Climate change will have major impacts on almost every fundamental aspect of human survival: Access to water, agriculture, fishing, food & hunger, health & disease, land (as in, the amount and quality of it), and terrestrial and marine ecosystems & biodiversity Our societies are finely tuned around the status quo of each of these. Hundreds of millions live in low-lying port cities. Subsistence farmers are experts in growing the crops that grow in their current climate. The survival of billions depends on access to fresh drinking water from rivers, glaciers, and other natural sources.
All from “2 degrees of change.pdf”
SOURCES: NOAA, the Met Office, Chart: Economist (we could recreate this)
Source: NASA, Climate Safety
Caption: Former local ski and mountaineer guides of Chacaltaya pay homage to the former glacier, outside La Paz, Bolivia.
Source: World Glacier Monitoring Service
We are already seeing an increase in sea levels which is impacting coastal communities across the globe. Houses are literally falling into the sea in some coastal areas of Alaska.
All from “2 degrees of change.pdf”
-But many effects of climate change can be seen at the global level such as flooding and drought. -Between 1950 and 2000, almost all continents saw a skyrocketing increase in major floods
All from “2 degrees of change.pdf”-Climate change is already killing 150,000 people per year from the increased spread of diarrheoa from dehydration, malaria and other diseases carried by insects, and malnutrition from loss of agricultural growth. This number also includes the increase in deaths from extreme weather events like Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. or the heat wave in 2003 that killed 20,000 people in Europe.
From the Current Warming” and “Future Warming” sections of the Two Degrees, One Chance document (“2 Degrees of Change.pdf”).
-Food production is threatened by climate change because of reduced land area in coastal regions as well as a lack of potable water. -As glaciers become smaller, water runoff decreases, which is especially important during the dry season when other water sources are limited. Climate change also brings warmer temperatures and earlier water runoff from glaciers, and this, combined with spring and summer rains, can result in flood conditions. (USGS Geological Survey, Glaciers Retreating in Asia Could Impact Water Supplies for Millions and Cause Flood Conditions, Released: 8/25/2010)
Source: The Climate Hub, http://www.theclimatehub.com/topics/the-problem/impacts/extinctions?resource=overview
All from “2 degrees of change.pdf”Climate change will have dire consequences for the ocean and marine habitats.Sea level rise from glacial melt will impact coastal areas, reducing surface area of land more so than current measurements. It will also contaminate fresh water supplies necessary for drinking and agriculture and harm coral reefs which cannot grow fast enough to stay in the photic zone (the area of water that gets enough sunlight for them to live).Ocean acidification will have immediate impacts on marine habitats, including the plants and animals in the impacted areas.It will mean death to the vast majority of coral reefs in the world, forcing many marine species extinct- Sea surface temperature increase will affect plants and animals in upper water by shifting their natural locale towards the poles. As surface temperatures increase and become mixed with fresh glacial melt water, ocean waters will stratify, impacting the mixing of water and nutrients. This will impact natural ocean habitats and surface currents like the ENSO effect, as well as deep water currents like thermohaline circulation.
Climate change will undoubtedly increase its impact on our socioeconomic sector such as the rising costs of food, fuel, and water.
-In 2006, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a 700-page report compiled for the British government, was released, detailing the effects of global warming on the world economy. The key take-away of this report is that the costs of climate change in the future will be far greater than the costs of mitigation now. -Climate change could sap anywhere from 5% to 20% from the global economy by 2100, and global warming could inflict worldwide disruption as great as that caused by the two World Wars and the Great Depression.
It’s easy to get bogged down with the negative impacts of climate change. But we must stay positive and take the steps towards finding solutions and improving future outcomes. To learn about real solutions we can implement, check out the “Solutions” module.
