Our Planet is Heating Up Fast – It’s Not Too Late to Change Course
Today, the Earth is much hotter than it was just 200 years ago. And sadly, we are seeing extreme impacts of that warming across broad landscapes, affecting wildlife and people around the globe.
HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
RISE IN SEA LEVEL
Global average sea level has risen by about seven to eight inches since 1900. Rising seas endanger coastal cities and small island nations by exacerbating coastal flooding and storm surge, and contributing to more dangerous weather events.
Changes in water temperature cause algae to leave coral reefs, turning reefs white and making them vulnerable to disease and death. This is a phenomenon known as coral bleaching. Mass coral bleaching events have become five times more common worldwide over the past 40 years. The longest and most widespread global coral bleaching event occurred from 2015 to 2017.
A WARMING ARCTIC
The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on earth, and ice-free summers could become a reality as early as 2040. Over the past 30 years, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by a stunning 95%.
Heat waves are occurring more often than they used to in major cities across the United States. The average heat wave season across 50 major cities is now 45 days longer than it was in the 1960’s.
Floods are the most common natural hazard in the United States. Global floods and extreme rainfall have surged by more than 50% this decade and are now occurring at a rate four times higher than 1980.
Limiting the increase in global temperature is our best chance of securing a safer future for all, preventing even more damaging consequences. By keeping the rise to 1.5° C (2.7° F), we can make a world of difference for our planet.
All of us must make a commitment to reduce emissions and help communities adapt to the impacts of a rapidly warming world.
(The above article is provided courtesy of the World Wildlife Fund)