IPCC preview: deep trouble brewing in our oceans

Rousing the Kraken: climate change could make life in the ocean much harder. By Mary Evans Picture Library/Alamy/Wikimedia Commons
Scientists are meeting this week in Yokohama, Japan, to finalise and approve the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II – the part of the IPCC process that seeks consensus on the likely impacts of climate change, as well as how it might change the vulnerability of people and ecosystems, and how the world might seek to adapt to the changes.


The oceans are a new focus of this latest round of IPCC assessment, and while one cannot preempt the report to be delivered next week, there are likely to be some important ramifications for our ability to deal with the growing impacts from non-climate-related stresses such as overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction, as well as ocean warming and acidification.

To put it simply, a failure to deal with our changing climate will make it far more difficult to deal with the many other threats already faced by our oceans.

If you’ll pardon the pun, the ocean is in deep trouble, and that trouble will only get deeper if we don’t deal decisively with the problem of climate change.

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