Impacts module final
[Impacts]<br />We know climate change is happening (and it could get a lot worse)<br />
Overview<br />Climate change is real, and it’s happening now<br />What’s in store for the future?<br />
Climate change is real and it’s happening now:what are some examples?<br />
SOME THINGS ARE ALREADY CHANGING IN VERY REAL AND MEASURABLE WAYS, LIKE:- TEMPERATURE- ARCTIC SEA ICE- GLACIERS- SEA LEVEL RISE<br />
The top ten hottest years on record have all been in the past 15 years<br />
The Arctic is currently warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world<br />Between 1979 and 2007, the Arctic lost over 40% of its ice<br />
Glaciers are also melting before our eyes<br />
"For the Carteret Islanders, we cannot wait any longer because the islands are shrinking. When it's high tide, we can see salt water bubbling out of the land."<br />Photo: Toby Parkinson/Oxfam<br />-Ursula Rakova, landowner on Huene Island, now divided into two smaller islands and disappearing fast<br />15<br />
Weather patterns are already changing: HAVE YOU BEEN NOTICING “WILD WEATHER” IN YOUR COMMUNITY, OR AROUND THE WORLD?<br />
MAJOR FLOODS PER DECADE<br />number of major floods per decade<br />
Cambodia: "In the last three years we have experienced unpredictable floods. We plant but we can't harvest; it has never happened like this before,” said Mom Mayas, a 47-year-old mother of six.<br />“After being hit three years in a row I have no money left to buy seeds to plant next year. I have very little hope now, but I am doing whatever I can so the rest of my children can go to school and maybe have a better life."<br />Photo: Jack Picone/Oxfam<br />More stories: www.oxfamamerica.org<br />
Scientists are now observing twice the number of tornadoes in the US in April<br />
The Amazon has just gone through its second “100-year drought” in the last 5 years.<br />
“The fact remains that there is 4 percent more water vaporavailable both to power individual storms and to produce intense rainfall from them. Climate change is present in every single meteorological event, in that these events are occurring within a baseline atmospheric environment that has shifted in favor of more intense weather events.”<br />- Michael Mann, climate scientist at U Penn<br />
In other words…<br />As the atmosphere heats up<br />It holds more moisture<br />And produces more intense storms.<br />
By some estimates, extreme weather caused by climate change is already killing 150,000 people per year<br />
2<br />What’s in store if we don’t act now?<br />
Let’s be clear: We are headed for a 4 degree+ world right now<br />Chart showing:<br />0.76 deg C warming now<br />1 deg Celsius warming if we stop emitting NOW.<br />2-3 deg warming by 2060 if emissions grow at current rate<br />5-6 degree eventual temperature increase under “business as usual”<br />
To give you an idea of where we are currently headed, a world with a 3-4 degree Celsius rise in average temperature would see impacts like:<br /> in Africa, 75–220 million people would face more severe water shortages by 2020<br />In Central and South Asia, crop yields are predicted to fall by up to 30 per cent<br /> By the 2050s in Latin America, 50% of agricultural lands are very likely to besubjected to desertification andsalinization<br />1.5-2.5 billion more people worldwide exposed to Dengue fever<br />50% decrease in water flowing through rivers in the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and parts of South America, producing water shortages for millions<br />
Many regions of the world will experience severe drought<br />A1B Storyline. Red and Pink = “severe drought.” Blue is wet relative to 1950-79 mean.<br />
Droughts will have major impacts on our ability to grow food(Source: William Cline, Center for Global Development)<br />% Change in Productivity<br />
THE DISRUPTION OF FOOD PRODUCTION<br />“<br />-What we're coming to understand is that of all the horrible things human beings have figured out to do, nothing will repress more people more powerfully than removing the basic physical stability of the planet that the poorest and most vulnerable people depend on in order to get their daily bread.<br /> ”<br />– Bill McKibben, activist, author, environmentalist, and co-founder of 350.org<br />
Our ecosystems: Scientists estimate climate change could wipe out 20-30% of species worldwide by the end of the century.<br />
Impacts on the ocean<br />Sea level rise<br />Ocean acidification<br />Sea surface temperature increase<br />Change or halting of ocean currents <br />
Implication of 1 meter rise<br />Nile Delta 2000<br />Nile Delta with 1 meter sea level rise<br />IPCC-AR4: “0.18 – 0.59 m by 2100”<br />Post-AR4: “0.8 to 2.4 m by 2100“ (Hansen: “several meters“)<br />32<br />
A HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS AND INSTABILITY<br />“<br />Climate change could force 1 BILLION from their homes by 2050.<br /> ”<br />- April 30, 2008, The Independent.<br />
It Will THREATEN GLOBAL STABILITY:<br />“<br />Climate change will draw ever-deeper lines of division and conflict in international relations… over the distribution of resources, especially water and land.<br /> ”<br />- Report: World in Transition<br />
STERN REVIEW, 2006<br />“<br />The most comprehensive review ever carried out on the economics of climate change warns that global warming could inflict worldwide disruption as great as that caused by the two World Wars and the Great Depression.<br /> ”<br />- Environmental News Service<br />
Again, we could see impacts much worse due to possible feedback loops and tipping points like:<br />The desertification of the Amazon rainforest<br />Melting of the Greenland ice sheet<br />Melting of West Antarctic ice sheet<br />Methane release from massive permafrost melt<br />Monsoon shift in India<br />
One example: the Collapse of the Amazon Rainforest<br />Scientists predict significant reduction to the amount of rainfall over the Amazon Rainforest<br />This will cause a positive feedback between stressed plant life and CO2 release<br />The Amazon will no longer be able to absorb as much CO2<br />The Amazon contains 50% of the world’s biodiversity<br />
But there’s reason to hope:<br /><ul><li>We have the solutions to cut emissions
We have the ability to organize a movement </li></li></ul><li>More information<br />Grist Denier argument FAQ<br />World Health Organization<br />Oxfam International<br />IPCC Website<br />Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change<br />