The Expected Impacts of Climate Change on the Ocean Economy
High Level Panel for a Sustainable Economy
The ocean is critically important to our global economy. Collectively, it is estimated that oceanbased industries and activities contribute hundreds of millions of jobs and approximately US$2.5 trillion to the global economy each year, making it the world’s seventh-largest economy when compared with national gross domestic products. In addition, the nonmarket services and benefits provided by the global ocean are significant and may in fact far exceed the value added by market-based goods and services.
Climate change is altering ocean climate, chemistry, circulation, sea level and ice distribution. Collectively, these system changes have critical impacts on the habitats, biological productivities and species assemblages that underpin many of the economic benefits of the sea.
Swift efforts to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are needed to maintain a robust ocean economy. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report estimates that climateinduced declines in ocean health will cost the global economy $428 billion per year by 2050 and $1.98 trillion per year by 2100.
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