On the last promotion of his movie in Tokyo, “The Revenant”, Leonardo DiCaprio slammed Republican presidential candidates for their policy towards climate change. According to the famous actor who is one of the most active environmentalists in recent years, American cannot afford a president who doesn’t believe in climate change. That being said, the time for acting on climate change is rapidly passing by.
Some 10 years ago, leading experts on the field were saying there is still time. Nowadays, the urgency is to act now, and sooner rather than later. Last year in November, more than 150 world leaders met in Paris to discuss climate change. During the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, American president Obama, Chinese president Xi Jinping and French President Hollande all made an appearance. That being said, let’s take a look at some facts regarding climate change that are scary, grim and require our immediate attention.
If everyone in the world lived in the same way as people in the United States do, it would be nearly impossible to provide resources for all humanity. At the moment, five countries, one of which is the United States, are responsible for 50% of the global emission of CO2. The last data from 2010 showed that we produced nearly 34 billion metric tons of CO2. The world produces CO2 from cement production, gas flaring and fossil-fuel burning.
Since we as humanity started keeping track and record of global temperature in 1880, we’ve never had a year as hot as 2014. It was the hottest year in history, surpassing previous records in 2010 and 2005 by 0.07 degrees. Hot spots included almost all of Europe, eastern Russia, western United States and northern Africa.
At the moment, according to predictions, the global sea level will rise for 7 to 23 in inches in average. The problem will be even more challenging considering the fact that almost half of the population in the world lives within 40 miles of the sea. More than half of the large cities in the world are located on the coast.
Going back to those sea levels that are expected to rise, nearly 70% of the world population will be affected. The last report showed that rom 1901 to 2010 the global sea levels rose by 0.62 feet, and the trend will continue in the upcoming years. Some effects expected due to high sea level include infrastructure damage, flooding of cities and coastal erosion.
Researchers with the help of computer models data stimulated climate change, and the results are devastating. In the next 30 years, or by 2040, the Arctic might lose all of its ice. The result will be the first ice-free summer in the history of the Artic. September 2040 is the date that the scientists expect will be the day the Arctic loses all of its ice. It all depends on us, since the situation can be avoided if we stop pumping gasses at the current rate.
California is one of the states in the United States that will be hit hardest due to climate change. In the following years, scientists believe that almost the whole state, or 99.84% of it to be precise will be under extreme drought. Even now, California is experiencing extreme drought, with 2013 being the driest year in the history of California. The crops suffered, and the prices of some foods sky rocketed.
At the moment, water scarcity affects 10% of the world’s population. One in 10 people is affected, and the extreme weather patterns due to climate change will result in more droughts. As a result, our water supplies will be compromised.
Like it or not, more than 250 million people will be forced to move from one place to another by 2050. If the global warning continues with the same pace, additional six million people will flee their homes. Because of natural disasters, millions of people are leaving their homes every year. The numbers state that in 2012, more than 32 million people were displaced.
Earth overshoot day is considered the day in which our consumption of goods reaches the maximum of the good and resources we produce. Or in other words, the day we consume more than we produce. In 2015, that day happened in August, which is a lot sooner than previously. For comparison, in 2000, the Earth overshoot day happened in October. With the current rate, we can expect overshoot day to happen by the end of June by 2030. The problem is more alarming at the world’s greatest countries and superpowers. For example, Germany, UK, China, Japan and the US consume two times the amount they produce.
Scientists warn that in the following years we will see many species extinct because of climate change. Loss of habitat and weather factors will contribute greatly, and we’ve already had the first victim, the golden toad.
At the moment, the internationally agreed global warming temperature is 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. And while it looks easy on paper, it will be much more challenging to achieve in the following years. Emissions need to be slashed dramatically to succeed in the goal, but with the current rates, we pump more gas to reach the critical level in 20 years. Scientists warn that in order to keep the global warning to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, we will need to cut the gas emission between 40 and 70% in the next 35 years, and reach 0% by 2100.
People try to raise awareness in a different way. We all have our ways for raising awareness. Some organize public events. Some make donations. And some go on a trip. Andr...