Report shows alarming state of oceans: Arctic melting, levels rising

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The state of the world’s oceans is getting worse, according to the fifth report of the Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service.

In the annual report, 150 scientists commissioned by the European Commission demonstrate how quickly the oceans are changing due to human intervention.

The report lists the worst consequences: According to the report, the warming of the world’s oceans and melting land ice are causing sea levels to rise – by 2.5 millimetres per year in the Mediterranean and up to 3.1 millimetres worldwide.

The report cites the flooding of Venice in November 2019, when the water level rose up to 1.89 metres, as an example of the impending consequences.

The warming of the oceans is also causing marine life to migrate to cooler waters or the populations of species to shrink.

According to the report, Arctic sea ice is steadily declining: between 1979 and 2020, the Arctic lost an area of ice about six times the size of Germany.
Since 1979, the ice has receded by 12.89 per cent per decade. The lowest levels were recorded in the last two years.

The report warns that if Arctic sea ice continues to melt, it could contribute to regional warming, erosion of Arctic coasts and changes in global weather patterns.

Another finding of the report was that extreme fluctuations due to waves of heat and cold in the North Sea are directly related to changes in fisheries. Sole, European lobster, sea bass and edible crabs are mentioned here.

“Climate change, pollution and overexploitation have caused unprecedented stress on the ocean,” says Karina von Schuckmann, chair of the Ocean State Report in a statement accompanying the report.

The world’s oceans cover most of the Earth’s surface and regulate the climate, she said, adding that accurate and timely monitoring is crucial to better understanding the oceans and responding to changes.

Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth observation programme. Its aim is to monitor the state of the land, oceans and atmosphere, or climate change and its consequences, based on satellite observations and measurements on Earth.

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