The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today spells out the coordinated actions that can save our ocean and cryosphere.

It calls for urgent responses to support our ocean and the cryosphere – the frozen parts of the planet – through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, along with the protection of ecosystems and better management of natural resources. The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (#SROCC) – signed off by 195 IPCC member governments – is a call to action for policymakers worldwide.

“The open sea, the Arctic, the Antarctic and the high mountains may seem far away to many people,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. “But we depend on them and are influenced by them directly and indirectly in many ways – for weather and climate, for food and water, for energy, trade, transport, recreation and tourism, for health and wellbeing, for culture and identity.”

Lee added: “If we reduce emissions sharply, consequences for people and their livelihoods will still be challenging, but potentially more manageable for those who are most vulnerable. We increase our ability to build resilience and there will be more benefits for sustainable development.”

With reference to 7,000 scientific publications, the rigorous report was compiled by 100 authors from 36 countries. It will provide vital evidence for world leaders meeting for upcoming climate negotiations at events like the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Chile in December.

“The world’s ocean and cryosphere have been ‘taking the heat’ from climate change for decades, and consequences for nature and humanity are sweeping and severe. The rapid changes to the ocean and the frozen parts of our planet are forcing people from coastal cities to remote Arctic communities to fundamentally alter their ways of life,” said Ko Barrett, Vice-Chair of the IPCC. “By understanding the causes of these changes and the resulting impacts, and by evaluating options that are available, we can strengthen our ability to adapt. The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate provides the knowledge that facilitates these kinds of decisions.”