Facts on Climate Change

There are many facts on climate change that you should be aware of.

Unfortunately, many of these facts on climate change are not well known and there is an incredible lack of awareness regarding this global issue.

From International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme

Reality vs. Fiction

  • There is currently a scientific consensus on climate change and  there has been one for many decades.
  • Climate change is happening right now and the effects of climate change are without doubt, incontrovertible evidence of climate change
  • The ten hottest years ever recorded all happened since 1998.
  • NASA declares that fluctuations in solar activity do not correlate with the rapid increase in global temperatures over the last few decades.
  • A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007, which was based on the work of some 2,500 scientists in more than 130 countries, concluded that humans have caused most if not all of the current global warming.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have increased drastically in a short amount of time

Source: NASA (data from NOAA)

Statistics on the Scientific Consensus

  • More specifically, the official scientific opinion on global warming is that it is occurring right now, and that it is more than 90% certain that human activities are causing it due to greenhouse gas emissions (according to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007).
  • Although the media will give the illusion that there is still a debate on climate change, 97-98% of climate scientists affirm the tenets of anthropogenic global warming (this data originates from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science which took into account 1,372 scientists). What is more, the study shows that the average expertise of the 2-3% who deny man-made climate change was much below that of their colleagues, based on both publication and citation rates.
There are several indicators of global warming

Source: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: National Climatic Data Center

Facts on Climate Change Effects

  • Since climate change will affect the biosphere, every single ecosystem and every single species therein will be affected in one way or another.
  • As a matter of fact, more than a million species could face extinction.
  • Climate change will cripple economies worldwide by causing several billions of dollars in damages.
  • A positive feedback effect could make global warming uncontrollable after a certain point (see feedback mechanisms).
  • The ocean conveyor belt could be altered which could then provoke a mini ice-age in Western Europe. This is not only amongst the least known facts on climate change, but also one which may seem to be paradoxical.
More than 90% of global warming is going to the ocean

Source: Skeptical Science

Direct Impact on Human Life

  • Over 100 million people will die by 2030 if we do not collectively take action now. Afterwards, the death toll will be even more severe.
  • Diseases such as malaria and dengue fever have spread to new locations, with new cases happening even in the United States.
  • The 2003 heat wave in Europe caused over 30,000 deaths.
  • At least one hundred million people live within 1 meter (about 3 feet) of average sea level, and a large part of the world's population is concentrated in vulnerable coastal cities.
A heat wave in Europe caused over 30,000 deaths in 2003

Source: NASA

Rapid Melting Worldwide

  • Scientists predict that a 1 meter sea level rise is well in the range of possibilities.
  • The Arctic could become ice free by as early as 2020 (more conservative estimates say it will happen by 2040).
  • Worldwide, glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting. For instance, Montana's Glacier National Park which had 150 glaciers in 1910 now has only 27.
  • The melting of glaciers will cause serious water shortages for people who depend on them. It will also affect much of the world's agriculture, which relies on perennial rivers flowing from glaciers.
Glaciers have declined in thickness at an alarming rate

Source: World Glacier Monitoring Service

Some Like it Hot, The Ecosystem Not So Much

  • Temperatures have risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius (around 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1880, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
  • In Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia, average temperatures have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report which was compiled between 2000 and 2004. Greenland and the Arctic are being even more affected.
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, freezes begin a week later and thaws come out a week earlier in spring.
  • Coral reefs, which are very sensitive to even small changes in water temperature, have been severely affected. In 1998, as much as 70% if coral reefs bleached in certain areas. Coral reefs are not just pretty; they play a vital role in the ocean's ecosystems. When they bleach, the entire marine food chain will be ultimately affected.
Global warming will have many severe impacts

Source: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change in 2007

Facts on Climate Change Mitigation

  • Despite large talks on alternative energy, there are several ways in which you can help stop climate change that are not limited to solar power, wind power, etc...
  • We currently have the technology available to combat abrupt climate change; the only thing missing is political will which is fortunately, a renewable resource.
  • Some reports indicate that every dollar that is invested in climate change mitigation could save up to 60 dollars in damages. Although skeptics will say that climate change adaptation will hurt the economy, the truth is that prevention will be far better than reparation.
  • The Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord were established in order to help combat the current planetary warming. Both treaties had over 100 participants. However, there are downsides to both and future treaties will be formed in order to address these issues.
Distribution of carbon dioxide emissions by country in 2007

Source: World Energy Outlook

Miscellaneous

  • The idea of the greenhouse effect is over a century old (see history).
  • There is a difference between climate change and global warming, despite the two terms being used interchangeably by the media. The former term is the more accurate and scientific one.
  • China and the United States are the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide worldwide.
  • Canada is the only country to have backed out of the Kyoto Protocol (see article).
  • Every major environmental disaster, including the tar sands in Alberta, deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest, or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are contributing in some way or another to global warming.
  • In 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to both Al Gore and the IPCC "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
The greenhouse effect is a process in which thermal radiation from the sun is trapped by atmospheric greenhouse gases

Source: Global Warming Art

Spreading Awareness: A Moral Duty

In a world were mass media is often unreliable, please take note of the important facts on climate change mentioned above.

Nowadays, there is a plethora of disinformation regarding this important issue at hand. Unfortunately, many people have not heard of the real facts on climate change listed in this page.

If we are to find a way to solve the climate crisis, we need to not only collaborate in taking action, but we need to join forces in spreading awareness on mankind's greatest challenge.

Please, take the time to share this crucial information.

Millions of lives and over a million species are a stake. Choosing to make climate change mitigation a number priority is not merely a political choice; rather, it is a moral duty.

From The Climate Reality Project


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Founder of Climate-Change-Guide.com


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