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U.S. representative speaks out after UN panel issues report about warming waters, rising sea levels and falling oxygen content as oceans are saturated with carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas.

COURTESY U.S. REP. SUZANNE BONAMICI - U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., at the harbor in Warrenton with a load of Dungeness crab. As co-chair of the House Oceans Caucus and a member of the House select committee on climate change, she is calling on the House to endorse findings of a new UN report on the health of the oceans and support specific actions to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases.U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici says a new international report on the declining health of the oceans prompts her to call for immediate action by the House to support its findings.

Bonamici is co-chair of the Oceans Caucus in the U.S. House and a member of the House select committee on climate change, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created earlier this year.

"We need to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health of our ocean and the stability of the cryosphere," she said in an online post today (Wednesday, Sept. 25). "At a time when the Trump Administration perpetually dismisses and denies climate science, it is our responsibility to lift up the voices of the scientific community.

Bonamici is a Democrat from Beaverton who represents the 1st District of northwest Oregon. She also sits on the Science, Space and Technology Committee, where she has been an advocate of ocean health measures.

She issued her comments upon the release of a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders in making policy. Based on 7,000 studies, the report concludes that the oceans are getting warmer, sea levels rising and oxygen content falling as the oceans absorb more carbon dioxide — a key greenhouse gas — than they have capacity for.

But the report also says some of the worst effects could be averted or moderated if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced substantially within the next decade. The panel warned in a report last year that big reductions are necessary — 45% below 2010 levels by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Bonamici says she is proposing a resolution for the House to endorse such efforts.

"Today I am leading my colleagues in introducing a resolution that accepts the findings of the special report and commits to implementing ocean-centric solutions to the climate crisis along with policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," she said.

The resolution specifies seven actions, including protection of wetlands, development of ocean-wave energy and a transition to electric power for ocean-going ships. Among its 33 co-sponsors are Oregon Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio.

A similar resolution will be introduced by U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., in that chamber. The resolutions are supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ocean Conservancy.

"The health of our ocean reflects the health of our planet, and for too long our ocean has literally taken the heat for us." Bonamici concluded. "I'm committed to responding to the science and making these ocean-centric solutions a priority as we get our nation on a path to net-zero emissions no later than mid-century."

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NOTE: Reposted with additional information.

Rep. Bonamici's post on medium.com is here, along with a link to the resolution:

https://medium.com/@videobonamici/capturing-the-power-of-the-ocean-to-help-solve-the-climate-crisis-940cb372dfa6


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