The World Meteorological Organization said that the ocean waters reached their warmest and most acidic levels in 26,000 years.
Meanwhile, the U.N. also expressed concern over the Russia-Ukraine tension that disrupted countries’ commitments to environmental preservation.
The WMO report demonstrates just how serious the climate crisis is. In 2021, it was revealed that global sea levels had reached a record high due to the melting of ice sheets. The trend, if continues, will cause several phenomena, including species extinction, and frequent flooding, among others.
The Secretary-General of WMO has explained, “Our climate is changing before our eyes. The heat trapped by human-induced greenhouse gases will warm the planet for many generations to come.”
If left unchecked, the world is heading towards a “catastrophic” future due to greenhouse gas emissions. The U.N. wants leaders of countries around the globe to take more responsibility for their environment and be guided by their recent climate assessment.
In a world caught up in the COVID-19 crisis and Russia’s war against Ukraine, talks on climate change and the creation of consolidated steps have been given minimal airtime. This is problematically overlooked, according to Taalas, considering the urgency of the matter.
Special adviser of the U.N.’s Secretary-General Selwin Hart expressed dismay over the decisions of several countries to back out from their commitments to fighting the climate crisis because of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Hart said, “We are … seeing many choices being made by many major economies which, quite frankly, have the potential to lock in a high-carbon, high-polluting future and will place our climate goals at risk.”
It’s been reported that carbon dioxide and methane levels in 2021 were among the highest since then. With countries expressing plans to turn back towards coal as an energy source, levels are expected to reach critical points this year. In 2021, the WMO recorded 1.15 above normal global temperatures. Researchers expect the increase to peak at 1.5 degrees as the negligence continues, reaching another critical threshold.
Taalas said, “It is just a matter of time before we see another warmest year on record.”
Grave threats to world ocean as temperature rises
The oceans absorb 90% of the accumulated heat of the globe and about 23% of the emitted carbon dioxide from human activities. With acidity at its highest level in 26,000 years, according to scientists, the condition poses a danger for both marine lives as well as humans who rely on them for food sources.
Warmer weather has melted polar ice sheets, chasing away wildlife and threatening its population. Sea levels are also predicted to rise exponentially in the near future as a result of the warming trend. Over the last decade, sea levels have risen to 4.5 centimeters or 1.8 inches.
If this goes on, WMO predicts more life-threatening climate-related disasters are bound to happen. Extreme wildfires and heatwaves will increase in frequency while floods and cyclones become more extreme as well. The cost of these tragedies could be $100 billion dollars’ worth or upwards.
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