Global Warming Facts
Fact #1: Global Warming is Happening
There are signs of climate change all over the world:
Rise of the average global temperature. Since 1980, the average global temperature increased for 0.8 degree Celsius, while the last 12 years were the hottest since the mid-19th century.
Disappearance of the Arctic ice. Arctic ice is melting at an alarming pace which is due to the fact that the temperatures in the Arctic region increased double as much as on the global level. According to the latest reports, the region will no longer have icy summers by year 2040 or perhaps even earlier.
Coral reef die-off. Corals are extremely sensitive to changes in temperatures. In 1998, when the worst coral reef die-off ever recorded occurred, some areas suffered a 70 percent die-off.
Extreme weather events becoming more widespread and more frequent. Heat waves, tornadoes, wildfires, etc. are also affecting regions that experienced little or no extreme weather events in the past.
Fact #2: Humans are the Main Cause of Global Warming
Natural changes in the Earth’s orbit have a major influence on the climate and weather patterns. In the past, the planet experienced several warming and cooling periods due to changes in the orbit in regard to the sun. Furthermore, some scientists argue that natural changes in solar output can dramatically influence the Earth’s weather trends as well. Most scientists, however, reject variations in the Earth’s orbit and solar output as a possible explanation for the current global warming because:
- climate changes induced by variations in Earth’s orbit took place slowly - over a period of hundreds of years
- the impact of solar output variations have been found not to have any significant impact on the planet’s climate
Rather than natural processes on the Earth or sun, the current global warming can be attributed to human activities, above all to industrialisation, pollution and deforestation. These increase the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, creating the effect of a greenhouse which results in the rise of the average global temperature.
Fact #3: We are Facing a Very Uncertain Future
If the global average temperature will continue to rise, the entire planet is facing a very uncertain future including:
mass species extinction due to loss of habitat, acidification of the oceans and changes in ecosystems
water and food shortages
extreme weather events becoming even more extreme and frequent
glaciers and the Arctic ice melting down completely
rise of the sea levels
permanent change of the ocean’s circulation leading to dramatic climate changes