Facts About Climate Change
Climate change is not limited for study to scientist and researchers alone. Today even the common man wants to be extremely aware of the climate change effects and contribute the best way he can to save himself and the earth at large. Here is what you can learn all about climate change – from facts to prevention.
What is Climate change?
Due to combustion of fossil fuels, the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been increasing alarmingly. All these gases have been present in the atmosphere to keep this planet warm for the existence of human life. Since last few decades and mostly due to industrial revolution, the presence of these gases in the atmosphere has accumulated steadily resulting in enhanced greenhouse effect.
As a result, world’s average surface temperature has increased by around 0.6 degrees Celsius over last 100 years. The changing climate patterns have already made significant impact on our planet. Melting of polar ice caps, change in rainfall patterns, increase in frequency of hurricanes, storms are few of the adverse effects of climate change. Scientists predicted that due to ongoing activities contributing to global warming, the average global temperature could increase between 1.4 and 6 degrees Celsius in the 21st century.
Below are 35 facts about climate change
Fact 1: The global temperature on an average has increased by 0.6 to 1 degree Celsius till the 20th century.
Fact 2: The United States constitutes 5% of the world population and contributes to 22% of world’s carbon emission.
Fact 3: Around 15% of the carbon released in the environment is due to deforestation and change in use of land.
Fact 4: The golden Toad is the first species to go extinct due to climate change.
Fact 5: Vehicles like cars and truck contribute to 20% of carbon emissions in the United States.
Fact 6: Air conditions and heating elements consume 50% of electricity in America.
Fact 7: Hurricanes, droughts and coral deaths are few of the natural disasters caused due to climate change.
Fact 8: Climate change enhances the spread of pests that causes life threatening diseases like dengue, malaria, Lyme disease etc.
Fact 9: The hottest years have been experienced since 1990 till 1997. The warmest years have been from 2005-2010.
Fact 10: The number of climate change related incidents have increase four fold between 1980 and 2010.
Fact 11: Land use change and deforestation contributes to 15% of carbon emission every year.
Fact 12: The climate change scenario was much stable before the industrial revolution and has been rapidly changing since then. Today the reality is that climate change is going to get worse than yesterday.
Fact 13: A separate budget of US$ 40 million has been allotted for climate change research since 1990.
Fact 14: Due to the greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the earth is 15 degrees rather than -18 degrees without the greenhouse effect.
Fact 15: Carbon dioxide constitutes only 3.6 % of total greenhouse gases out of which 0.12% is attributed to human activities.
Fact 16: Carbon dioxide is not the only contributing gas towards climate change. Other gases like methane and nitrous oxide are far more dangerous than carbon dioxide alone.
Fact 17: The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a leading body fighting against climate change. This body is a political organization however and not a scientific body.
Fact 18: The Kyoto Protocol, an organization formed to analyze and fight against climate change will cost more than 100 trillion dollars thus making developing and underdeveloped communities to participate.
Fact 19: According to World Food Program (WPF.org), by 2015, the number of people affected by climate change disasters could reach 375 million per year.
Fact 20: Over the last 50 years, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increase by 30% due to burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and other gases, trapping more heat in the lower atmosphere.
Fact 21: The rising temperatures will cause more deaths not due to natural reasons but as a result of overheating and rapid spread of deadly diseases.
Fact 22: Classic examples of climate change can be seen by the damages causes due to heavy rains and disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Fact 23: Above 600000 deaths occur worldwide every year due to climate change. 95% of these deaths take place in developing countries.
Fact 24: Climate change can have serious health impacts such as heat stress, extreme cold which can cause major deaths due to heart diseases.
Fact 25: In 2003, around 70,000 deaths have occurred in Europe alone due to diseases caused by rising temperatures.
Fact 26: Pollen and aeroallergen high levels also lead to rising temperature. This can cause asthma which effects 300 million people worldwide.
Fact 27: Climate change is rapidly causing coastal flooding and displacement of people. Floods further cause major damages by injuring and killing people. They can even cause deadly diseases by spreading infection and vector borne diseases.
Fact 28: Due to water shortages, the transportation of water will cause it to contaminate and make it even more deadly by spreading diseases.
Fact 29: Malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition are diseases are water borne diseases that have caused more than three million deaths since 2005, one third of these deaths are in Africa.
Fact 30: Steps to reduce greenhouse gases can help save the negative health impacts. Promoting safe public transportation and active activities like walking or use public transport can help reduce carbon emissions. This can also help to cut down traffic, air pollution and thereby reducing cardiovascular diseases.
Fact 31: Various countries have taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This has led to positive health effects. Promoting green transportation and car pooling can help to reduce carbon emissions and improve public health.
Fact 32: Depending upon the carbon emissions, a rise in temperature from 1.1 degree up to 6.4 degree is expected by the end of this century.
Fact 33: Over the next 20 years, global warming is expected to increase by 0.2 degree per decade.
Fact 34: The effects of climate change can have a disastrous impact on our planet Earth. High temperatures, loss of wildlife species, increase in sea level, changes in rainfall patterns, heat waves, stronger storms, wildfires and shrinking of arctic ice are few of the dangerous effects of climate change.
Fact 35: According to a recent report by Oxfam, climate change could push food prices by 50-60 percent more by 2030.
The horrifying impacts of climate change are definitely a nature’s way to indicate that the worse is yet to come. Human beings can be called ‘men of wisdom’ only if we are prepared and already taking action to save the world from such terrible effects of climate change.