Whether you believe it or not, the fact of the matter is, the world is experiencing climate change. In the past two decades alone, we’ve experienced evitable climate change if we just prepared and took the signs seriously when they first materialized. The increasing industrialization of the world drives demands like no other, which in turn, is the result of the increasing population. This alone is a major precedent of climate change.
In this article, we’ve collated nine of the most fascinating global warming facts you should know. Read each one to educate yourself as well as your loved ones about the effects of increasing temperatures all over the world. For you to be a more conscientious citizen of the world, doing your part in alleviating the situation should be a priority. Here are nine facts you need to know about global warming:
1. Droughts are more common now because of increasing temperatures
Global warming has a lot of effects, one of which is the increasing frequency of droughts all over the world. One of the most depressing drought facts that have since been realized in the last few years is that droughts have become more commonplace all over the world. While droughts are natural occurrences in some places, some areas shouldn’t experience one without the precedence of global warming.
Because the world has been experiencing increasing temperatures at alarming rates, certain countries like China and parts of South Africa have recorded longer droughts than normal. In essence, droughts can never be predicted, and the duration of how long one will last is seldom forecasted with accuracy.
2. Nine out of the ten recorded hottest years in history by NASA occurred since 2000
NASA has 134-year data on how the temperatures in a particular year and a whopping nine out of ten years belong to the years the 2000s and up. The warmest year so far was 2015, and all the other entries in the list are years after 2000, with 1998 being the only one from the ’90s.
This means that in the last two decades alone, temperatures worldwide fluctuate by season, but they’re still the warmest in known history by a fair margin. But that’s not all; scientists are predicting that the next decade will be hotter until we reach hot peak temperatures by the 2050s.
3. Global warming doesn’t just happen because of too much carbon dioxide
Most people don’t realize that global warming isn’t just the result of too much carbon dioxide emissions. Air pollutants, as well as greenhouse gases, are also major reasons why global warming is becoming more intense year after year.
4. The USA contributes to at least 25% of carbon dioxide pollution
The major contributor to carbon dioxide pollution among nations is the United States of America. Recent statistics show that while the country has improved its levels from 2004 to 2015, it’s still not enough to make up for the minimum 25% of all carbon dioxide pollution they release each year.
5. One of the most common effects of global warming is heat waves
In the last decade, heat waves worldwide have been recorded at a more alarming rate and frequency, with more and more people becoming sick or dehydrated by just staying outside. There’s also a worrying trend of heat waves becoming longer at a time.
Heatwaves are particularly worrying for people with underlying conditions like diabetes. It’s also a threat to younger people, as well as lighter-skinned individuals who are more prone to acquiring skin cancer. Heat-related illnesses like fainting, heatstroke, as well as exhaustion, have also been observed more frequently in major cities worldwide.
Related: Heat dome explained
6. Global warming threatens the life of coral reefs
One of the more dangerous side effects of global warming is its direct effect on marine life, especially coral reefs. When rising sea levels and thermal stress are experienced in oceans, incidences of coral bleaching arise. With sedimentation becoming a major problem, chances of coral suffocation and infectious diseases among corals are expected.
Global warming also contributes to ocean water acidification, which directly hits the proper growth of reefs and other corals. When this happens, the ocean becomes warmer, which means fish and other sea creatures will have to adapt to their changing environments or they’d die.
7. Coal-burning power plants are the biggest emitters of air pollution
As mentioned above, air pollution is one of the major causes of global warming, and coal-burning power plants are the biggest culprits that emit these dangerous gasses. Coal burning is a necessary evil in terms of industrialization, and while some countries have put up environmental laws to lessen coal burning, we still have ways to go before truly making a difference.
8. Global warming brings in more powerful hurricanes
Extreme weather is another consequence of global warming. More powerful hurricanes, heatwaves, droughts, and heavier precipitation are only four of the most commonly experienced weather changes. In the last two decades alone, humankind has experienced some of its worst devastations in terms of typhoons.
With the world’s oceans becoming warmer, tropical depressions can pick up more energy. This means that a supposed category 1 tropical storm in the last few years could turn out to be category 2 or 3 if it forms today.
9. Rising sea levels will wipe out cities in the next few decades
With glaciers melting, rising sea levels will soon eat shores, make tides deeper, and eventually start to wipe out whole cities. The number of glaciers that have shrunk in the last ten years is far greater than the recorded numbers aggregated from 30 years ago.
Melting glaciers increases seawater levels by mere centimeters, sure. But give it a few years and that’s enough to sink a whole island. While people are reclaiming land areas from seas and gulfs every year, with glaciers melting left and right, we will see entire cities getting submerged in the near future.
Global warming is real. That much is true. While we need to do everything we can to lessen progress, one of the most effective ways to curb it is to lead a life with a lesser carbon footprint. That means lesser use of automobiles, as well as practicing farm-to-table eating choices, and choosing green alternatives whenever possible.