The world is getting hotter, an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius to be exact. No, this doesn’t mean an end to cold weather in your particular neighborhood. In fact, it can sometimes have the opposite effect, pushing cold polar air down toward where the people live. Scientists have been warning us of this for decades to no avail, but now it seems that the earth has reached a point of no return. At this point we can only slow it down and deal with the consequences, which will be many.
For starters, over the next century we can expect to see the level of the oceans rise more than thirty centimeters. This will affect all manner of sea life. Corals will be subject to bleaching and die off and there will be fewer fishes to catch for food. It will also affect the rain forests. Biodiversity will decrease and trees will die, off gassing carbon and leading to a compounding of the climate change problems.
This will affect the way we live all over the planet. Agriculture will be less productive and the water supply will be more sparse. Caribbean nations that depend on the sea for tourism and fishing will be hit especially hard. Heat related deaths will soar over the coming decades as the earth experiences sustained dangerous temperatures.
There will also be dangerous storms in increasing frequency over the coming decades, leading to property damage and loss of life. We’re locked in to the climate change we’ve created already, but we do have the power to stop future climate change from happening. We can tax carbon emissions, reduce subsidies for fossil fuels, increase efficiency, develop renewable resources, improve agriculture, and build cities with efficiency in mind. It’s not going to happen overnight, but every small change we make is a step in the right direction. Learn more about how climate change will affect the global economy from this infographic.