A comprehensive new report released by the UN is warning that the world’s oceans are in danger, currently facing a scourge of unnatural warming, rising, acidifying, and deoxygenating.

Covering over 361 million square kilometers (139 million square miles), the oceans sprawl over 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, and its considerable volume represents 90 percent of the planet’s biosphere, meaning that whatever happens to the oceans will, sooner or later, have a dramatic effect on us surface dwellers.

In regards to the global warming crisis, we tend to concentrate on the Earth’s surface—it is, after all, where we live—but tend to forget that the volume under the ocean is a climate engine that has been mitigating the effects of all of the changes to our climate that have occurred thus far: nine-tenths of the heat generated by global warming has been absorbed by the oceans, or as NASA oceanographer Josh Willis put it, “Global warming is really ocean warming.” The oceans have also been absorbing between a quarter and one-third of humanity’s annual carbon emissions (water absorbs CO2 much more readily than other atmospheric gases, the reason we use it to make soda water), resulting in the gas being stored as carbonic acid, hence the rise in the acidity of the world’s oceans.

The September 25 report, titled “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate”, is the culmination of over 3,600 studies, and was prepared by over 100 scientists representing 36 countries. It warns that the world’s oceans and ice sheets are in dire trouble, due to the effects of anthropogenic-caused global warming. Although there is growing concern amongst the world’s population regarding this rapidly-evolving crisis, the report warns that we will still have to face some stark consequences, regardless of what measures we take to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“If we reduce emissions sharply, consequences for people and their livelihoods will still be challenging, but potentially more manageable for those who are most vulnerable,” according to Hoesung Lee, chair of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“Even with aggressive [carbon] mitigation efforts, we’re still going to have to deal with consequences of an ecosystem and an environment that has changed,” noted Jeremy Mathis, an Arctic researcher and board director at the National Academies of Sciences. Both Lee and Mathis had no involvement with the U.N. IPCC report.

The reports predicts that if rising global average temperatures are somehow stopped at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), as per the goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement, sea levels will only rise between one and two feet by the end of the century. However, this scenario would only occur if human civilization were to collectively get its act together and cut carbon emissions immediately; at the current rate of emissions growth, ocean levels are projected to instead rise by over one meter (more than three and a half feet) by the 22nd century, since Earth’s most massive ice sheets, located on Antarctica and Greenland, “are projected to lose mass at an increasing rate throughout the 21st century and beyond,” according to the report.

Unfortunately, many climate studies tend to be somewhat conservative in their projections, and sea level rise predictions are no exception, meaning that future ice melt may be worse than what is currently being predicted. “I don’t think there’s any science that rules out two meters by 2100,” according to Willis. “I think most people who study Greenland and Antarctica think [sea level rise] could be higher than current projections.”

The report also points out that warming oceans are fueling tropical storms—including hurricanes—making them stronger, more frequent, and causing them to occur in regions where these storms are typically rare, or even entirely unheard of. Even when these new storms aren’t that intense, they can still deliver more rainfall than many regions are used to coping with, causing extensive flooding. “Warmer oceans will drive extreme rainfall events,” said Mathis. Citing how Tropical Storm Imelda, one of the wettest cyclones in U.S. history, recently deluged the Texas coast, he said “that storm spun up [in intensity] in 12 hours. Suddenly the region got 42 inches of rain.”

The Arctic we once knew is also a thing of the past, according to the report. Having warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world, Arctic sea ice is now at its second lowest extent (behind 2012’s record-holding lack of ice) at two million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) below average. “The rapid changes in the Arctic are some of the clearest indicators of anthropogenic climate change,” according to Zack Labe, a climate scientist at the University of California, Irvine. The report predicts that if global temperatures rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, the Arctic will have an ice-free September once every three years.

The report also points out that the effects of global warming are now apparent to the average citizen, and are no longer subtle effects that need to be explained in a scientific study. “You don’t have to be a scientist anymore to see what’s going on,” Mathis stresses. He points out that with the passing of Tropical Storm Imelda, Texas has now likely experienced five 500-year floods—events that should only have a 1 in 500 chance of occurring in any given year—in the last five years.

