Climate change is a problem.
Higher Temperatures – Scientists project the average surface temperature of the Earth will raise 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Centigrade (2.9 to 11.5 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.
Changing Landscapes – With rising temperatures, ice is melting, the ocean is rising and vegetation is changing around the world.
Wildlife at Risk – Scientists predict that one-fourth of the Earth’s species will be extinct by 2050 if warming continues at its current rate.
Rising Seas – Sea levels are rising due to melting of glaciers. Estimates are sea levels could rise from 4 to 36 inches in the next 100 years. Worldwide, approximately 100 million people live within three feet of sea level.
Increased Risk of Drought, Flooding and Fire – With higher temperatures, an increasing amount of moisture evaporates from land and water leading to drought in many areas. These dry areas are significantly more susceptible to fires. And when rain does fall, areas previously impacted by drought are far more vulnerable to floods.
Stronger Storms and Hurricanes – Research indicates that it is more likely than not that climate change raises the probability of an increase in both the number of storms and their severity.
Heat Related Illness & Disease – As temperatures rise, so do the risks of heat related illness and even death for the most vulnerable human populations. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that climate change may have caused more than 150,000 deaths in the year 2000 with increases likely in the future.
Economic Losses – A British Government Report indicates climate change could cost between 5 and 20% of the annual global gross domestic product. The same report estimates it would take 1 percent of GDP to lessen the most damaging effects of climate change.
Ocean Acidification – The oceans act like a sponge to draw down excess carbon dioxide from the air. This might seem like a good thing, except if CO2 goes into the oceans too quickly, it can deplete the carbonate ions that corals, mollusks and some plankton need to thrive.
Next Page: “It isn’t too late to change!”