3 Key Points from the Latest Climate Report

I recently posted about how my village’s environment has changed over the past 30 years. Indeed humans are changing Earth’s atmospheric makeup with reckless abandon. While it is in many polluter’s, and thus politician’s, best economic interest to deny the effect we have on our environment, the 2019 UN “Climate Action and Support Trends” report illustrates the path we are on, and the path we need to take for a sustainable future. Here are three key points from the report:

We must aim to achieve the goal set for Global temperature rise and emissions

“We must limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” said Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. Achieving this goal will require immediate action to limit emissions. Currently we are on track to more than double the 1.5 degree goal, a scenario that Espinosa said is, “extremely worrying for humanity’s future on this planet.”

Global Greenhouse Gas emission levels are increasing

In 2016 global greenhouse gas emissions were 31.2% above the 1990 level. We averaged almost a 1% increase per year in emissions, not the direction we want to be going. The goal of a 1.5 degree limit to warming requires emissions to peak before 2030 followed by a annual reduction of 2.8%. The levels of greenhouse gasses are higher than has been observed over the last 800,000 years. Parties all over the world are reporting significant changes in temperature, rainfall, and sea levels.

There are already serious hazards being caused by global warming, and more to come

Many people believe global warming will just raise the temperature a little. Some, including our president, often confuse weather and climate. Weather is what you feel when walking outside. The climate system is immensely complex and the full effects of our emission activity cannot be known. We do know that global warming will lead to an increase in floods, droughts, and extreme weather. Seasonal patterns and the distribution of species will change, affecting our agricultural system. As population continues to expand, these hazards will have severe and largely unpredictable effects on humanity’s future.

All facts and figures are from the “Climate Action and Support Trends.” Check it out for tons of climate change information. I plan to post more blogs on climate change facts and news, stay tuned!

The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

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