Climate change has forced a retreat of the polar ice cap AFP/Clement Sabourin 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 September 25: OCEANS WARMING SOAK IT UP: Oceans have absorbed a quarter of manmade greenhouse gases and 93 per cent 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 Ninos – weather phenomena which drive forest fires, cause disease outbreaks and affect cyclones – are expected to double in frequency if emissions are not cut. SUSTENANCE: Food supply from shallow tropical waters could decline by 40 per cent by the year 2100 because of warming and acidification. Some ocean wildlife populations – from minuscule plankton to big fish and marine mammals -… Read full this story
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