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An international panel of marine scientists, including IUCN experts, is demanding urgent remedies to halt ocean degradation based on findings that the rate, speed and impacts of change in the global ocean are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought.
The latest report of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) / IUCN review of science on anthropogenic ocean stressors goes beyond the conclusion reached at the end of last month by the UN climate change panel (IPCC) that the ocean is absorbing much of the warming and unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide.
The study warns carbon dioxide absorption combines with chemical pollution, overfishing and the decreasing oxygen level in the ocean, caused by climate change and nitrogen run-off, to produce "changes in the ability of the ocean to support life on Earth,” according to Professor Alex Rogers of Somerville College, Oxford University, who is Scientific Director of IPSO.
IUCN-WCPA’s Professor Dan Laffoley said: “What these latest reports make absolutely clear is that deferring action will increase costs in the future and lead to even greater, perhaps irreversible, losses. The UN climate report confirmed that the ocean is bearing the brunt of human-induced changes to our planet. These findings give us more cause for alarm – but also a roadmap for action. We must use it. “