UN Report Warns about the Negative Effects of Climate Change
Scientists warn of serious threats looming over oceans, polar regions and highlands.
The world overlooks Monte Carlo, where the 50th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was held. Tomorrow (September 25th), the long-awaited UN report will be presented there, showing the risks facing humans and nature as a result of the dramatically changing state of the oceans, polar regions and glaciers.
Developed by over 100 experts from 30 countries, the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, entitled The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate aims to direct governments to more active climate action almost four years after the Paris Agreement. The team examined the effects of the climate crisis on the ocean, coastal, polar and mountain ecosystems, as well as on local communities that depend on their resources. The document is also expected to alarm the growing threats to nature and humanity based on the already observed extreme climate change. It will reveal the latest scientific explanations for the close relationship between climate, humans, oceans, poles and glaciers in a warming world.
“This report should erase any doubts about the peril that climate change poses for the health of the ocean and as a consequence for human wellbeing…We expect this report will mark the moment when there can no longer be talk of sustainable development without the massive scaling-up of the restoration of the ocean’s own natural defences against the ravages of climate change.”, John Tanzer, WWF International’s oceans lead, said.
The report, which is the main compass of policy makers on human impact on climate, will highlight the critical need for urgent action and offer an ever-narrower range of options for responding to potential risks. Scientists warn that ignoring the problem may push us to the limits where adaptation to the new conditions will no longer be possible.
“The IPCC report on the ocean and the cryosphere is expected to confirm the dire warnings that science has been presenting us for some time now. The future of life in the ocean is under threat, with the prime culprit being our greenhouse gas emissions. We have a global plan to protect life on Earth; namely the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Implement this plan faithfully and we will give our grandchildren the good life we want for them. Ignore it, and they will suffer the consequences of our selfishness.”, Peter Thomson, UN special envoy for the ocean said.
Over 600 million people live in highlands and depend on glacier-fed rivers. However, their gradual melting, as a result of climate change, will deprive these sites of access to fresh water in long term. This will affect food and energy production and will have a negative impact on the economies of the most vulnerable communities. Global pressures on freshwater populations that are already in a catastrophic state will also increase. According to a WWF Living Planet report, they have declined by 83% since 1970.
"Scientists should shed light on the negative effects of climate change on the planet's water towers. In the high mountains, glaciers are melting and the snow cover is decreasing, contributing to the sea level rise, " said Stuart Orr, head of WWF's Freshwater Ecosystems Program. "This threatens the lives and livelihoods of local people, as well as the survival of valuable species that inhabit areas from the mountains all the way to the sea."
According to scientists, keeping the warming to 1.5 ° C is feasible and humanity has the technology and the means to achieve it. In this regard, WWF Bulgaria calls on politicians to become more involved in climate issues and to develop a strategy for adaptation to changing conditions, invites businesses to invest more in low carbon technologies and for all citizens to use energy as often as possible, extracted from renewable sources.
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