Climate change can seem like a scientific term that is so far away from our everyday reality. But, it’s time we realize that it’s not. Notice how hot it keeps getting over the summer? That’s climate change, and it’s affecting our everyday lives. The air we breathe, the weather, nature surrounding us, and the entire planet at large are at stake if we don’t act now before it’s too late.
According to National Geographic, “Climate change is the long-term alteration of temperature and normal weather patterns in a place. This could refer to a particular location or the planet as a whole. Climate change is currently occurring throughout the world as a result of global warming. Global warming is an increase in the planet’s overall temperature due to the burning of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal. Burning these materials releases certain gases into Earth’s atmosphere. These gases trap the heat from the Sun’s rays inside the atmosphere, causing Earth’s average temperature to rise.”
Knowledge is power and in celebration of National Wildlife Day on September 4, we want to arm you with facts about climate change, including what humans are doing to contribute to it, the effects it’s having on Earth, and what you can do to help fight climate change right now.
July Was the Hottest Month on Record — Ever
Some people need facts before they believe that climate change is an actual thing. Well, here’s a glaring one. July 2019 was the hottest month in recorded history, a.k.a the last 140 years, when temperatures were first noted. Temperatures are just going to get higher and higher unless we really address and combat climate change.
Alaska Reached 90 Degrees and Greenland Lost Billions of Ice
Here are more facts that bring home the truth that is climate change. According to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in Anchorage, Alaska, temperatures hit 90 degrees for the first time. In Chennai, India, a whopping 9 million people are running out of water. Greenland has lost an unfathomable 250 billions of ice and the fires in the Amazon are attacking where the entire planet gets 20% of its oxygen.
Animal Agriculture is a Contributor
It’s hard for us as individuals to accept that some of the things we do are contributing to damaging the earth. But think about it: if we all eat meat all the time, or all use plastic straws every day, those things add up when you’re talking about billions of people doing the same thing.
Animal agriculture is a definite contributor to the climate change problem. In order to reduce it and the greenhouse gas emissions that come from it, it is advised to lower or eliminate completely, your consumption of meat.
Food is Losing Nutrients Due to Climate Change
Climate change affects way more in our everyday lives than we realize.
Did you know it affects the food we eat? According to Planature, plants are taking in more CO2. This, in turn, leads to more starch being made, which can possibly affect its nutrients. This means you are then getting fewer health benefits now from the same foods you’ve been eating for decades.
If the Temps Keep Rising, the Arctic Won’t Have Ice in 2040
You may have seen photos of polar bears clinging on to melting glaciers or swimming from one piece of disappearing ice to another. They are victims of the ever-melting ice due to climate change and global warming.
If things keep deteriorating at the rate they’re going and the current rate of global temperature rise continues, there will be no ice left in the Arctic by 2040.
Single-Use Plastic is a Contributor (How You Can Help)
Single-use plastic is another contributor to climate change. These days, it’s easier than ever to make that shift towards utilizing reusable products, like shopping bags, water bottles, straws, utensils, and more.
With each item you get, you are saying yes to one product that you can use again and again, and no to thousands of plastic products that are damaging the planet.
At Least 40% of the World’s Species Are Being Threatened
According to a report by the World Conservation Union, at least 40 percent of all the species in the world are being threatened. Global warming is partly to blame.
Some of the animals who are in danger of disappearing forever because of it include koalas, giraffes, polar bears, sea turtles, and penguins,
Deforestation is a Contributor
Deforestation completely devastates the areas in which it happens, displacing wildlife, causing greenhouse gases to be released (anywhere from 10% to 24% of the world’s emissions), and just upsetting the balance of overall balance of nature. In fact, according to the Earth Day Network, it is the second leading cause of global warming.
There Has Been an Increase of Heat-Related Deaths
Global warming is causing temperatures to skyrocket everywhere. People who are allergic to heat or sweat, are heat intolerant, or have other heat-related/exacerbated illnesses will find consistently rising temps especially problematic.
Other Ways that Humans Contribute to Global Warming
There are ways that you can start addressing these issues, like eating less meat, buying less, using less electricity, not using products that contain aerosol, and more. The most important thing on this list is having the ability to change — change your perspective and change your actions.
Climate Change Causes Natural Disasters and Displacement
We are seeing the devastating side effects of global warming and climate change — floods, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, heat waves, and more. These events sometimes destroy the areas they hit, displacing the people who live there, and making them “climate refugees.” According to @curious_pantha, by 2050, there will be one billion victims of climate change.
Less Freshwater Will Be Available
Another horrible side effect of global warming and climate change is that since the glaciers of the world will continue to melt, there will be less fresh water available for the world to drink. According to Lonely Polar Bear on Instagram, these glaciers provide approximately three-quarters of the planet’s freshwater.
The concentration of CO2 is the Highest in 3 Million Years
We are at a point where everyone needs the brutal facts about climate change and global warming to be laid out, in plain sight. This post lists all the atrocities that are happening to our environment and it also includes the scary fact that as of 2018, the CO2 levels are the highest they have been in 3 million years. Let that sink in.
Start Saying Goodbye to Avocados, Christmas Trees, and Dry Wine
The Lonely Polar Bear Instagram account (@lonelypolarbearstore) drops several bits of knowledge when it comes to ways in which we are messing with the earth’s climate. You will find that at the rate at which we are going with its destruction, we can look forward to a decline in avocados, Christmas trees (due to the now-thriving pine bark beetle), and light dry wines.