Technology solutions to change…

The energy of change

Technology solutions to change…

Climate change in the oceans and icy surfaces


In September 2019, a special report was published on the impact of climate change and global warming on the oceans and the cryosphere (icy surfaces). This document highlights the critical need to intensify efforts to deal with the climate emergency and emphasizes the urgency to protect water bodies.

Prioritization of coordinated action is essential to prevent the consequences of climate change from being irreversible. This is the message of the latest report published by IPCC, The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate’, by so far, the most complete assessment of the impact, current and future, of climate change on oceans and icy surfaces.

The latest IPCC report describes the effects of climate change on oceans and icy surfaces.

The document, prepared from almost 7,000 scientific articles by more than 100 experts in hydrology and climate change, describes the effects of warming on the oceans and areas with icy surfaces of the planet. Some notable examples are the increase in the frequency of marine heat waves and phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña or the reduction of permafrost and the massive loss of glaciers, causing a significant increase in sea level and a variation in the properties of the water, increasing its temperature and acidification level and decreasing its concentration of dissolved oxygen.

Throughout the twentieth century, sea level increased by around 15 centimeters, which averages 1.5 millimeters a year. In the twenty-first century, the annual rate of increase has doubled and continues to accelerate. In global terms, it is expected that the increase in 2100 may reach more than one meter in the most pessimistic scenario, in which no measures are taken and global warming will continue at the current rate.

In the twenty-first century, the annual rate of increase has doubled and continues to accelerate.

The report also talks about the path to follow and shows that it is necessary to analyze in depth the effectiveness of the current efforts of governments and the global objectives that are intended to be achieved, reconsidering the role that water bodies have, since they are a damaged party, but also a part of the solution, given its potential as a source of renewable energy.

It is more than obvious that we must act now. Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II, stressed after the publication of this report the need to address unprecedented drastic changes in all areas of society, including the management of energy, ecosystems, cities, infrastructure and the industry.

However, the road ahead is full of obstacles that we must overcome together with governments, the private sector and society, including both developed and developing countries. Because we must not forget that the communities with the greatest exposure to current and future risks in this area are often those with the least capacity for adaptation, so it is necessary to eliminate technological, financial and institutional barriers to achieve global success.

Technological, financial and institutional barriers must be removed to achieve global success.

Abengoa, always under the premise of creating innovative technology solutions for sustainable development contributing to social well-being, joins this global challenge of combating climate change and its effects, increasing the presence of renewable energies in the energy mix of countries in which it is present and guaranteeing access to drinking water in disadvantaged areas. But this commitment is not only reflected in its final product, but also in the way it works. In this sense, Abengoa includes in its CSR Strategic Plan 2019-2023 objectives aimed at mitigating GHG emissions derived from its activity and improving efficiency.

Business strategies like this are essential in this climatic crossroads in which we find ourselves. Reports such as the one cited in this article only confirm the need to act now. Inaction is our worst enemy. Quoting Roberts’ words, “the sooner we act and the more diligent our actions, the greater our ability to address inevitable changes, manage risks, improve our lives and achieve the sustainability of ecosystems and people around the world, today and in the future”.

Pablo Collazo Sánchez

Pablo Collazo Sánchez, responsible for environmental sustainability at Abengoa.

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