Planet has lost 83% of its freshwater aquatic life in 50 years, report says

The report indicates that the continued warming of the Earth is a significant concern. “The Earth has warmed by 1.2 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. Around 50% of warm-water corals have already disappeared for various reasons. A warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius will cause the loss of 70-90% of corals, and a warming of 2 degrees Celsius will cause a loss of more than 99%.

The effect of global warming is visible on the corals of Lakshadweep in India. The reef has experienced at least two mass coral kills since 1998. The ocean warming events that trigger these kills are becoming more intense and frequent.

In the first chapter of the report, Sir Robert Watson of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research writes that we are experiencing both a climate crisis and a biodiversity crisis.

He writes: “Forests, grasslands, wetlands, mangroves and seas provide our basic needs like food, medicine, energy, etc. These are directly related to weather, air quality, and the quantity and quality of fresh water on Earth.

“These direct drivers of biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems and their services stem from the growing demand for energy, food and other materials due to rapid economic growth, increasing population , international trade and technology choices, especially over the past 50 years,” he writes.

“Biodiversity loss and climate change are not only environmental issues, but also economic, development, security, social, moral and ethical issues. They need to be tackled alongside the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’ says Watson.

Ravi Singh, general secretary and CEO of WWF India, echoes similar views.

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