The Earth as We Know It: Climate Change in 2020
Whether social reforms or a worldwide pandemic, the state of our world is always in the midst of change. As relentless wildfires spread in parts of California and Australia, an increase of flooding in the central U.S, and higher temperatures and droughts in several regions it is evident there is one change that is very consistent: climate change.
According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, six in ten Americans are now either "Alarmed" or "Concerned" about global warming. This number has more than doubled in the last five or so years. Looking at the state of the world through an environmental lens only further emphasizes why these concerns exist and are valid. Here are recent insights and statistics related to climate change:
1. According to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, July 2020 has tied for second-hottest July on record for the globe at 62.06 degrees Fahrenheit, the Northern Hemisphere saw its hottest July ever — surpassing its previous record high set in 2019. These temperatures spread across parts of southeastern Asia, northern South America, and across the western and northern Pacific Ocean, the northern Indian Ocean, and parts of the Caribbean Sea.
2. Recent data obtained from dozens of climate models and measurements suggest that climate change has impacted up to 20% to 55 % of The Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Ocean basins. In just 60 years, human-induced change in temperatures and salinity could spread to 80% of the oceans. These changes in temperature and salinity ultimately affect ocean circulation which could be harmful human and wildlife ecosystems/societies.
3. Since 1994, 28 trillion tons of ice have disappeared from Earth's surface. Greenland’s ice sheets (the world's second-largest ice body) have hit a point of no return – no amount of snowfall could replenish the loss ice. If global warming stopped today, the ice sheets would keep melting. This directly affects coastal cities and will refigure the majority of the world's coastlines.
These are just a few overarching facts about the current state of the world as we know it regarding climate change. The silver lining is many countries, local governments, businesses, and national leaders are responding to this call for action. Sustainability efforts are being made, but it is also a collective effort worldwide needed to win this particular fight.
For more information on climate change here are a couple of resources and articles:
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