The number of weather, climate, and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change. It has also increased extreme sea-level events associated with some tropical cyclones, which have increased the intensity of other extreme events such as flooding and associated impacts. This has augmented the vulnerability of low-lying megacities, deltas, coasts, and islands in many parts of the world.
Moreover, an increasing number of studies are also finding human influence exacerbating extreme rainfall events, sometimes in conjunction with other major climate influences.
Climate change poses a fundamental threat to places, species, and people’s livelihoods. Climate change and increasingly extreme weather events have caused a surge in natural disasters. To adequately address the climate crisis we must urgently reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the consequences of global warming, which the world is already experiencing.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates. These changes have a broad range of observed effects that are synonymous with the term.
Changes observed in Earth’s climate since the early 20th century are primarily driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere, raising Earth’s average surface temperature. These human-produced temperature increases are commonly referred to as global warming. Natural processes can also contribute to climate change, including internal variability (e.g., cyclical ocean patterns like El Niño, La Niña, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) and external forcings (e.g., volcanic activity, changes in the Sun’s energy output, variations in Earth’s orbit).
What is Global Warming?
Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. The term is frequently used interchangeably with the term climate change, though the latter refers to both human- and naturally produced warming and the effects it has on our planet. It is most commonly measured as the average increase in Earth’s global surface temperature.
Reduce carbon emissions
To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need to dramatically reduce global carbon emissions. But we must also prepare for the significant and unavoidable consequences of carbon emissions such as increasing temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, and the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.
Forests are home to many of the world’s most endangered wildlife. They also protect the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), a major source of pollution that causes climate change.