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Climate Change – The Facts

Climate Change

The Facts And How To Act

For the first time ever, we are seeing the effects of climate change in the forms of floods, storms, heatwaves and rising sea levels.  It is now apparent that we are facing a climate disaster on a global scale and urgent action is required.  Here is REV’s roundup of exactly what’s happening and what we can do about it, inspired by the BBC documentary: Climate Change: The Facts.

It's Getting Hot In Here.

Period.

Since pre-industrial times, the earth has warmed up by approximately 1 degrees. This may not sound like that big of a deal to some, but it turns out that this minor temperature difference could actually be incredibly detrimental to our planet.  Keep reading to find out just why…

Sea Levels Are Rising.

Because Earth’s ice is melting – the 1 degree temperature increase is too much for it to withstand.  Greenland is losing 5 times as much ice today as it was 25 years ago and Antarctica is losing 3 times as much ice as it was 25 years ago. All this excess water ends up in our oceans, having major impacts on communities. Louisiana in the US is losing land at one of the fastest rates on the planet, due to excessive floods.  This is the equivalent of 1 football field every 45 minutes.  The sea level has increased 20cm in total over the last century and the heat has caused a third of world’s corals to bleach and die.

 

There Are Floods.

Warmer weather causes more moisture to evaporate off the oceans.  More moisture equals more rainfall equals more super storms equals more flooding.  Extreme weather means millions of people are increasingly in need of human aid.

Deforestation Is Happening

Nearly ⅓ of our carbon dioxide emissions are caused by the rate at which we burn and clear the world’s forests.  Trees and plants play an important role in determining the balance of gases in the environment, as they absorb carbon dioxide (from greenhouse gas emissions.) Forests situated in places like Columbia, Peru and Bolivia are cleared, burnt and replaced with plants for soy bean, rubber and pasture for cattle. But palm oil is by far the biggest driver.  This is a key ingredient in so much of what we buy, from soap, to bread to chocolate. Our demand for these products is effectively supporting the destruction of habitats and messing with the Earth’s delicate atmospheric balance, causing greenhouse gas emissions to increase; warming up the planet. If we continue demolishing forests at the rate at we are, it is likely that our chances of resolving climate change will be slim.

What Does The Future Look Like?

If we continue as we are now, by the end of the century our planet will be somewhere between 3 and 6 degrees warmer.  The sea level will rise from 80cm to 1m by end of century if we don’t do anything.  600 million people live in coastal areas that are less than 10m above sea level – these will be lost.  Losing coastal cities will cause huge economic problems such as loss of industries.  Storms, droughts and floods will cause the production of food to become more problematic.  The people who will suffer are the poor who are unable to gain access to clean water and food (due to lack of crop production.)  But if the poor suffer today, the rich will suffer tomorrow.

We are edging closer and closer towards tipping point – the point at which the earth has got so warm that we lose control of being able to reverse damage, and the climate will continue to get hotter and hotter.  There is still time to act, but we need to do so with urgency and determination – we as individual, industries and governments.

 

What You Can Do...

As Climate Activist Greta Thunburg famously said, acknowledging that our house is on fire and acting on it is the first step towards preventing a climate disaster. Here are some things that you can do to minimise your carbon footprint:

Switch to a renewable energy supplier.  If you live in the UK, we recommend Ecotricity, who offer green, frack-free gas from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae and geothermal heat.  You’ll save money as well as the planet.

Donate to Save The Rainforest. A little goes a long long way.

Search the web with Ecosia, aka the browser that plants trees.  Find out how it works here.

 Look out for palm oil on ingredients labels, and try and avoid it wherever you can.

Limit your car journeys where possible. Or, better still, switch to an electric vehicle.