Issues Happening Around The World

Issues Happening Around The World – Although we often think of human-induced climate change as something that will happen in the future, it is an ongoing process. Ecosystems and communities are being affected in the United States and around the world today.

A collection of typical climate and weather events: floods, heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, wildfires and loss of glacier ice. (Image credit:)

Issues Happening Around The World

Issues Happening Around The World

Between 1901 and 2020, global temperatures rose by about 1.98 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius), but climate change shows more than just rising temperatures. It also includes sea level rise, weather changes like droughts and floods, and more. The things we depend on and value – water, energy, transport, wildlife, agriculture, ecosystems and human health – are suffering from the effects of climate change.

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The effects of climate change on different parts of society are interconnected. Drought can harm food production and human health. Flooding can spread disease and damage ecosystems and infrastructure. Human health problems can increase mortality, affect food availability and limit worker productivity. The effects of climate change are felt in every aspect of the world we live in. However, the effects of climate change are uneven across the country and the world—even within the same community, the effects of climate change can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood or individual. Persistent social and economic inequality can make disadvantaged groups more vulnerable, who are often most at risk and have the fewest resources to respond.

Issues Happening Around The World

Projections of the future affected by climate change are not conclusive. We now know many off-site linking problems and solutions, and research is still ongoing to provide new problems. Experts believe that there is still time to avoid the most negative results by limiting the temperature rise in off-site connections and reducing emissions to zero as soon as possible. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions will require investment in new technology and infrastructure that will stimulate job growth. In addition, reducing emissions will reduce adverse effects on human health, saving countless lives and billions of dollars in health-related costs.

Levels of the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, continued to rise steadily in 2020 despite the economic slowdown caused by the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Issues Happening Around The World

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We see climate change affecting our planet from pole to pole. Monitors global climate data and here are some of the recorded changes. You can explore more information on the global climate dashboard.

Flooding is becoming an increasing problem as our climate changes. Compared to the early 20th century, much of the United States is experiencing stronger and more frequent abnormally heavy rainfall events.

Issues Happening Around The World

Conversely, drought is also becoming more common, especially in the western United States. People use more water, especially for agriculture. Just as we sweat more in hot weather, higher air temperatures cause plants to lose or excrete more water, which means farmers have to give them more water. Both emphasize the need for more water in areas where supplies are dwindling.

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Snowpack is an important source of fresh water for many people. As the snow melts, fresh water becomes available for use, especially in areas like the western United States where there is little precipitation during the warmer months. But as temperatures rise, there is usually less snow and snowmelt begins earlier in the year, meaning that snow may not be a reliable source of water throughout the warm, dry season.

Issues Happening Around The World

The Redlands Mesa area outside of Hotchkiss, Colorado is at particular risk from wildfires, but with funding from the company’s Environmental Literacy Program, local high school students are taking action to prevent their community from being at risk.

Our food supply depends on climatic and weather conditions. Although farmers and researchers can adapt some agricultural methods and technologies or develop new ones, some changes will be difficult to manage. Rising temperatures, drought, water stress, disease and weather are creating challenges for the farmers and ranchers who put food on our tables.

Issues Happening Around The World

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Farm workers can suffer from heat-related health problems such as fatigue, heatstroke and heart attacks. High temperatures and heat stress can also harm livestock.

Climate change is already affecting human health. Changes in weather and climate patterns can threaten human lives. Heat is one of the most dangerous weather phenomena. As ocean temperatures rise, hurricanes become stronger and wetter, which can cause direct and indirect death. Dry conditions lead to more fires, which pose many health risks. High frequency of flooding can lead to the spread of waterborne diseases, injuries and chemical hazards. As the geographic range of mosquitoes and ticks expands, they can carry diseases to new locations.

Issues Happening Around The World

The most vulnerable groups, including children, older adults, people with pre-existing health conditions, outdoor workers, people of color, and people with low incomes, are at greater risk from the effects of climate change. But public health groups can work with communities to help people understand and build resilience to the health impacts of climate change.

World Economic Forum

Examples of populations most exposed to adverse climate-related health risks are provided, as well as adaptation measures that can help address disproportionate impacts. When considering the full range of threats from climate change, as well as other environmental threats, these groups are among the most exposed and vulnerable, and have the fewest individual and community resources to prepare for and respond to health threats. White text indicates the risks these communities face, while dark text indicates actions that can be taken to reduce these risks. (EPA (National Climate Assessment))

Issues Happening Around The World

French fries are based on potatoes, and like all crops, potatoes have a favorable climate. How long will America’s favorite side dish be safe on our menus?

Climate change will continue to have significant impacts on ecosystems and living organisms, although they will not be affected equally. The Arctic is one of the ecosystems most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, warming at least twice the global average, and off-site melting of land ice sheets and glaciers is contributing significantly to global sea level rise.

Issues Happening Around The World

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Some organisms are able to respond to climate change; Some plants bloom early, and some species can expand their geographic range. But these changes are happening too quickly for many other plants and animals, as rising temperatures and changing rainfall levels put pressure on ecosystems. Some invasive or nuisance species, such as lionfish and ticks, may thrive in multiple locations due to climate change.

Changes are also happening in the ocean. The oceans absorb about 30% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. As a result, the water has become more acidic, affecting marine life. Sea levels will rise due to thermal expansion and melting ice sheets and glaciers, putting coastal areas at greater risk of erosion and storm surge.

Issues Happening Around The World

The combined effects of climate change are causing many changes in ecosystems. Coral reefs are vulnerable to many of the effects of climate change: rising water temperatures can cause coral bleaching, stronger hurricanes can destroy coral reefs, and rising sea levels can suffocate coral reefs with sediment. Coral reef ecosystems are home to thousands of species that depend on healthy coral reefs for their survival.

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As the future leaders who will make decisions about the issues facing their communities, the Museum of Science and Industry has recruited high school teenagers to serve as advocates to build urban resilience against the impacts and consequences of global climate change.

Issues Happening Around The World

Physical infrastructure includes bridges, roads, ports, power grids, broadband internet and other parts of our transport and communication systems. It is often designed to last for years or decades, and many communities have infrastructure that was designed without a future climate in mind. But even newer infrastructure can be vulnerable to climate change.

Extreme weather events such as heavy rain, flooding, wind, snow or temperature changes can stress existing structures and equipment. Rising temperatures require more internal cooling, which can put pressure on the power grid. Sudden heavy rains can cause flooding that closes highways and major shopping areas.

Issues Happening Around The World

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Nearly 40% of the US population lives in coastal areas, meaning millions of people will be affected by sea level rise. Coastal infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water supply and more are at risk. Sea level rise can also cause coastal erosion and flooding caused by tides. Some communities are expected to be at or below sea level by 2100 and will have to make decisions about managed retreat and climate adaptation.

Many communities are not yet ready to face climate-related threats. Even within society, some groups are more vulnerable to these threats than others. Going forward, it is important for communities to invest in resilient infrastructure that can withstand future climate risks. Researchers study the impact of current and future climate change on communities and can make recommendations on best practices. Resilience education is critical for urban planners, emergency managers, educators, communicators, and all other community members to prepare for climate change.

Issues Happening Around The World

Sea Grant in North Carolina has partnered with state and local groups to evaluate internal response strategies

Climate Change: Global Sea Level

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