climate change is happening now
Scientific proof: climate change is happening now
The world is warming faster than at any time in the last 12,000 years. The 1990s was the hottest decade in the past millennium.
As global warming tightens its grip, the effects are being felt from the highest mountain peaks to the depths of the oceans. In just the last few years there are numerous examples of how this is affecting people and nature all over the world.
- Global warming is melting glaciers in every region of the world, putting millions of people at risk from floods, droughts and lack of drinking water.
- March 2006 showed the smallest Arctic sea ice cover ever measured. In the space of one year an area about the size of Italy was lost. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States found that sea ice extent had reduced by 300,000 square km in comparison to March 2005, itself already a record low year.
- 2003, Scotland's hottest year on record, saw hundreds of adult salmon die in Scotland’s famous fisheries, as rivers became too warm for salmon to be able to extract enough oxygen from the water.
- Coral reefs around the world have been severely damaged by unusually warm ocean temperatures. The Caribbean saw its warmest ever ocean temperatures in 2005, combined with the worst coral bleaching ever. At the current rate of degradation, the entire Great Barrier Reef could be dead within a human lifetime.
- Cities like Athens, Chicago, Milan, New Delhi and Paris have sweltered under heatwaves. The 2003 summer heatwave in Europe killed 14,800 people in France alone, according to official figures released in September 2003. The French National Institute for Health and Medical Research said that the death rate was on average 60% higher than usual.
- Summer temperatures in European capitals have increased by up to 2°C over the last 30 years, a WWF report showed.
- Rising sea levels threaten entire nations on low-lying islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Read how WWF South Pacific tries to help concerned villagers.
- A report released by WWF and leading meteorologists shows that human-induced global warming was a key factor in the severity of the 2002 drought in Australia, generally regarded as the worst ever.
Reference for first paragraph:
The world is the warmest it has been in the last 12,000 years as a result of rapid warming over the past 30 years.
Article: James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, Ken Lo, David W. Lea, and Martin Medina-Elizade. Global temperature change.PNAS 2006 103: 14288-14293.