Why climate change is a problem | 1-min explanation

Due to the industrial revolution, CO2 levels are over 33% higher than any point in the last 800,000 years. This causes more extreme wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, floods and more.

David Head
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Show Notes

Wildfires in northern CA in 2020

Why climate change is a problem

Negative effects of climate change range from wildfires (like California’s in 2020 and Australia’s in 2019), to stronger hurricanes, droughts, and sea level rising.

Small temperature shifts have major effects on the environment. To illustrate, a 2% change in temperature will either put NYC under ice or under water.

From: Elon Musk’s Carbon Tax proposal at The Sorbonne

Roughly 40% of the human population lives on the coast. These cities (below) will be increasingly at risk of flooding in the coming decades.

From C40’s Staying Afloat, the Urban Response to Sea Level Rise

Evidence climate change is accelerated by humans

Over 97% of climate scientists agree that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”

Earth’s temperature changes due to a greenhouse effect and CO2 is a primary contributor to this.

You can determine historical CO2 levels by looking at ice cores. It’s also reinforced by evidence from tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and sedimentary rocks.

From: The San Diego Union Tribune’s: Drilling holes in ice sheds light on future

There currently is over 33% more CO2 in the atmosphere than any point in the last 800,000 years. (Homo sapiens arrived ~200,000 years ago)

From: climate.nasa.gov

Now zooming in on the last 150 years, after the industrial revolution, you can see that not only are CO2 levels higher than they’ve ever been, they’re still accelerating.

From The Conversation

We’ve already increased the average global temperature by 1 degree over the last 100 years.

Similarly to how the Coronavirus spread started small, then rapidly accelerated to the point it could only be controlled through extreme measures, we’re at the point where we need extreme measures to control this greenhouse effect and CO2 levels.

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