Global warming is one of the biggest crises of our generation, and with Joe Biden’s recent reinstatement of the US into the Paris Climate Accords, it serves to know just what the new US President, along with many other world leaders, are fighting for. With that in mind, here are some of the most surprising facts that you may not have known about Global warming.
10. Global Warming Effects
The effects of global warming are visible all over the place but are not just limited to what we see aboveground. The effects are seen underwater too, through a process called ‘coral bleaching.’ Scientists have confirmed the process is linked to rising oceanic temperatures, which are in turn linked to the gradual warming of the planet.
Coral bleaching leads to the death of many corals, and could, in turn, lead to a severe offset in marine ecosystems. More about the process and how it occurs can be read on the official website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
9. Rising Sea Level
It’s been noted that somewhere around 100 million people in the world are currently living in three feet of seawater, caused by a rising sea level which is perpetuated by the warming climate and melting of glaciers. This puts thousands of coastal communities around the world at primary risk of global warming.
8. Carbon Dioxide
37 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) is released on an annual basis due to human activity, according to a 2020 study. In fact, since the infamous industrial revolution that had passed in the 1700s, the total level of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased by an entire 34%.
By making certain areas of the world much hotter, global warming also contributes to the easier spread of diseases in these areas. Certain insects as the malaria-spreading mosquitos in Africa may be able to travel to new places of the world, as global temperatures continue to see a gradual rise. In this way, global warming could impact the spread of diseases to new areas.
A 2015 study has revealed that vertebrates are gradually creeping towards extinction at a rate that’s 114 times what it really ought to be (this includes humankind). This is something that can be slowed down but is inevitably being propelled by global warming. In fact, at least a million species have gone extinct due to global warming’s link to habitat destruction and the loss/imbalance of delicate ecosystems, and a million more are at risk.
5. Health Threat
A rather large number of scientists have begun pointing towards climate change and the pressing crisis of global warming as the biggest latent health threat to humanity during the 21st century, due to its ability to harm all of humanity across the entirety of the globe. This has been indicated by the annually published Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. An acknowledgment of global warming as our most pressing crisis is an acknowledgment of all the accompanying dangers it presents.
A heatwave and a hurricane aren’t so far removed within the realms of causality – in fact, both of those weather events along with plenty of others that can be defined as ‘extreme’ have been frequently proven by scientists to be connected to global warming. This is according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with many others. Such extreme weather conditions known for destroying coastal communities and causing thousands of dollars’ worth of property damage will only become more frequent as the climate continues to change.
In 2007, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had found that by the end of the century, overall sea levels could see a rise by as much as 7-23 inches. This sort of sea-level rise could damage several coastal communities and potentially destroy many others. Another factor contributing to global warming’s status as the largest threat to humanity this decade.
Even if we were to fully hop on board the solving of the crisis now, it would still take several decades to entirely eliminate global warming as a problem, according to NASA. This is due to the fact that such gasses as CO2 and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) take many years to leave the Earth’s atmosphere once they reach it. This means that once these greenhouse gasses are released, they’ll continue to have an impact for generations to come. In fact, in some cases, the gasses may remain for anywhere between 300-1000 years.
1. Coral Bleaching
Climate change, along with all of its effects, may become entirely irreversible by the time 2030 comes around. This is due to the rapid loss of ecosystems, as well as the continued rise of global temperatures. According to the IPCC, it’s by 2030 when global temperatures have the potential of rising above 1.5 Degrees Celsius, and would thus become irreversible as several foreseeable catastrophes may proceed to take place. Coral bleaching and wildlife habitat destruction being the least among these disasters.
There’s hope, even despite all these rather distressing facts. The IPCC added that global climate emissions would need to lower by a total of 45% in order to avoid total disaster. And with the Paris Climate Accords in full swing, with the US back on board, it’s only a matter of time before a more comprehensive plan is put together.
In the meantime, here are some things that you can contribute to help with the task of culling the tide of global warming. Because in the end, it’s about all of us – and only a mutual effort can really help to solve the biggest crisis of ur generation.