Climate change is now widely regarded to be one of the biggest threats humanity has ever faced. If the climate changes too much, large parts of the earth could become uninhabitable. Thankfully, there’s still time to avoid this nightmare scenario.
If we work together, we can reduce harmful emissions and save the planet from disaster. Are you still not convinced? This article lists some compelling climate change statistics that show how critical the climate crisis is.
There’s More Carbon Dioxide in the Air Than Ever
In recent years, studies have found that there’s more carbon dioxide in the air than ever before. This is bad climate change news as this much carbon dioxide is not desirable.
Of course, carbon dioxide is a natural part of life on earth. Trees and other plants produce it, and without it, life on planet earth would not be possible. The problem arises when we have too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide enters the atmospheric bubble that surrounds the earth and traps more heat from the sun. Eventually, this means that the temperature on the planet starts to rise.
Eventually, this fundamentally changes the climate of the planet. Countries close to the equator will become much hotter, and living there will become a lot more difficult.
Too much carbon dioxide can also have a significant impact on plants and wildlife. For example, when there’s too much carbon dioxide in the air, soybeans lose their natural defenses against pests.
Excessive amounts of carbon in the atmosphere could have a devastating impact on the planet, so it’s important that we work together to reduce it.
2020 Was the Second Hottest Year on Record
While 2020 will forever be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it should also be noted that this was the second hottest year since records began.
The top 10 hottest years have all occurred in the last few decades. The increased temperatures have a dramatic impact on humans. For example, in places like Western Europe, the summers have been much hotter than usual.
This can be hazardous to people’s health. The houses in this part of Europe were simply not built with heatwaves in mind. During a heatwave, it becomes very difficult for Western Europeans to cool their houses and offices.
Generally speaking, people in Western Europe don’t use air conditioning, but because of the rise in temperatures, that’s starting to change. While installing AC might be a short-term solution, running AC isn’t friendly to the environment.
The more people use AC in Europe, the greater the continent’s carbon footprint will become. In hotter countries such as Spain and Italy, the heat has started to get incredibly dangerous. In these regions, droughts and forest fires are becoming more common.
If the planet continues to get hotter, many places in the world where millions of people live will become very difficult to live in.
11% of Emissions Come From Deforestation
Forests are great for fighting climate change. This is because trees can trap and store carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere. When forests are destroyed by things like logging and fire, the global warming statistics get much worse.
Unfortunately, deforestation is still increasing throughout the world. For example, in Brazil, large parts of the Amazon rainforest are often cut down for resources such as palm oil.
The world’s forests are responsible for storing a huge amount of carbon. In fact, there are probably centuries worth of carbon stored in all the world’s forests.
Since the year 2000, the world has lost around 10% of these forests. If this keeps up, a lot more carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, many of these forests exist in less economically developed countries. These countries tend to be less concerned with long-term climate change. Instead, they’re more concerned with collecting resources from forests.
In the future, there will need to be more international cooperation regarding the preservation of the planet’s forests.
Nature-Based Solutions Only Get 3% of Climate Funding
Despite the vital importance of natural solutions such as planting more forests, these kinds of solutions only receive around 3% of climate funding. For example, tropical forests are particularly effective at trapping and storing carbon.
Generally, these nature-based solutions fall into four distinct categories. The first is forestry-based solutions. These involve either planting new forests or allowing existing forests to regrow. This might also involve improved forest management, which will allow existing forests to grow bigger.
The second category is wetlands-related practices. This involves restoring areas such as coastal peatlands and mangroves. These kinds of areas are capable of storing large amounts of carbon dioxide, so it’s important that they’re looked after.
The third category is restorative agriculture. This is when farmers switch to more sustainable farming practices that result in less carbon dioxide emissions. For example, this might involve improved livestock management.
Finally, there are ocean-based practices. This involves improving ocean ecosystems so they can store more carbon dioxide. For example, we might restore seagrass meadows.
In the future, we should explore these ideas more. After all, nature is capable of storing and removing huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Companies such as Climeworks are working on these kinds of solutions.
July 2021 Was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded
While 2020 was one of the hottest years ever recorded, July 2021 was one of the hottest months. These exceptionally high temperatures can cause a lot of problems throughout the world. For example, in Europe, many mechanical bridges seized up and were unable to open or close because of the heat.
Around the world, crops failed, and many people were hospitalized due to lethal “wet bulb” temperatures. This is when the temperatures get so hot that the human body can no longer cool itself through sweating.
If this trend of temperature increases continues, expect to see a lot of these problems in the years to come. Many countries will need to adapt to deal with the hotter summers.
11% of the Population are Vulnerable to Climate Change
11% of the population is vulnerable to climate change. That works out to be around 815 million people. Hotter parts of the world will become more and more dangerous to live in. If the temperatures increase enough, we might see a mass exodus of people who live near the equator.
This kind of migration will put a huge strain on the services of the receiving cities and countries.
Coastal Mangrove Store Ten Times More Carbon Than Tropical Forests
Only 0.7% of the world’s forests are coastal mangroves. These mangroves are exceptional from a climate perspective because they’re capable of storing as much as ten times more carbon than other kinds of forest.
Despite the importance of these mangroves, there isn’t much of an international effort to restore and maintain them. In the future, we will need to develop international partnerships and agreements to maintain these exceptional pieces of nature.
Saving Nature is More Cost Effective
When looking at global warming news, one thing is clear. Saving nature is almost always more cost-effective than human-made interventions. For example, coral reefs are very effective at protecting coastlines. Human-made seawalls are also effective, but they’re expensive to produce.
It’s always cheaper to maintain an existing coral reef than it is to try and build an artificial wall. There are many examples of this kind of logic in various types of climates.
If we want to minimize the effects of climate change, we’ll absolutely need to focus on nature-based solutions. Not only will these solutions reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, they’ll also help to make the planet a more pleasant place to live.
It Will Cost 0.2% of Global GDP to Address the Climate Crisis
While it might seem like solving climate change would be a massive undertaking, the reality is that the costs of doing nothing are much higher. Some experts believe it would take just 0.2% of global GDP to properly address the crisis.
The trouble is that we need to enhance our cooperation with each other. The more countries start working together, the easier it will be to tackle the crisis.
These Climate Change Statistics Show We Need to Act
As you can see, the climate is changing rapidly. If we want to maintain the planet for future generations, we need to take decisive action now to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
To do this, we should cooperate and focus on natural solutions whenever possible. Are you interested in reading more about some other topics related to the climate? In that case, check out the rest of our blog posts.