“That’s extraordinary, that’s exceptional,” said Mathis, regarding what would otherwise be a nigh-impossible series of storms. “You don’t have to be a scientist to know that’s not normal.

“Trust your own eyes.”

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10 Comments

  1. The planet currently has approximately over 8 billon people whom will be negatively affected by coming climatic events.The occurrences of more intense weather incidents will have impacts on all aspects of civilization including the production of food. If – we were wise enough to act immediately to mitigate the effects of global civilization, it may be already too late.

  2. Global warming is a HOAX.
    The origins of the global initiative to form a coalition to tie all nations into the agreement was to be a dictatorship and redistribution of wealth. Of course, the wealthiest nations are targeted to bear the most if the cost for doing WHAT?????? That makes the USA the enslaved ‘animal ‘ to pay for everything they want to enact. It takes all sovereignty away, all freedoms, takes your money ( by force) and only makes the ELITES richer and dictators!!!!

    Check out videos on YouTube from Hillsdale college, with REAL SCIENTISTS ( not bought and paid for puppets). The real science shows that HUMANS have nothing, if only a fraction of the responsibility) for ANY results.
    The Earth , like ALL planets, are cyclical in climate change.
    GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX.
    Increased CO2 is what plants THRIVE with! Plants are what creates oxygen.

    Duh!

    1. TL; DR: “source please.”

      Having been interested in what are considered controversial topics for almost all of my life, I’m always reluctant to simply dismiss claims that run contrary to my own research and experience, no matter how ludicrous such claims sound.

      Toward that end, I’ve been looking for actual evidence–ANY evidence–that global warming is a hoax, and I have not seen one iota of evidence pointing toward such a fairy tale. The closest I’ve found is the East Anglia email hacks (often erroneously attributed to NASA “lying” about its climate data), but this was, in-of-itself, another hoax, debunked by no less than eight independent investigations.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

      Along the way, I’ve run into a bottomless well of commentators that keep claiming that global warming is a hoax, a conspiracy theory to either drain more taxes out of the world populace or corrupt scientists looking for grant money, but the sheer cost of maintaining such a conspiracy (hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars in bribe money) would be counter-productive to the stated aims of whichever narrative is being presented. But absolutely none of these commentators have actually offered any evidence that their claims–we just have to take their word for it. Their MO is to sound authoritative and present cherry-picked, out of context information and ideas that may appear sound, but when actually analyzed wind up not being germane to the topic.

      Unlike the lack of actual information provided in the onslaught of climate denier screed that some audiences in the echo chamber are bombarded with, actual climate scientists have been providing figures, charts, numbers and the like in their peer-reviewed papers–actual facts, and Unknown Country exhaustively lists its sources of this data in its news articles–that actually explain what’s going on, not excuses as to why the “other side” shouldn’t be listened to.

      I have, however, found a cornucopia of evidence pointing toward the existence of a conspiracy to frame global warming itself as a hoax, perpetrated by the energy sector, and is the reason ExxonMobil is currently fighting criminal charges in numerous states (just put “Exxon” in our search engine for sources, they knew since the late 70s that global warming is a real and man-made danger).

      Cynthia, I would be forever grateful if you could provide me with some sort of evidence that illustrates the phenomenon of global warming as a hoax. I tried googling “Hillsdale college global warming” videos from the last year, but it just brought up presentations on how human-produced CO2 is causing global warming, and potential methods on how we might mitigate its effects. Older hits do provide videos and articles running to the contrary, but while they’re produced by “real” scientists, they’re economics and political professors, nobody involved in the earth sciences.

      I should also point out that the total cost that the US would have paid into the Paris Agreement was around $5 million, mostly in administrative upkeep. That’s it. No country, let alone the US, has, or had, any obligation to pay any other countries billions of dollars under the Agreement. There are, however, certain individuals that outright lied about the issue. $3 billion (less than the cost of one-and-a-half B-2 bombers) had been pledged to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, at a total cost to yourself of $9.41. Far from the dystopian horror that the climate slavery alarmists would have you believe.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_withdrawal_from_the_Paris_Agreement
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Climate_Fund

    2. I also forgot to point out that, while plants do indeed metabolize CO2, food and livestock crops don’t thrive so well in weather extremes caused by global-warming, like floods, droughts and violent storms. Overall, global warming will be very bad for our crops.

