Pollution and Climate Change

Pollution and climate change has begun to negatively impact all of us, and it’s only going to get worse.

An Inconvenient Truth 

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Pollution and climate change has begun to negatively impact all of us, and it’s only going to get worse. 

 

Droughts, floods, extreme heat, increased temperatures and other climatic effects may result in reduced agricultural productivity, increased erosion and pollution, threatening us and our food supply.

 

Persisting pollutants in soil, water, and air contribute to climate change, which in turn, can bring about devastating impact on all life forms.

Hotter

When carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere, it acts like a blanket, preventing heat from escaping. This buildup of CO2 leads to one of most obvious impacts of climate change. We are living in a hotter world.

Higher temperatures are linked to other severe impacts of climate change, including more frequent and intense heat waves, widespread crop failures, and dramatic shifts in animal and plant ranges.

 

Extreme heat, weather that is much hotter than average, has also become increasingly common due to the direct impact of a warming planet. If left unmanaged, it will become even more intense in the years to come. This has serious implications for people, communities and infrastructure. Severe heat is not just bad weather as it kills many people every year.

 

The world’s vulnerable populations, i.e. those with the least resources and options, will suffer the most.

 

If carbon emissions continue to increase, by the end of century, hotter temperatures will be experienced by every country with some parts of the world experiencing extreme temperatures.

Image by David Law
Frozen Land

Wetter

The sea level is rising. As the world gets warmer, ice sheets and glaciers melt, and ocean water increases. Rising sea level can disrupt and damage coastal communities and infrastructure in virtually every sea-bordering country in the world.

 

Estimates vary, but if pollution and emissions continue to rise, the world could potentially be experiencing up to eight feet of sea level rise by the end of this century. The Gulf of Mexico and East Coast of the United States are experiencing the fastest rising sea level. Elsewhere, entire island nations face the possibility of going underwater. It is not just coastal areas; climate change is also linked to heavier and more frequent rainfall, leading to destructive inland flooding in regions like the Midwest.

Extreme Weather

Increasing destructive storms are putting a growing number of communities at risk.

 

Climate change may lead to warmer air and oceans, causing an increase in extreme storms with record-breaking amounts of rain and wind. Mega storm events have gone from occurring once every 100 years, to once every 16 years.

 

In drier areas, global warming is linked with frequent, longer and more extreme droughts, and frequent incidents of forest wildfires. In the future, wildfires will be larger, more destructive and more common in nature.

Image by NOAA

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