Some nations could become uninhabitable by 2100 — report
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep. 25: Melting ice and rising sea level will affect millions of people and some island nations are likely to become uninhabitable by 2100 if the world doesn’t take concrete action against climate change, says a special report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was released on Wednesday.
IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing science related to climate change. Its report on ‘the ocean and the cryosphere — the frozen parts of the planet – in a changing climate’ was approved by 195 IPCC member governments on September 24.
According to the report, glaciers and ice sheets in polar and mountain regions are losing mass, leading to rise in seal level. It said the sea level rose globally by around 15 cm during the 20th century and is currently rising more than twice as fast at 3.6 mm per year and accelerating.
Sea level will continue to rise and could reach around 60-110 cm by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase unabated but it could be contained to around 30-60 cm if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply reduced and global warming is limited to well below 2°C, says the report.
Global warming has already reached 1°C above the pre-industrial level, due to past and current greenhouse gas emissions, says the report, adding that the ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive.
The report said that the ocean has taken up more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate system. By 2100, the ocean will take up 2 to 4 times more heat than between 1970 and the present if global warming is limited to 2°C, and up to 5 to 7 times more at higher emissions, which will affect marine life.
“The world’s ocean and cryosphere have been ‘taking the heat’ from climate change for decades, and consequences for nature and humanity are sweeping and severe,” said Ko Barrett, Vice-Chair of the IPCC. “The rapid changes to the ocean and the frozen parts of our planet are forcing people from coastal cities to remote Arctic communities to fundamentally alter their ways of life,” she added.
The report said natural calamities that occurred once per century in the past will occur every year by mid-century in many regions, increasing risks for many low-lying coastal cities and small islands.
The report finds that strongly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting and restoring ecosystems, and carefully managing the use of natural resources would make it possible to preserve the ocean and cryosphere as a source of opportunities that support adaptation to future changes, limit risks to livelihoods and offer multiple additional societal benefits.