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Statement: New Climate Change Report Says the Ocean is in Serious Trouble

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Washington, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director of Climate Science at Ocean Conservancy, in response to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis:

“The IPCC’s new report confirms that human fingerprints are all over many of the changes we see today in our climate and across the globe. We’re seeing the ocean warm, rise, acidify, and lose oxygen, while annual sea ice coverage dwindles. Some of these ocean changes, like ocean warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification and oxygen loss, can’t be reversed for centuries to millennia. And it’s our fault.

“We now have a choice to make. We can continue on as we’ve been doing and let our ocean deteriorate before our eyes, or we can try to save our ocean and the planet we love by changing how our society functions and by ending our reliance on fossil fuels.

“We must start cutting greenhouse gas emissions immediately for that to be possible, and there are many ocean-based solutions ready right now that can help. We can accelerate deployment of responsible marine renewable energy, like proven offshore wind technologies, protect blue carbon, and transition to a zero-carbon shipping industry. We must also make sustained commitments to the research and monitoring that will verify new technologies and practices provide the emissions reductions they promise to, without irreversibly damaging communities and ecosystems along the way. We face a foundational challenge to society as we know it, and the IPCC is again reminding us we have no time to lose.”

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Sarah Cooley is available for interviews upon request.

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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