10 Facts About Climate Change and Global Warming
In this year’s G7 summit, the countries reached an agreement to support Brazil with $22 million to save the Amazon forest. The fund was to go for relief materials and fire-fighting planes, all in the bid to snatch the Amazon forest from the grips of flames that has lasted for about a decade. The Brazilian government rejected the offer of aid though, but that is a different matter.
We do not need a doctor to lecture us on the “health” condition of our planet. Earth is suffering from thermally induced depression; she is collapsing in on itself. From melting glaciers to increasing sea levels, deforestation and widespread wildfires, global warming is taking a serious toll on the planet.
To some, it is a “hoax”, and to others it is still a hazy reality that they are yet to come to terms with. Hopefully the facts below would help such individuals get a clearer picture of what is happening and take steps, personally and socially, to create a greener safe planet.
Now onto some facts about climate change:
#1. The UNFCCC has affirmed that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time; ranked among all the other doomsday events—and even worse is that it is more imminent than asteroid collision and an AI singularity.
#2. There has been a 0.9 degrees Celsius increase in the mean temperature of the Earth since the late 19th century. The most serious parts of the warming were recorded within the last 35 years, and in fact, 5 of the 9 years since 2010 were recorded as the hottest in all these time, with 2016 holding a record as the hottest year in history.
#3. The main cause of global warming is human activities, particularly emissions of greenhouse gases and carbon IV oxide into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases and chlorofluorocarbons find their way into the atmosphere, deplete the protective ozone layer that shields us from harmful solar rays, and cause a “greenhouse effect”. The over all result is a general heating of the Earth. Imagine what happens when all of the Earth’s protective layers get destroyed, it would become as bare as Mars—and even worse, it would be inhabitable.
The IPCC 5th report was clear, with 96% certainty that humans were the main contributors to global warming.
#4. In 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established and saddled with the responsibility of accumulating and data on climatic trends. The panel has generated a number of models over the years. The models show that in 80 years, almost all the ice covering the Earth would have melted away leading to disastrous repercussions.
#5. The world's climate system, comprising the atmosphere, oceans and cryosphere, is changing hastily. Results from research in Paleoclimatology—the use of Earth’s past to study the evolution of its climate—have found that the rate at which the Earth is warming currently is 10 times the rate in the post ice-age. This was found by investigating the evidences found in coral reefs and ocean sediments.
#6. There are financial consequences attached to indifference to climate change; this cost has been projected to reach $44 trillion in 40 years. That figure represents the largest GDP losses in South and Southeast Asia, Middle East, as well as Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa. Flooded cities and properties consumed by wildfires were built with money and hard work; only to be swept out by the aftermath of ignorant actions.
#7. Over $1 billion was lost to 14 serious climate events in 2018 alone. In the United States, there have been many incidences of extreme rainfall in recent times. And what do we say about the Greece and California wildfires a few months ago? These events are the embers of climate change burning into a red flame.
#8. Since 2000, there has been an increase in the average exposure to heatwaves; precisely 125 million more people have been exposed since then. There have been record solar waves in India and different parts of the world.
#9. There is a funding gap for the NGOs pursuing climate change revolutions; they are grossly underfunded. In recent times, however, thee has been increased participation; perhaps it’s the increased incidence of natural disasters that is motivating it or just global patriotism. Whichever it is, more still needs to be done.
#10. Last century, seas rose by 8 inches! That’s massive right? Considering the volume of water it would take to increase sea levels by a whole 8 inches. In the last 2 decades, the rise was double that—double the increase that took a century.
Bonus Fact: Global Warming is a subset of climate change. To some people, they are one and the same, but this is not correct. Climate change is a much broader concept under which “global warming”—which is a general heating up of the Earth—is found. It is because of these changes that sea levels are rising, mountains of glaciers are leveling, the ice in the Greenland, Arctic, and Antarctica are melting off, and our planting seasons are shifting.
According to NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show, the ice in Greenland shrunk by an average of 286 billion tons yearly from 1993 to 2016, while Antarctica’s shrunk by 127 billion tons. And what’s more? The ice in Antarctica is currently melting 2.5 times faster.
We have all the facts and signs, and do not need any astrologer to tell us what they mean. The disaster of climate change is coming quickly upon us and it is mandatory that we do something about it, after all, this is our only home until Elon Musk secures somewhere else on Mars. The reality is that active steps must be taken, both of the front of international politics and personally.
The United Nations have come up with sustainable development goals to tame the issue, but more can be done. Green businesses should be encouraged and those that cause issues for the whole of humanity should be burdened. A clean and safe world is the surest way to insure the continuity of our specie.