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Articles by Todd Woody

Todd Woody is a California-based environmental journalist who focuses on ocean issues.

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For decades, oceans have served as the planet’s carbon garbage dump, soaking up 90 percent of the excess atmospheric heat generated since 1970 and a third of our greenhouse gas emissions. Now the 71 percent of the Earth that makes life on land possible has reached a frightening tipping point that threatens human existence, according to a landmark report issued Wednesday by the United Nations-supported Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.

The findings suggest severe consequences for both humanity and nature, according to Ko Barrett, the panel’s vice chair, who spoke at a press briefing on Tuesday. “This report highlights the urgency of timely, ambitious, coordinated and enduring action,” said Barrett, who is also the deputy assistant administrator of oceanic and atmospheric research at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What’s at stake is the health of ecosystems, wildlife, and importantly, the world we leave our children.”

Even if greenhouse gas emissions magically ceased today, so much heat is already baked into marine ecosystems that the ocean would continue to warm, sea levels would keep rising, and acidificatio... Read more

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