A draft UN report obtained by AFP (Agence France-Presse) warns that the same oceans that nourished human evolution are poised to unleash misery on a global scale unless the carbon pollution de-stabilizing Earth's marine environment is brought to heel. Committed Responsibilities Key Findings of the draft UN report:

  • Melting glaciers will first give too much and then too little to billions who depend on them for freshwater.
  • Without deep cuts to man-made emissions, at least 30 percent of the northern hemisphere's surface permafrost could melt by century's end, unleashing billions of tonnes of carbon and accelerating global warming even more.
  • The Big Four accounting for nearly 60 percent of global fossil fuel-based emissions -- all face the devastating ocean- and ice-related impacts, but none seem prepared just announced more ambitious goals for purging carbon from their economies.
  • By 2050, many low-lying megacities and small island nations will experience "extreme sea-level events" every year, even under the most optimistic emissions reduction scenarios.
  • By 2100, "annual flood damages are expected to increase by two to three orders of magnitude," or 100 to 1,000 fold.
  • Earth's average surface temperature has gone up 1C since the late 19th century and is on track -- at current rates of CO2 emissions -- to warm another two or three degrees by century's end.
  • Sea level rise will accelerate rapidly could exceed rates of several centimeters per year" -- about 100 times more than today, according to the report.
  • Acidification is disrupting the ocean's basic food chain, and marine heatwaves -- which have become twice as frequent since the 1980s -- are creating vast oxygen-depleted dead zones. For example, In the Tasman Sea, a 2015-16 heatwave lasted for 251 days, causing disease outbreaks and a die-off of farmed shellfish
Conclusion: Oceans not only absorb a quarter of the CO2 we emit, but they have also soaked up more than 90 percent of the additional heat generated by greenhouse gas emissions since 1970. Additionally, Political instability due to migration is on the rise. So there is an urgent need for Humanity to overhaul the way it produces and consumes almost everything to avoid the worst ravages of climate change and environmental degradation. Also read: India’s Progress In Health Outcomes Dismal: UN Report Uptick for India on sanitation in UN report