They say that facts don’t lie, we agree. Climate change is a serious conversation that we all need to have, today. The easiest way to understand just how serious this issue is is to take a look at facts about climate change.
From rising average temperatures to extreme weather events to shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts continue to emerge as humans continue to emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Yet, we’re still not taking the matter seriously enough to do something about it.
Here are 12 bone-chilling climate change facts that will hopefully get you into action to address it.
1. Climate change is real and man-made
Enough with the debate on whether climate change is real. There there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real. 97 percent of climate scientists worldwide agree that climate change is real and is caused by human activity.
We are producing so much pollution that it’s causing climate change and the effects of this change are dangerous now and will become much more dangerous in the future if we do not take action.
2. We have just 10 years to reverse the worst impacts of climate before they become irreversible
The UN reported that we only have 10 years to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. We need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 to avert the worst climate impacts.
3. The past 22 years have been the warmest years on record
Climate change facts by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) show that 20 of the warmest years on record have occurred in the last 22 years. 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 recorded the highest temperatures since 1880. Temperatures in 2019 haven’t been any good either.
4. The oceans are getting terribly hotter
As the temperatures continue to rise over the years, the oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat. Oceans have shown warming of more than 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
5. Erratic weather patterns causing havoc everywhere
Erratic weather patterns have been witnessed in the recent past. For instance, precipitation has shot up all over the world but some regions are experiencing more severe drought. Heavy rains, floods, and disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes have become more prevalent leaving deaths and destruction of property in their wake.
6. Ice is melting rapidly
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased extensively. Data from NASA shows that Greenland lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016. Antarctica ice mass loss tripled in the last decade with a reported loss of 127 billion tons of ice.
Related article: Why Are the Polar Ice Caps Melting?
7. Glaciers retreating all over the world
Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world including in Alaska, Himalayas, the Alps, Andes, Rockies, and Africa. Read this article on glacier melting facts to see for yourself.
8. Sea levels doubled in the last two decades
Global sea level rose by about 8 inches in the last century thanks to global warming. Facts about global warming revealed that the rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century and is going up every year.
Rising sea levels increase the risk of coastal flooding causing injury and death as well as increase risks of infection from water and vector-borne diseases.
9. Unpredictable rainfall patterns compromising the supply of freshwater
Only 2.5 percent of the Earth’s water is fresh and safe for consumption. The amount of freshwater is depleting faster than we can replace it especially now that rainfall patterns have become unpredictable. Globally, water scarcity already affects four out of every 10 people.
10. Greenhouse gas emissions up by 30%
The amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has increased by 30% over the last 50 years. This is a result of human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels. 11% of all global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation, which is as much as that of all of the cars and trucks on the planet.
11. More than 1 million species are at risk of extinction by climate change
While extinction is a natural phenomenon, claiming about five species per year, some experts believe we’re in the middle of the sixth mass extinction—one that is caused mostly by human activity. We’re losing nearly 1000 times more plants and animals to climate change.
Going by recent facts about climate change, we are at risk of losing half of all amphibians to extinction due to climate change if we don’t act soon. By mid-century, almost 50 percent of the total species found on Earth will have disappeared. Yes, it’s that bad!
12. Addressing climate change will strengthen the economy
Reversing the effects of climate change will not only save our planet but will also drive economic growth. On the other hand, if we continue to ignore climate change more than $40 trillion could be lost by 2060.
Simple efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will also directly lessen the health impacts of climate change. For instance, if we give up cars for more active movement—such as biking or walking—we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve public health by reducing air pollution and associated respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
We hope that with these climate change statistics we’ve helped you have a better understanding of just how bad things are all matters climate concerned.
So what are you going to do about it? Will you wait 10 years for things to get out of hand to take action or will you start today?
Thanks for stopping by. If you interesting in reading more about the impact we are having on our environment also check out our article on eco-friendly stats.