How will climate change affect us?

Climate change has affected sea levels and the intensity of storms and heatwaves [1,2,6]. Let’s look at these in more detail.

Heatwaves are becoming more common and intense [6]. July in 2019 was the hottest month on Earth since measurements began in 1880 [3]. This was due to summer heatwaves being more extreme than they would have been without humans altering the climate [4,5].

Although certain droughts have become more severe and more likely to occur due to climate change [7], there is limited evidence that droughts have already become more severe and common overall [8,9]. However, it is agreed that this will be the case in the future due to climate change [10,11,12]. See our posted image [12]!

The last 5 years have seen an average global sea level rise of 5mm per year [1]. This may seem like a small change, but it is already having destructive effects [13] – for example flooding in Bangladesh [14] (swipe!).

But how will this extreme weather affect us and wildlife on Earth? We’ll find out in the next post!

References

[1] https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=9936 Within report see: Ocean and Extreme Events

[2] https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/report-findings/extreme-weather See: Heavy Downpours, Hurricanes, and Other Storms

[3] https://www.noaa.gov/news/july-2019-was-hottest-month-on-record-for-planet See: Climate by the numbers, and Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events July 2019

[4] https://www.worldweatherattribution.org/human-contribution-to-the-record-breaking-july-2019-heat-wave-in-western-europe/ Within this article see: Key findings, bullet point 5

[5] https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/july-matched-and-maybe-broke-record-hottest-month-analysis-began See: Climate change and heatwaves, and paragraph starting ‘The latest figures are particularly significant…’

[6] https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2012GL053361

[7] https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-how-climate-change-affects-extreme-weather-around-the-world See: Human Influence, Droughts (‘Of the 46 drought events considered in published studies, 65% found that climate change had increased the severity of the event in question, or the likelihood of it occurring’)

[8] https://wg1.ipcc.ch/presentations/Sbsta_drought.pdf See: E.g. Summary

[9] https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11575#ethics See: E.g. Abstract

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