Eight Climate Change Facts That Will Shock You
We’ve heard a lot of things concerning climate change and global warming, and it seems like we’re in store for a very bleak future ahead of us. It’s not strange to think that we’re experiencing some of the effects of the sudden climate shift, from large and more powerful hurricanes to the west coast were experiencing fires that last months through drought-parched lands.
Even our seasons have been affected, temperatures soaring high when the summer hits while extreme snow conditions during the winter. One thing is for sure, things are changing, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better unless we work together to balance it all out.
If you're not convinced that it’s as bad as it may seem, we’ll provide eight climate change facts that will shock you. In the end, you’ll be left to consider what factors are seriously affecting our climate and ecosystem and what steps you can take to help reduce your carbon footprint.
The United States Uses A Lot of Resources
Statistics claim that a child born in the United States will create up to thirteen times more ecological damage over their lives than someone living in Brazil. People who live in the United States comprise just five percent of the population, and they are also responsible for over half of the world’s solid waste.
A lot of the waste that’s attributed to the United States more or less comes from their love of independent car ownership. In many countries, it’s more fashionable to bike or use public transport to get them where they need. However, in America, there’s only a small percentage of individuals who will use public transportation and an even lower rate who bike.
If every country in the world lived as Americans do, we would use up over five times the number of resources that our earth can provide.
Temperatures Are At Record-Breaking Levels
2016 marked the third year in a row for record-breaking heat and every year the following suit broke the previous year's record. As time progresses, we can expect that the temperature will rise two and a half to ten degrees over the next century.
At the rate that this has progressed over the years, many scientists believe that the repercussions following the temperature hikes will last a long time. We’ve seen the slow destruction of glaciers since they were first seriously charted in 1979 by three to four percent every year.
The rising temperatures don’t only affect our oceans and glaciers. The warmer the temperatures rise, the lower the number of reported crop yield for farms. This temperature hike endangers 20 to 30 percent of animal and plant life which could drive them into extinction.
Our food sources would very quickly deplete, and scientists have even speculated that a food shortage crisis could be the next problem we face.
There’s Not A Scientific Debate About Global Warming
Scientists are usually all too eager to rise to challenge theories and discoveries. When it comes to climate change, however, 97 percent of scientists agree with each other that climate change is genuine and it’s advancing faster than it would naturally.
Through rigorous study of climate change patterns in the past, many climate experts agree that it’s only getting worse and most of the quick advancement to warmer climates is at the fault of humans. This position has been endorsed by several leading scientific organizations publically.
Climate Change Will Spark Refugee Crisis
Sadly this aspect of global warming is already taking place in today's world, and it’s frequently brought up in politics today. According to a recent report, 21.5 million people are experiencing displacement due to changing climate and climate-based weather problems and have been since 2008. These hazards account for events such as:
- Extreme Wildfires
- And extreme temperatures
These extreme weather conditions also work as a threat multiplier in countries and areas that are under threat from ongoing conflict. Not only does the climate change help start the desire for conflict in general, but it also tends to make it harder for those who experience displacement as a result.
Oceans Will Rise Faster Than Ever Before
Thanks to the rise in temperature averages that result with the ice caps melting and warmer waters expanding under this new heat, Oceans are expected to rise faster than they ever have in the last 2,000 years.
What’s worse is that they aren’t just rising at a steady rate. The Ocean is growing faster than previously expected and is not likely to increase 26 inches by 2100. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s enough water to have a significant impact on coastal regions.
Earth’s Overshoot Day Gets Closer And Closer
If you’re not familiar with the term “Earth Overshoot Day,” it’s a day that happens annually where humanity’s consumption of various goods exceed the resources provided by the earth. Every year, that day gets closer and closer, this year's Overshoot day fell on August 1st.
At the current, we’re using one and a half times more than the earth can produce in resources in one year. This is measured by taking the resources we need to eat, grow food, build and survive and weighing it as our footprint and compares it to what is known as a bio-capacity.
Areas labeled for bio-capacity are places like forests, land for growing crops, grazing areas, and rivers for fishing needs. As long as there is a balance to what we take and what the Earth can replenish, then we are making the proper amount. Unfortunately, that has not been the case lately.
Humanity's ecological footprint takes up 60 percent of the world's resources. This isn’t only a costly problem, financially speaking, this also will significantly impact the resources that we’ll have in the future. The possibility for food shortages is a reality that is closer than many realize.
Over Two-Thirds Of The Great Barrier Reef Is Dead
Rising temperatures and acidity levels in the ocean have spurred on a large scale die-off of the great barrier reef in Australia, the most massive die-off occurring during 2016.
While scientists have recently discovered that this kind of event has happened at least five times in the last 30,000 years, they’re concerned that the rate the die-off is occurring will do more long-term damage.
What causes the corals to die off? Corals are sensitive life forms, utilizing a form of photosynthesis to survive thanks to the algae that live within coral tissue. When conditions become unideal or even hostile for survival, they will expel these algae in their systems as a last ditch effort to survive.
This process turns the corals white, which makes them weaker. Scientists believe that once a coral has undergone such a horrible ordeal, they’re not likely to recover. Losing the great barrier reef will displace many native species of fish and turn that area into a silent wasteland.
Global Flooding Is a Thing
Scientists have predicted that the number of people who will be affected by flooding in their area will triple by the time 2030 rolls around. Monsoons and Hurricanes have been progressively worsening as the year's pass, and it’s only expected to get worse.
Individuals who live near large rivers will also be at risk thanks to climate change per the World Resources Institute. In Ireland alone, over 2,000 people face flood risks every year; by 2030 that number is expected to skyrocket up to 48,500 people. That means that in only twelve years, Ireland is looking at an 80 percent increase in people affected by flooding.
It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way
It’s hard to see the bright side regarding any of this when it comes to the state of our planet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s important to recognize what you can do to reduce the impact that you make on the planet and encourage others that you know to do the same.
Your vote counts, any time a new bill regarding the use of green energy is on the line, you can make your voice heard and voted for renewable energy. Reaching out to your politicians can inspire new ideas on how to better our use of valuable resources and what steps can be taken to reduce and reuse.
You can do a lot at home as well. Recycling anything that you possibly can and cutting back how often you use your car would make a more significant impact than you realize. Renewable containers and the advent of reusable straws reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills and reduces the chances of harming animals who get ahold of these products.
This doesn’t have to be our future. We don’t have to subject ourselves to food shortages and droughts as long as we’re mindful now about how to make the world a better place. It all starts with you and your contributions to recycling and using less so that the planet can balance itself once again.