The US National Climate Change Assessment is now on-line and it isn't pulling any punches.
"Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities."
The news for Mariners is deeply concerning.
Did you know that the Oceans have absorbed 93% of the excess heat caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?
This is causing the world's ocean waters to warm, become increasingly acidic, while decreasing the amount of oxygen available in the world's waters. These three changes in the ocean's chemistry are already producing a variety of devastating impacts, including widespread coral bleaching in tropical regions, disruption of traditional fisheries and marine ecosystems around the world, and the loss of sea-ice based ecosystems in the polar regions.
The report also notes that we can expect to experience larger, more powerful hurricanes fueled by the warming atmosphere, and that warmer, higher seas, will pose growing challenges for island-based economies in the US Caribbean, Hawaii, and communities living along coastal shoreline in the US and around the world.
While this report focuses on specific impacts being felt in the United States -- it is clear that similar changes are unfolding across the entire planet.
"Climate-related risks will continue to grow without additional action," warns the authors, "and decisions made today will determine the degree of risk faced by both current and future generations."
Climate change are now upon us, the report concludes, and not enough is being done to avoid the worst case scenarios now looming before us.
"Neither global efforts to mitigate the causes of climate change nor regional efforts to adapt to the impacts currently approach the scales needed to avoid substantial damage to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades."