© Wim van Passel / WWF
Oceans and Cryosphere

A changing cryosphere affects us all

Changes to our oceans and cryosphere - the world's frozen places - have global climate impacts for nature and people. We're already seeing more extreme weather, extensive coral reef bleaching and sea level rise.

Ocean chemistry is changing

A warming ocean is more acidic and less oxygenated, affecting marine life and ultimately human communities.

It's already happening, and it's unstoppable

The polar regions will be profoundly different in the future. Some changes are irreversible for centuries - or more. Even if we stop greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow, the sea level will continue to rise - but taking action quickly can limit the worst impacts.

​What can we do?

We need to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit the worst impacts to our oceans and cryosphere. 
To become more resilient to the changes we cannot stop, we need to step up efforts to help people and nature adapt to a warmer world. 

Find out what WWF is doing.

​IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report has assessed the science of climate change impacts on the earth's oceans and ice-covered places. It was released on 25 September 2019.

The report outlines the global and regional impacts and risks of changing ocean and cryosphere for natural and human systems and resources; our response options; and our options for mitigation.

The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change.

IPCC reports are the authoritative source of information on climate change and underpin the international community’s understanding of climate change and related issues.



The IPCC report on Oceans and Cryosphere is a reminder that the systems we rely upon to sustain life on earth are losing their capacity to regulate the climate. We can't afford to let that happen. Dr. Stephen Cornelius, WWF’s IPCC lead and climate change chief adviser, explains. Read the blog post.

© Global Warming Images / WWF


One billion people threatened by climate change risks to oceans, polar and mountain regions, UN report warns

According to an IPCC report, no part of the world will be spared from the impacts of climate change as oceans warm and ice sheets and glaciers melt, causing rapid sea-level rise that could affect one billion people by 2050.

© Pixabay


Our staggering climate footprint on water and ice: New UN report to reveal what it means for life on Earth

Governments met in Monaco to approve a scientific report outlining climate change impacts on the earth's oceans and snow and ice-covered places - or cryosphere - and our options to respond.