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  • Glaciers, ice sheets, and sea ice extent are melting at an alarming rate and experts say this trend is likely to continue.

    Glaciers, ice sheets, and sea ice extent are melting at an alarming rate and experts say this trend is likely to continue. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 March 2019

The trend which began in 1950 is expected to continue rising in tandem with carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas levels.

Rising ocean temperatures are causing global concerns as they hit record highs, the United Nations said Thursday, warning of the dangers these changes will have on marine life.

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The last four years have been the hottest recorded, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reaffirmed in the State of the Climate 2018 report, after analyzing data from hundreds of scientists and agencies.

Glaciers, ice sheets, and sea ice extent are melting at an alarming rate, with both the ocean heat content and sea levels reaching record highs in both the south and north poles, said Victoria University Professor James Renwick.

"Extreme weather has continued in the early 2019, most recently with Tropical Cyclone Idai, which caused devastating floods and tragic loss of life in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi," WMO secretary-general, Petteri Taalas said.

The trend which began in the mid 1900’s is expected to continue rising in tandem with carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas levels. Science models warn of an increase of 0.8 degrees Celsius.

UN secretary-general António Guterres, called the report a “strong wake up call,” saying it illustrated perfectly the “urgency of the climate action.”

"It proves what we have been saying that climate change is moving faster than our efforts to address it," he said at New York’s UN headquarters.

“There is no longer any time for delay,” he said, urging international leaders to participate in September’s upcoming climate action summit to develop “concrete, realistic plans” to reduce emissions.

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