The ocean, covering 71% of the Earth’s surface and vital to life on the planet, is facing significant changes due to human activities. The ocean absorbs a significant amount of carbon dioxide, thereby regulating the global climate and contributing to climate change mitigation. But the ocean also suffers from climate change impacts: rising temperatures and acidity levels, extreme weather events, and rising sea levels, threaten marine habitats and species like coral reefs. The ocean research and policy community has therefore advocated to include ocean-based action under the international climate change regime.
As the climate responds to decades of increasing carbon emissions, the store of energy and heat from the atmosphere builds up in the ocean.