UNESCO State of Ocean Report

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UNESCO’s ‘State of Ocean Report, 2024’ provides crucial insights into the current state of global oceans, emphasising the challenges posed by climate change and human activities.

About UNESCO State of Ocean Report:

  • The UNESCO ‘State of the Ocean Report’, initiated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) during the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference, serves as an accessible overview of the ocean's current status.
  • It supports the monitoring of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) and encourages actions towards a sustainable ocean future.
    • The inaugural 2022 edition featured insights from over 100 marine science experts across various fields including ocean acidification, pollution, and tsunami warning.
    • This report, and its subsequent annual editions released on World Oceans Day (June 8), aligns with the seven outcomes of the UN Ocean Decade.
  • The key finding of the report
    • The upper 2,000 meters of the oceans have experienced significant warming, with the rate increasing from 0.32 ± 0.03 watt per square meter (W/m²) from 1960 to 2023 to 0.66 ± 0.10 W/m² in the last two decades.
    • Oceans are absorbing about 90% of the Earth's excess energy, causing increased deoxygenation and threatening marine ecosystems and human economies dependent on them.
    • Ocean acidification is on the rise globally, particularly in the open ocean, with a noted pH decline since the late 1980s; more comprehensive data from coastal areas is needed.
    • Sea levels have risen consistently since 1993, necessitating improved monitoring systems at all scales.

There's growing interest in marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) technologies, but their ecological impacts and effectiveness remain uncertain.

Q1. What is a deep ocean mission?

The Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) is an ambitious Indian initiative to explore and harness the depths of the ocean. It is a five-year mission, approved by the Union Cabinet in 2021, with a budget of nearly ₹4,077 crore. The mission aims to develop technologies for deep-sea mining, manned submersibles, and underwater robotics, as well as for ocean climate change advisory services, deep-ocean survey and exploration, energy and freshwater from the ocean, and advanced marine stations for ocean biology.

Source: UNESCO’s State of Ocean Report highlights key knowledge gaps in research & data on spiking oceanic warming