      The CO2-induced growth increase seen in plants also becomes less healthy not only for the plant, but also for those that consume them: the plant might get bigger, but the nutrition per plant doesn’t increase proportionately, resulting in high-calorie, low-nutrition foods:

      https://www.unknowncountry.com/headline-news/excess-atmospheric-co2-is-slowly-turning-healthy-crops-into-junk-food/

  3. Climate change is NOT being caused by man-made carbon gasses, but by solar cycles, Geoengineering, and the weakening of earth magnetic shield. Spending trillions of dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is useless and will destroy the economies of Western countries. Look up Grand Solar Minimum!

    1. *sigh* Source, please?

      • The Sun’s output is currently at a 105-year low, and is predicted to enter into what is known as a grand solar minimum, a half-century phenomenon that might actually drop temperatures by 0.3°C (0.5°F). This is part of a nigh-linear downward trend in solar output that started in the mid 1950s, the opposite of what we’ve been seeing in the global temperature record.

      https://www.unknowncountry.com/headline-news/researchers-predict-the-sun-is-about-to-enter-a-50-year-period-of-quiet-but-it-wont-help-global-warming/

      • Geoengineering is a broad topic, and I’m not sure how you propose that it’s responsible for global warming, considering many conspiracy theories say that chemtrails (I’m assuming you mean chemtrails) claim that they’re being used to cool the climate.

      • There is no evidence that the weakening of the earth’s magnestosphere has made any significant contributions to global warming. I’ve researched this, and there’s major holes in the idea that CGR is capable of seeding clouds in the upper atmosphere; see my comments in the following article explaining this:

      https://www.unknowncountry.com/headline-news/julys-heat-waves-make-for-a-record-breaking-month-including-record-ice-melt-in-greenland/

      The only correlation that has held thus far is the rise in human-generated carbon emissions (well documented), the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels (a lab-demonstrated greenhouse gas), and the rise in global average temperatures (also well documented. These three factors have risen together, while all other natural phenomena that could have contributed to the effect are either too weak to be a significant contributor, or their cycles aren’t correlating with the recorded temperature increases.

      There is also no evidence that switching our energy base will destroy local or global economies: indeed, we’ve seen civilizations do it before, and we can do it again. It’ll be a far rougher transition this time, given the short amount of time we have to do it, but the only economies that it will devastate are ones that we no longer need.

      However, we do have ample evidence that not changing our chief source of energy will destroy both local or global economies, as increasingly violent storms, famine, flooding, etc. drain our economies, effects that we’re already seeing.

  4. As Anna says its too late.
    The principle and primary driver of the finite biosphere’s destruction is overpopulation and the resource consumption that goes with it.
    But no one talks about this. Attenborough, Goodall, Suzuki all say its too many people consuming too much stuff. But no one wants to acknowledge this. Look at the protests, look at the placards, no mention of the actual driver of the problem. Its not Big coal, Big industry, Big Govt. Its US…
    The finger gets pointed everywhere but where the actual cause is coming from

  5. While 7+ billion people living in our capitalist consumerist world are chewing and crapping up the natural world the passionate change deniers are doubling down.

    You lot claim superior knowledge that 97% of the world’s scientists are not privy to or don’t agree with. Your bottom line seems to be the freedom to make as much money as possible except it is unlikely you are not the ones making all this money. Really with all the data about climate instability and the declining vitality of the natural world how long will you maintain your willful blindness?

    I too agree with Anna that it is too late to stop the changes. We alive now and future generations will have to find ways to survive and engage in the renewal of the natural world. That renewal will early on bring about a substantial change in our economic system that will recognize the importance of all life before profit.

    1. My blood briefly ran cold when I was reading Exxon’s prediction that the tipping point for global warming would occur in the 1990s. Despite how accurate their models were (even in the late 70s), I hope they were dead wrong…

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