No one should need more proof than this.
Earlier this year, the United Nations Environment Programme released another alarming report on climate change. It categorically stated that there are no credible pathways to meet the 1.5 degree Celsius target. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said, “We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster.”
This came ahead of COP27, the annual Conference of Parties that was held in Egypt last month. The goal of the conference was to assess commitments by countries on climate mitigation and adaptation, and transition to cleaner energy sources. But the pledges are not ambitious enough, and the countries are failing to meet their commitments to keep the temperature from rising more than 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Now, why is it important to stop the temperature from climbing more than 1.5 degrees? The earth is already 1.1 degrees hotter than during the pre-industrial period, 160 years ago. Right now, the race is to stop it from rising more than 0.4 degree Celsius by the end of the century—a scenario that seems unlikely. According to the UN statement, the world is on track to see a rise in temperature between 2.4 and 2.6 degree Celsius by 2100. This will be catastrophic.
Even at 1.5 degrees Celsius, 14% of the population will experience heat waves at least once in five years. This statistic goes up to 37% with 2 degrees warming. Coral reefs will decline by 70-90% at a 1.5-degree projection and 99% at a 2-degree projection. At 1.5 degrees, sea level rise would affect 510 million; at 3 degrees, 800 million will lose their homes. Read this interactive guide by The Guardian on how the Earth is already becoming unliveable and how it’s going to get worse.
If we breach the 1.5-degree red line, every part of the world will see unimaginable disasters. Sea levels will rise further, low-lying areas will be flooded more, animal species will become extinct, mass migration will happen, and extreme weather events will become common.
Look at what’s happening in the world right now, and one can deduce that things will 100% get worse if we don’t control our carbon emissions.
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Dead Coral Reefs
The vivid, colorful, and complex ecosystem of coral reefs supports 25% of all marine animals. If you have ever seen documentaries on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or dived off the coasts of Caribbean or Pacific islands to see this underwater world, you know there’s more than just beauty here. They provide livelihood and food to locals, and also defend our coastlines—their annual global contribution is estimated at $375 billion.
Around 50% of the world’s corals are dead; the carcasses of gray left behind are evidence of their once dazzling existence. Overfishing, ocean acidification, global warming, and pollution is killing more, and marine creatures continue to lose their habitats. By 2050, as much as 90% of the corals will be gone.
Melted Floating Ice
Glaciers store 2.1% of Earth’s water. The largest ice mass is Antarctica (91%), followed by Greenland (8%). Ice sheet collapse in Antarctica and Greenland are major tipping points of climate change—these are the points of no return that will make the Earth unstable for its inhabitants.
Thus, floating ice at both poles of the globe is definitely worrying.
According to NASA, Antarctica is losing 150 billion tons of ice every year, and Greenland is losing 280 billion tons annually. 2019 saw a record melting of glaciers in Greenland—532 billion tons of ice bled into the sea, raising the global sea level by 1.5 millimeters. The Conger ice shelf in east Antarctica collapsed in 2020.
If all the ice caps and glaciers on Earth melted, it could raise the sea level by 230 feet—coastal cities will be completely annihilated.
Related: Antarctica Has Become a Popular Destination. But Should You Actually Go?
Shriveled Water Bodies
The Great Salt Lake in Utah has shrunk 22 feet since 1986. But it’s not the only reservoir to meet this fate: Lake Powell in Arizona, Lake Mead in Colorado, Lake Chad in Central Africa, Cerro Prieto Reservoir in Mexico, Lake Poyang in China, Lake Techirghiol in Romania, Lake Urmia in Iran, and the Dead Sea in Jordan are all drying up. The Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan shrunk considerably, but the North Aral Sea in Kazakhstan has been revived while the South Aral Sea has dried up.
Global warming, droughts, and over-extraction are some of the reasons why locals are losing their lifelines and fish are losing their homes.
Now on the other hand, water levels at Lake Victoria in Africa are rising. The Great Lakes in Canada are also swelling up. Bhutan, too, has a network of glacial lakes and as the snow melts due to the rising temperature, these are at risk of flooding the communities.
Homes Submerged in Water
India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Chad, Cameroon, and Mali are just some of the countries in the world that have experienced devastating floods this year. Extreme weather events are displacing communities, increasing food insecurity, and spreading diseases. With rising temperatures, these pictures of submerged homes and rescue efforts on boats will be more frequently seen in news stories.
Burnt Houses and Dead Trees
In 2022, at least 362,232 acres burned in California. The Mosquito Fire was the largest wildfire of this season and it blazed through 64,000 acres. Every year, the wildfire season is getting longer and flames engulf houses, neighborhoods, and communities. Heatwaves and wildfires were also witnessed in Europe this year—a record-breaking 1,630,000 acres of land was scorched. Forests in Morocco and Algeria also suffered vastly due to wildfires.
The land in East Africa is parched. The Horn of Africa–Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia–is facing the worst drought in four decades and food insecurity and malnutrition is a heart-chilling reality in this part of the world. Around 22 million people are facing starvation and 1.1 million have been forced out of their homes.
The dry weather is also causing droughts in Italy, Romania, Portugal, and the U.S., and water scarcity is leading to crop failure. The forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon are also getting worse each year—these are started by humans to clear the forests—and trees are dying in Germany.
Related: It’s Terrifying How Hot It Is in These 8 Places Around the World
Why is everything proof global warming is true? Any honest scientist will give their hypothesises 2 outcomes: if A is true, that proves my theory, but if B is true, it disproves my theory. Why do you NEVER see the negative proof published? For example, if the Great Barrier reef has survived much warmer temperatures than currently projected? (it has). Or say the total amount of ice on earth (glaciers and polar caps) has net increased? (it has). And why do all solutions being offered demand communism and putting people back to a standard of living over 100 years ago? If it is as desperate as stated, we should be pushing for nuclear power now, while technology catches up for alternative "green" options.
The "negative proof" is never published because the climate change scientists are financed by $22B in green grants. What else are they going to say, other than we're doomed? This country was covered by ice at one point, in the Ice Age. Far more area than the Artic, but the Artic was bigger then too. So, what happened when all that ice melted? And what made it melt? Had to be global warming. Fires? First of all, lightning caused fires on our uninhabited continent happened all the time, and only rocky areas or rain would stop them. Now, people have built homes in forest areas, and their underbrush has been neglected. Recently, a large storm hit the California coast, south of San Francisco. The Climate Change gang jumped all over the amount of damage to buildings in coastal towns, and the logs and debris on their beaches. The Mercury News shortly thereafter showed photographs from 1926, with the same kind of damage---and mentioned another big storm in 1913, with the same results. The CC group doesn't know what the word "cyclical" means.