NEW YORK (AP) — Earth is in more hot water than ever before, and so are we, an expert United Nations climate panel warned in a grim new report Wednesday. Sea levels are rising at an ever-faster rate as ice and snow shrink, and oceans are getting more acidic and losing oxygen, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report issued as world leaders met at the United Nations. It warned that if steps aren’t taken to reduce emissions and slow global warming, seas will rise 3 feet by the end of the century, with many fewer fish, less snow and ice, stronger and wetter hurricanes and other, nastier weather systems. “The oceans and the icy parts of the world are in big trouble, and that means we’re all in big trouble, too,” said one of the report’s lead authors, Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. “The changes are accelerating.” The dire effects will be felt on both land … [Read more...] about A new climate change report is out. Here’s what it says.
Corals on climate change
PARIS, France- 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. Here are impacts highlighted in a summary slated for release on Sept. 25: OCEANS WARMING 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: 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 Niños -- weather phenomena which drive forest fires, cause disease outbreaks … [Read more...] about Climate change takes toll on oceans, ice: UN report
PARIS -- Climate change is set to empty the ocean of nearly a fifth of all living creatures, measured by mass, by the end of the century, researchers have calculated. In a world that heats up 3 to 4 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, 17 percent of marine biomass -- from minuscule plankton to 100-ton whales -- will be wiped out, they reported in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. To date, Earth's surface has warmed a full degree (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Bigger fish and marine mammals already devastated by overfishing, pollution and ship strikes will see especially sharp declines due to rising temperatures. Even in a "best-case" scenario of limiting warming to 2C -- the cornerstone target of the Paris climate treaty -- the ocean's biomass will drop off by five percent. Shallow-water corals, which harbor 30 percent of marine life, are forecast to disappear almost entirely under these conditions. Every additional degree will see the ocean biomass shrink … [Read more...] about Climate change on track to reduce ocean wildlife by 17 percent
PINECREST, Fla. — The "Underwater Homeowners Association" sounds like a sad joke about the future of real estate in flood-prone Miami. It's actually an earnest, block-by-block effort to turn neighbors into climate-change advocates. Starting in his affluent suburb of Pinecrest, artist Xavier Cortada hopes his concept will spread, helping people nationwide understand that melting polar ice is no abstract threat. Cortada repurposes "for sale" signs, painting partially-submerged numbers that announce exactly how many feet above sea level each property is, for people to plant in their front yards. A growing number of members have signed on at underwaterhoa.org since Cortada launched the idea in December. Cortada's signs show his home is on relatively high ground: 6 feet (2 meters) above sea level. His studio is at 8 feet (2.5 meters). Rising seas will spare no one concerned about quality of life in Pinecrest, a village of 19,000 not far from Biscayne Bay. Like the rest of South … [Read more...] about ‘Underwater’ homeowners group promotes climate change action
LONDON- As lovers around the world celebrate Valentine's Day on Thursday, few will be thinking of the environment. Yet they may soon have to - from rising seas that could engulf the world's honeymoon island resorts to changing weather patterns hitting the vineyards of France's Champagne region, climate change poses a threat to many romantic traditions. Here are five that are in jeopardy. 1. HONEYMOON ISLANDS Sandy golden beaches are a popular escape for honeymooning couples, but romantic destinations such as Bali and the Maldives are under threat from rising seas. Ocean warming is also causing coral bleaching and scientists say pollution and over-fishing could contribute to the loss of as much as 90 percent of global reefs by 2050. Plastic pollution is also affecting many island nations, with Vanuatu and the Seychelles introducing locally managed marine reserves or banning plastic bags and straws. 2. CITY OF LOVE Paris is the quintessential city of love. But in recent years the famous … [Read more...] about Love in the time of climate change: the Valentine’s traditions under threat