10 Shocking Facts About Climate Change
Here are ten potentially mind-blowing, shocking, or fascinating facts about climate change. Do with them what you will:
The last time the Earth's atmosphere had as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as it does now was three million years ago. This was a time when sea levels were up to 65 feet higher and the Arctic was completely ice-free.
According to NASA, the ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. This is a clear indication that the Earth is getting hotter at an alarming rate.
Rising temperatures are causing glaciers and ice caps to melt at an unprecedented rate. The Greenland ice sheet alone has lost 3.8 trillion tons of ice since 1992, and the rate of ice loss is increasing every year.
Climate change is causing more frequent and severe natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and droughts. In fact, the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and typhoons have increased by almost 50% in the past 30 years.
Rising temperatures are causing coral reefs to die off at an alarming rate. Since the 1980s, 50% of the world's coral reefs have already been lost, and it's estimated that the rest will be gone by the end of the century.
Climate change is causing ocean currents to shift, which is leading to more extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods. This is also causing changes in marine ecosystems, which will have ripple effects on the entire planet.
Rising temperatures are causing permafrost to thaw, which is releasing large amounts of methane gas into the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is 84 times more powerful than CO2 in the short term.
Climate change is causing animal populations to decline, as they struggle to adapt to the rapidly changing environment. This includes polar bears, which are losing their sea ice habitat, and bees, which are critical pollinators that are struggling to adapt to rising temperatures.
Rising temperatures are causing the world's oceans to become more acidic, which is having devastating effects on marine life. This includes causing the shells of shellfish and other marine creatures to dissolve, which is leading to widespread die-offs.
Climate change is not just an environmental issue, but also a social justice issue. The world's poorest and most vulnerable populations are the ones most affected by climate change, despite contributing the least to the problem. This includes people in low-lying coastal areas, as well as those living in regions affected by drought and desertification.
These are just a few examples of the many ways that climate change is affecting our planet. As environmental activists and experts, it's our responsibility to spread awareness and take action to address this urgent issue.