- Title: Cut emissions to avert catastrophic sea-level rise - U.N. climate report
- Date: 25th September 2019
- Summary: MONACO (SEPTEMBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BUILDINGS AND SEA
- Embargoed: 9th October 2019 11:22
- Keywords: Climate change IPCC news conference ocean global warming environment
- Location: MONACO
- City: MONACO
- Country: France
- Topics: Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA003AY5PA2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CAN BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH EDIT 3152-CLIMATE-CHANGE/OCEAN-INTERVIEW WHICH CONTAINS INTERVIEW WITH HANS-OTTO PORTNER AND FILE IMAGES OF OCEANS, GLACIERS AND STORM IMPACT
Scientists behind a landmark study of the links between oceans, glaciers, ice caps and the climate delivered a stark warning to the world on Wednesday (September 25): slash emissions or watch cities vanish under rising seas, rivers run dry and marine life collapse.
Days after millions of young people demanded an end to the fossil fuel era at protests around the globe, a new report by a U.N.-backed panel of experts found that radical action may yet avert some of the worst possible outcomes of global warming.
But the study was clear that allowing carbon emissions to continue their upward path would upset the balance of the great geophysical systems governing oceans and the frozen regions of the Earth so profoundly that nobody would escape untouched.
"This new special IPCC report highlights the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious and coordinated action to address widespread and enduring changes in the ocean and cryosphere," IPCC Co-Chair Debra Roberts said.
Finalised on Tuesday (September 24) in a last 27-hour session of talks in Monaco between authors and representatives of governments, the report was the culmination of two years of work by the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Compiled by more than 100 authors who crunched 7,000 academic papers, the study documented the implications of warming oceans, fast-melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and shrinking glaciers for more than 1.3 billion people living in low-lying or high mountain regions.
The report projects that sea levels could rise by one metre (3.3 ft) by 2100 -- ten times the rate in the 20th century -- if emissions keep climbing. Looking further forward, the rise could exceed five metres by 2300.
In the Himalayas, glaciers feeding ten rivers, including the Ganges and Yangtze, could shrink dramatically if emissions do not fall, hitting water supplies across a swathe of Asia.
Thawing permafrost in places such as Alaska and Siberia could release vast quantities of greenhouse gases, potentially unleashing feedback loops driving faster warming.
"What is at stake is the health of ecosystems, wildlife and importantly, the world we leave for our children," IPCC Vice Co-Chair Ko Barrett said.
(Production: Antony Paone, Ardee Napolitano)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None