[QODLink]
Weather
Oceans suffer in a warmer world
The economic cost of increasing ocean temperatures
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 09:44
A boat sails between icebergs in Jacobshavn Fjord, Greenland [GALLO/GETTY]

If global warming accelerates at the pace some climate scientists fear, then by 2100, damage to the world’s oceans could cost $2 trillion dollars a year.

Research by the Stockholm Environment Institute (S.E.I)  found that without significant efforts to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions, 0.37 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product would be lost.

The study quantified the cost of destroyed coral reefs, depletion of fish stocks, sea level rise, marine pollution and more intense tropical cyclones.

It found that a four degree Celsius rise in global temperatures would result in vast oxygen-depleted dead zones

The biggest cost was considered to be to tourism, estimated at $639 billion.

On a more positive note, the study concluded that limiting global warming to 2.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, would reduce the total cost by some $1.4 trillion.

S.E.I. also recommended that the United Nations appoints a High Commissioner for Oceans. The aim of the post would be to ensure that the oceans were incorporated into global economic policy. The Commissioner would also ensure that contingincies would be made for likely one to two metre sea level rises.

The impact of global warming on the oceans is already considerable. The depletion of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has led some experts to suggest that the region may be free of ice during the summer months within a few years.

The warming of the Arctic has led to researchers updating HadCRUT, one of three major global temperature records. HadCRUT is compiled by the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit (Cru) at the University of East Anglia.

The update has resulted in researchers listing 2010, rather than 1998, as the warmest year on record.

Professor Phil Jones of Cru explained why it was necessary to amend the data,”HadCRUT is underpinned by observations and we’ve previously been clear it may not be fully capturing changes in the Arctic because we have had so little data from the area.

“For the latest version, we have included observations from more than 400 stations across the Arctic, Russia and Canada.”

Cru confirm the increase in global temperatures since 1900 at 0.75 degrees Celsius.

Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list