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The IPCC Oceans report released on Wednesday painted a dire picture of the health of the ocean today. The ocean is a carbon sponge and has absorbed 93% of the excess heat caused by climate change and it is reaching a breaking point according to the IPCC. But another panel that was formed last year — the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (HLP) made up of 14 serving heads of government — is committed to sparking “bold, pragmatic solutions for ocean health and wealth that support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build a better future for people and the planet.” They also issued a report this week — and it provides a roadmap to reducing global GHG emissions by up to 4 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2030 and by up to 11 billion tons in 2050, which would reduce emissions by as much as 21% of the emission reduction required in 2050 to limit warming to 1.5°C and 25% for a 2°C target. The authors provide:
“a ‘no-regrets to-do list’ of ocean-based climate actions that could be set in motion today. We highlight the report’s analysis of the mitigation potential and the required research, technology, and policy developments for five ocean-based mitigation areas of action: renewable energy; shipping and transport; protection and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems; fisheries, aquaculture, and shifting diets; and carbon storage in the seabed (see the figure). Make no mistake: These actions are ambitious, but we argue that they are necessary, could pay major dividends toward closing the emissions gap in coming decades, and achieve other co-benefits along the way.”
The panel concluded that the idea of carbon storage in the seabed needed further work but that the other four “have substantial mitigation potential” and “could be implemented or initiated with the right policies, incentives, and guidance” right away.
ABC News reports that there is a creeping underground invasion of our coasts, and it is moving inland much faster than had been previously thought, according to new research funded by the National Science Foundation. The stealth invader? Saltwater, which is infiltrating our coastal communities and creating unseen risks well in advance of the surface floods that drown our homes and businesses.
Why this Matters: This problem will become more and more common as climate change continues, causing widespread displacement across the world.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer According to a 2020 U.N. environmental report, seagrass “prairies” play a massive role in the health of the world’s oceans and if nothing is done to stop their decline, the world will face serious consequences. Seagrasses support rich biodiversity that sustains a whopping 20% of the world’s fisheries, and […]
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