“It’s a collective endeavor, it’s collective accountability and it may not be too late.” – Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
Climate change poses a fundamental threat to our planet
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC, the net damage cost of climate change is predicted to be disastrous over time.
Global warming is the greatest cause of the extinction of species. IPCC declared that a 1.5°C average rise in temperature could endanger the lives of 20-30% of species and force the ecosystem to majorly struggle.
Read about these 5 long-term effects of global climate change to inform yourself and others.
Frost-free season (and growing season) will lengthen
Since the 1980’s, the duration of the frost-free season is increasing with each passing year. The Western region of the United States experiences the largest notable change, with a longer growing season each year as well. Needless to say, the effects of global warming affect agriculture tremendously.
If we can take fast-action on a global-scale to reduce global warming emissions, then we may be able to see the frost-free season go back to it’s natural state. Scientists believe that if heat-trapping gas emissions continue to emerge like this, frost-free seasons will increase to a month longer than usual by the end of the century.
Changes in precipitation patterns
Average rainfall in the United States has been increasing by 5% annually since 1900. There is a mixture of areas which have seen decreases and increases. The northern part of United States now experiences greater winter and spring precipitation than the Southwest. It is estimated that this climate trend will continue with increasingly heavy precipitation over time.
More droughts and heat waves
As a result of shifting rainfall patterns and rising temperature, droughts and heat-waves are occurring at an increased scale simultaneously. Summer temperatures keep rising, and soil loses its moisture as the result of increasingly present heat-waves. The central and western regions of the U.S. suffer more than other areas from heat-waves in the summer. According to scientists, at the current rate of global warming, the hotter regions of the U.S. will experience extreme heat-waves once per every two years, instead of the normal rate of once per 20 years, by the end of this century.
Hurricanes will become stronger and more intense
In some respects, climate change and natural disaster walk hand-in-hand. One of mother nature’s most destructive forms, hurricanes or tropical cyclones, have been gaining frequency since the early 1980’s. The category 4 and 5 hurricanes, along with North Atlantic hurricanes, that we’ve seen with greater frequency, duration and intensity in recent years are the results of climate change in the United States. However, the root causes behind these growling monsters are determined by an array of factors, some unrelated to climate change.
Sea levels are predicted to rise 1-4 feet by year 2100
Since 1880, scientists have been keeping records on the sea levels. They have declared that the global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since then. At present, the rate of the rising sea level is occurring at 0.08mm annually. Scientists predict it will rise another 1-4 feet by the year 2100. Due to global warming, massive arctic glaciers are melting which is increasing the amount of water in the sea. The expansion of seawater due to the increasing heat levels is another reason behind the rising sea levels. It is projected that sea levels could potentially be seen increasing by 1 centimeter per year by the end of this century.