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8 Really Bad Climate Change Facts And What We Can Do About Them Today

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8 Really Bad Climate Change Facts And What We Can Do About Them Today

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Trend Alignment in Your Business

Climate change is a long-term process. Many people in the world aren’t able to witness its damaging effects. Nonetheless, signs of damage from climate change are starting to become more visible.

What can be done to slow down or potentially revert the damage that’s done to our planet’s atmosphere?

The European Environment Agency lists climate change as one of the biggest trends in the world. It’s a trend that may affect livelihoods, economies, and ecosystems in unimaginable ways.

In this post, part of our series on global megatrends, we’re taking a deep dive into some of the drivers of climate change and we’ll consider a list of truly shocking statistics about climate change.

What is climate change?

Climate change, a term often used simultaneously with global warming, is defined as a long-term change in climate patterns around the world.

Climate change is spurred on by human activities and greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning fossil fuels. Activities like agriculture, deforestation, and industrial manufacturing all contribute to emissions and, therefore, climate change.

The cumulation of all the greenhouse gas emitting activities causes vast amounts of carbon dioxide or methane to be released into the atmosphere, which heats the Earth up.

Some of the common characteristics of climate change include:

  • Increased global surface temperature;
  • Increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves;
  • Increased upper ocean temperatures;
  • The loss to arctic sea-ice; and,
  • Rising sea levels.

The effects (or even existence) of climate change have been debated by scientists, experts, and conspiracy theorists for decades. One thing is for certain – there have been numerous observable consequences to the Earth’s climatic behaviour that support climate change.

Here are some of the most eye-catching facts about climate change, derived from the International Panel on Climate Change’s 2013 report:

  1. Carbon dioxide concentrations are on the rise. Since the year 1750, CO2 emissions have increased by 40 percent. Most shocking is that the majority of that increase has happened since the 1970s when energy consumption experienced large increases.
  2. Scientists studied ice cores to compare current carbon dioxide concentrations with historical levels. They found that current CO2 concentrations are higher than they’ve ever been in the last 800,000 years.
  3. The sun hasn’t gotten any hotter. It’s a common myth used to debunk climate change but there have been no observable changes to the sun’s energy output that could create the effects we’ve experienced from climate change.
  4. Combined, the Earth’s land and surface temperatures have warmed. Between 1880 and 2012, global temperatures have risen by around 1-degree celsius.
  5. There are more hot days and nights than ever before. These occur when temperatures exceed the 90th percentile of climate activity compared to mid-20th century averages.
  6. Ice and snow cover across the world has decreased due to warming. In the Arctic, the amount of ice that sticks around in the Summer has decreased by around 40 percent since 1979.
  7. Droughts are becoming more common and are getting worse. These effects are felt the most in the Mediterranean and parts of Africa.
  8. Global sea levels are on the rise. They’ve risen by 20 centimetres since 1901 due to melting ice sheets. Water also expands when it gets warmer, known as thermal expansion, which only further increases sea levels.

The impacts of climate change

These observable trends cause many impacts on all life on Earth. Trends such as temperature increases, droughts, and rising ocean levels are only expected to continue. Century-long predictions for these phenomena are troubling. The International Panel on Climate Change declared that continued global warming will have severe and irreversible consequences in most world regions.

The impacts of climate change touch on many fields of study. There are repercussions for biology, economics, social wellness, and the humanities. If left unchecked, climate change could change the course of human history.

So far, observed repercussions, brought on by climate change, are extensive:

  • Loss of ecosystems and plant life;
  • Increased risk of animal and plant extinction for species that rely on land or fresh-water;
  • Decreases to the fishing potential of once-popular commercial fishing areas;
  • Decreases to food security as droughts carry risks of agricultural collapse;
  • Dampered economic growth and losses to industrial productivity;
  • Increased risk of flooding for many major coastal cities.

This is but a small list of the potential impacts that climate change can have on the world around you.

Worse yet, the most vulnerable human populations such as those living in impoverished conditions are the ones who will suffer the most from climate change effects.

Fighting the effects

Humans have a responsibility to counteract the negative effects that their behaviours have on the environment. Luckily, public awareness of climate change has grown. Governments and agencies around the world are coming together to take action in the face of such a severe global trend.

There is room for policymakers and scientists to work together on developing sustainable solutions to help lower carbon emissions. However, the complex arrangements that make up our political, scientific, and social structures make it difficult to enact the amount of change required to substantially curb the effects of climate change.

Despite this, two popular methods have emerged in order to address climate change:

First, mitigation is all about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The best ways are to replace carbon-based production with renewable energy sources like solar or wind power.

To play your part as a consumer, you can increase your household energy efficiency or drive less. Eating local foods also reduces the financial and environmental cost of shipping foods around the world.

The second method for dealing with climate change, adaptation, is about changing lifestyles in order to live alongside changes that are irreversible. These techniques involve making improvements to agriculture and other industrial technologies to produce more with fewer resources or energy usage.

Adaptation also involves the efforts of policymakers and experts alike to design conservation and lifestyle plans to help increase our ability to live in more sustainable ways.

Looking for more information about global megatrends? The next in our series is about environmental pollution.

Series Navigation<< The Pressured Global Ecosystems And The Innovations That We Could Use To Protect ThemWhy We Need to Understand The Types Of Environmental Pollution and What Causes This Perpetual Catastrophe >>

20 thoughts on “8 Really Bad Climate Change Facts And What We Can Do About Them Today”

  1. I really like this article and I think it is our responsibility as a human race, to fight off climate change, especially because it has been a result of our negligence to our environment. We definitely need lots of new innovation towards protecting ecosystems, forests and animal life. What more could we be doing to as a society to highlight the importance of green energy and sustainable living?

  2. We have to start to think a new way to create ideas how to stop having more damage in our atmosphere. We need to be more associative in nature as soon as we can.

  3. This is where Innovation can come in. Climate change is no easy issue but hey we can always use knowledge to at least help the planet in this battle. In reality I always look at it as natures way of of telling us to be better. Innovation can be beneficial if used correctly.

  4. I wonder atimes how to make money from my idea even with Increased global surface temperature that brings about Increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves. Money still needs to be made with all these climatic changes

  5. We all need to create ideas about how to revert the damage that we’ve caused for many years and it’s causing climate change problems and effects.

  6. Oyeyipo Oladele

    If you are passion able enough, new Product development will ring to all aspect of you. The effect of climate change will surely be worker on to be controlled. Thanks for this good post.

  7. Mariz Tina Mispenas

    Climate change as to what we refer as global warming. Problem solution that is now happening to us. Many factors can cause this but our role is to prevent this from happening. We should be responsible for every action we dos to our planet, our ecosystem and our world.

  8. All aspects of commercial activity should do all they can to help deal with the issue of climate change. This should cut across the board including product design.

  9. The process of physical product development should be scrutinized in all companies to ensure they are within the environmental standards. Thanks for the informative piece.

  10. I salute the hard working Scientists of our world. They are relentless in their quest to create ideas that will help with our biggest challenges like climate change.

  11. It is sad that in the quest for idea commercialisation some businesses are willing to believe conspiracies that say climate change is not real. Let’s hope we see a change.

  12. Legislation should be enacted for New product development in the UK to ensure they don’t impact negatively on the climate. I am also heartbroken that some people believe climate change is a hoax.

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