Copernicus report: global sea level is rising at an alarming rate

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Copernicus report: global sea level is rising at an alarming rate
Copernicus report: global sea level is rising at an alarming rate
23 September, 12:03SciencePhoto: Fodors Travel Guide
The amount of ice that has melted in the world since 1979 could cover an area equal to six "Germanies".

The Copernicus Maritime Service, the European Union's climate monitoring program, has published its fifth report on the state of the oceans, according to the Daily Mail. The annual report includes contributions from 150 scientists from over 30 renowned European institutions. In its compilation, data from satellite observations, measurements at various points of the ocean around the world and computer models were used. Here are the main takeaways.

  • Warming oceans and melting ice on land have led to a 3.1 mm rise in sea level per year. This is the highest of all indicators observed over the past century.
  • The extent of the Arctic sea ice is steadily decreasing. From 1979 to 2020, the Arctic lost an amount of ice equal in area to six Germany.
  • Changes in the climate in the North Sea region, which alternate waves of cold and heat, have led to a decrease in catches of flounder, European lobster, sea bass, red mullet and edible crabs.
  • Ocean pollution from land-based activities — for example, agriculture and industry — causes ocean eutrophication and impacts on vulnerable ecosystems. Eutrophication is the saturation of a body of water with minerals and nutrients, which makes it "green". Plant growth can reduce oxygen levels in seawater and block natural sunlight, which negatively impacts marine biodiversity.
  • In the Mediterranean, ocean warming and salinity have increased over the past decade. Warming is causing some marine life to migrate to cooler waters. This, for example, happened in 2019, when a poisonous lionfish migrated from the Suez Canal to the Ionian Sea due to an increase in temperature in the Mediterranean basin.
  • A combination of adverse factors can trigger extreme events affecting vulnerable areas. This was the case in November 2019 in Venice, when aqua alta - high water - rose 1 meter 89 centimeters, the highest rate since 1966. The record was due to unusually high mean sea levels, strong spring tides and extreme weather conditions in the city itself. In the future, such events will become more frequent as sea levels continue to rise.

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