Hundreds of millions of people in coastal areas would be threatened if climate change continues unabated, the UN’s climate body warned.
By Nick Visser
Ice sheets are melting, glaciers are shrinking and the planet’s oceans are changing in “unprecedented” ways, according to a shocking new report released by the United Nations on Wednesday, the latest confirmation that climate change is already wreaking havoc around the globe.
The findings, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, the leading U.N. body studying human-caused global warming, issue stark warnings for hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying or coastal areas and come amid a renewed call from scientists who say the planet is quickly running out of time to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. The report was written by more than 100 scientists from 30-plus countries, and is the third such paper published by the IPCC over the past year (an August report focused on protecting land, and one last October found time was rapidly running out to avoid catastrophic warming).
“Each year that we delay action, ocean waters warm and become more acidic. This fuels hurricanes, kills coral reefs, and threatens the safety and livelihoods of the 40% of the world’s population who lives within 60 miles of the coast,” Miriam Goldstein, a director of ocean policy at the Center for American Progress, said in a statement this week. “To protect the ocean’s natural ability to store carbon, to feed billions of people across the world, and to save ocean ecosystems, we must substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible.” …
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