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UNESCO State of Ocean Report

Context

UNESCO’s ‘State of Ocean Report, 2024’ provides crucial insights into the current state of global oceans, emphasising the challenges posed by climate change and human activities.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

UNESCO State of Ocean Report Overview

Introduction:
  • Initiation: The UNESCO ‘State of the Ocean Report’ was initiated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference.
  • Purpose: Provides an accessible overview of the current state of the oceans.
Support and Objectives:
  • UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030): The report supports this initiative and encourages actions for a sustainable ocean future.
  • Inaugural Edition (2022): Featured insights from over 100 marine science experts on topics like ocean acidification, pollution, and tsunami warning.
  • Annual Editions: Released on World Oceans Day (June 8), aligning with the seven outcomes of the UN Ocean Decade.
Key Findings:
  • Ocean Warming: The upper 2,000 meters of the oceans have significantly warmed, with the rate increasing from 0.32 ± 0.03 watt per square meter (W/m²) between 1960 and 2023 to 0.66 ± 0.10 W/m² in the past two decades.
  • Energy Absorption: Oceans are absorbing about 90% of the Earth’s excess energy, leading to increased deoxygenation, which threatens marine ecosystems and human economies.
  • Ocean Acidification: Globally on the rise, particularly in the open ocean, with a noted pH decline since the late 1980s. More comprehensive data from coastal areas is necessary.
  • Rising Sea Levels: Sea levels have consistently risen since 1993, highlighting the need for improved monitoring systems at all scales.
Emerging Interests:
  • Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal (mCDR) Technologies: There is growing interest in mCDR technologies, although their ecological impacts and effectiveness are still uncertain.

-Source: Down To Earth


 

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