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Climate change continued its relentless march in 2020, which is on track to be one of the three warmest years on record. 2011-2020 will be the warmest decade on record, with the warmest six years all being since 2015, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Through its role in supporting the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON), the IOC helps Member States to coordinate the resources from different countries and organizations needed to understand and tackle the problem of ocean acidification. Every year the ocean absorbs about 25% of human-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, increasing acidity as this CO2 dissolves in the seawater.
The IOC Sub-commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) has 22 Member States that stretches from the eastern Indian Ocean to the islands of the South Pacific. WESTPAC has organized training for scientists in the Western Pacific region so that experts and oceanographic institutions from the region and beyond can work together to improve monitoring of ocean acidification and to track changes in coral reef ecosystems.
Climate change has not stopped for COVID-19. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at record levels and continue to increase. Emissions are heading in the direction of pre-pandemic levels following a temporary decline caused by the lockdown and economic slowdown. The world is set to see its warmest five years on record – in a trend which is likely to continue - and is not on track to meet agreed targets to keep global temperature increase well below 2 °C or at 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.