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Humanity should brace for blowback from oceans and frozen zones increasingly addled by climate change, a major UN report will warn.
Loading the atmosphere with CO2 and greenhouse gases has spawned a host of consequences, starting with irreversible sea-level rise, according to a draft Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report obtained by AFP.
Impacts - Release - September
Here are impacts highlighted in a summary slated for release on September 25:
SOAK IT UP: Oceans have absorbed a quarter of manmade greenhouse gases and 93 percent of the extra heat they generate in the atmosphere. As a result, the world's seas have become warmer, more acidic and less salty.
HEATWAVES - Frequency - Intensity - Extent - Heatwaves
HEATWAVES: The frequency, intensity and extent of marine heatwaves like those that devastated Australia's Great Barrier Reef have all increased, with ocean hot spells twice as likely today as during the 1980s.
EL NINOS: Extreme El Ninos—weather phenomena which drive forest fires, cause disease outbreaks and affect cyclones—are expected to double in frequency if emissions are not cut.
SUSTENANCE - Food - Supply - Waters - Percent
SUSTENANCE: Food supply from shallow tropical waters could decline by 40 percent by the year 2100 because of warming and acidification.
Some ocean wildlife populations—from minuscule plankton to big fish and marine mammals—have shifted hundreds of kilometres toward their preferred temperatures, adversely affecting coastal fisheries.
SEA - LEVEL - Period - Seas - Metre
SEA LEVEL: Compared to the 1980-2000 period, seas will rise nearly half a metre by 2100 if Earth warms 2C above preindustrial levels, and 84 cm in a 3C-4C world. In the 22nd century, the pace of sea-level rise is likely to jump 100-fold from 3.6 millimetres per year today to several centimetres annually.
Even if global warming is capped at 2C, oceans will eventually rise several metres, submerging areas that are today home to 280 million people.
FLOOD - DAMAGE - Adaptation - Efforts - Cost
FLOOD DAMAGE: Without major adaptation efforts, the cost of annual flood damage caused by storm surges would increase 100- to 1,000-fold by 2100.
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