Water is the lifeblood of the planet

Also: the oceans:

As the world’s climate changes, ocean warming is accelerating and sea levels are rising more quickly, warns a new report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report is a synthesis of the most up-to-date climate science on oceans and ice, and it lays out a stark reality: Ocean surface temperatures have been warming steadily since 1970, and for the past 25 years or so, they’ve been warming twice as fast.

Sea levels are also rising increasingly quickly “due to increasing rates of ice loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets,” the report states.

“For me, it’s the complete picture that’s kind of surprising and, frankly, concerning,” says Ko Barrett, vice-chair of the U.N. panel and the deputy assistant administrator for research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. “This is, in some ways, a report about water. Water is the lifeblood of the planet.”

Also, there are these ocean heat waves.

“It’s sort of remarkable that prior to 2012 [or] 2013, nobody had thought about heat waves in the ocean,” says Andrew Pershing, chief scientific officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, Maine. “And then, in 2012 we had a huge event here in the Northwest Atlantic, and the Gulf of Maine was right at the center of it. It was a real surprise.”

The abnormally hot water affected animals that live off the coast of Maine, including lobster and other creatures that are crucial to the local fishing economy. What’s more, it quickly became clear that the state wasn’t alone.

There was one here in the Pacific Northwest; it’s thought to be why the orcas are struggling.

Marine heat waves in recent years drove a cascade of changes in marine life off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, which in turn led to disastrous seasons for commercial fishermen.

“We had two federally declared fishery disaster seasons in 2016 and 2017,” says Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “The disaster seasons that we’ve experienced lately put a lot of fishermen right on the brink.”

Abnormally hot water supported blooms of algae that polluted the Dungeness crab fishery on the West Coast, shutting it down for months. Meanwhile, the so-called blob of hot water off the coast was associated with drought on land, which decimated salmon runs, raised the risk of wildfires and strained water resources inland.

And starved the orcas, which rely on salmon.

And then there are the floods.

Rising water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico have also affected weather in that region. When sea surface temperatures are unusually high, it helps fuel larger, wetter tropical storms. For example, Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Depression Imelda came inland and dropped incredible amounts of rain on Texas in the past two years.

Now if we slashed carbon emissions right now

Yeah never mind.

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