—would see Earth's surface heat up more than three degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The 2015 Paris climate treaty calls for capping global warming at "well below" 2 C, and 1.5 C is possible.

Degree - Crescendo - Extreme - Weather - Killer

A single degree of warming has already seen a crescendo of extreme weather, including killer heat waves and superstorms amped up by rising seas.

A single degree of warming has already seen a crescendo of extreme weather, including killer heat waves and superstorms amped up by rising seas

Impacts - Climate - Change - Oceans - Others

"Some of the impacts of climate change on our oceans are now irreversible and others are looking increasingly inevitable," notes Greenpeace International scientist, Melissa Wang.

"At current emissions...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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