15 Facts About Global Warming That Show Climate Change Is Real

For all the reader out there, the global warming is real. And if you are a non-believer or know someone who doesn’t believe in this, the best we can do is provide you with important facts. First of all, we need to clarify the difference between weather and climate. Weather is a term denoted to describe the short time atmospheric condition of a given area, whereas climate is a long time behavior of the atmosphere.

Well, Global warming or climate change is something that is observed on a long time scale with an increase in Earth’s average temperature. Multiple scientific observations and test conducted over the years show that our atmosphere is warming at an unprecedented rate. In 2013, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fifth Assessment Report concluded that quote,

“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”.                                                – IPCC Climate Change 2013

15. Etymology of “Climate Change” and “Global Warming”

Two words, “Climate Change” was first appeared in mainstream media in the 1952 in a newspaper article which suggested a global rise in temperatures. Then in 1957, both the phrase appeared in a report which summarized Roger Revelle’s research on the increasing levels of human induced CO2 in The Hammond Times.

But it was a scientific paper titled “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” by Wallace S. Broecker in 1975, which popularize the phrase Global Warming. Source

14. Devastating Wild Fires

global firesGlobal Fires in 2008 by NASA’s Terra satellite.

Most of the times, wild fires only affect local atmospheric conditions, but can cause serious respiratory and cardiovascular problems for the population living in a certain radius near the fires. However, a wildfire at a huge level can pump an enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

During the forest fires of 1997 in Indonesia, around 0.81 and 2.57 gigatonnes of CO2 was released into the atmosphere, which is about 30%-40% of the carbon dioxide emission caused by burning fossils each year.

13. The Arctic Sea Ice Level is Going Down 13.2% per Decade

Arctic seaArctic Sea Ice Level  Image Courtesy: NASA/NSIDC

Among other things, NASA also tracks the level of remaining Arctic Sea Ice, which is currently declining at a furious rate of 13.2% per decade, that’s relative to the previous three decades (1981-2010). The chart above shows the level of Arctic Sea ice in September since 1979. The level of Arctic Sea ice reaches its lowest value every year in the month of September.

12. U.N Treaties For the Climate Change

The Kyoto Protocol was put into action in 1997, which binds the signatory state parties to reduce their greenhouse gas emission based on the consensus that the global warming is happening due to anthropogenic reasons. Then in 2015 another major agreement was adopted by nations, in a strict response to rising global temperature.

The Paris Agreement put forward a progressive way to control the Earth’s warming problem in which each member country have to set their own carbon targets, make plans to achieve it and regularly report their progress. The main aim of this agreement is to keep the global temperature well below 2 degrees in the 21st century.

In June 2017, when the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement under the Trump administration, it triggered a worldwide criticism. Under the agreement, the earliest possible date for U.S withdrawal is in November 2020.

11. Earth’s average Surface Temperature Could Rise 2° to 6°C by the end of this century.

There is a direct relationship between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the atmospheric temperature, that is as long as we keep flooding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the global temperature will continue to rise. With the help of climate models, researchers at NASA’s Earth observatory has estimated that by the year 2100, Earth’s average surface temperature could rise as much as 2 to 6°C.

10. Record Breaking Influx of Green House Gases

According to a research in 2007, the concentration of greenhouse gases, mostly methane had increased by 148% over the years since the industrial revolution.

The levels of CO2 are also up by 36%. If we rely the data that has been derived from the ice cores from Antarctica, which tell us the current level is much higher than anything in the last 650,000–800,000 years.

A report published by the WMO Green House Bulletin in 2016, indicated that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 400 ppm (part per million) for the first time 2015.

9. Floods Could Triple by The Year 2030

According to separate studies by various organizations, including the World Resource Institute, the total of world population living under the flooding zone will most probably increase from 21 million to 54 million by the early 2030s. From an economic standpoint, increased global floods would drain billions and billions of dollars from nation’s wealth.

For example, the institute identifies that 40 billion of India’s total GPD is exposed to floods each year and by 2030 that amount could reach up to $154 billion.

8. Alarming Increase in Global Temperature

Over the time period of 132 years, from 1880 to 2012, the global average surface temperature has increased by 0.85°C. And from 1906 to 2005 alone the average surface temperature has increased by 0.18°C. Since the late 1970s, the average temperature of lower troposphere has gone up by 0.12 to 0.135 °C in every ten years.

Historic climate studies indicate that global temperature remained largely stable over 2000 years of so before 1850. However, some regional fluctuations occurred during the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age.

7. Sun’s Stable Radiative Output

Sun's outputRelation between CO2, temperature and sunspots since 1850    Imgage Courtesy: Leland McInnes

Scientists didn’t just stumble upon the fact that humans have a major hand in the global warming. For a long time, researchers have been studying the possible role of the Sun in the recent changes in Earth’s climate. In the study, they used specific models of Earth’s climate.

These models, however, failed to match the rapid global warming levels observed over the last few decades. Solar irradiance measured by various climate satellites have shown that the Sun’s radiative output has actually not increased since 1978.

6. We Will Consume year 2017’s Resources by August

Earth Overshoot Day is an annual event when we consume all the natural resources that nature produces in one year. We do this in a number of ways like over-harvesting, deforestation, over-fishing etc. But the real problem is that each year this date gets earlier and earlier. In the year 2000 it was in October, then in 2015 it occurred on August 13 and in 2017 it fell on August 2.

5. World’s Oceans is Now 26% More Acidic, than it Was Before the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial revolution in the 18th century Europe was a major turning point in the world’s history. Historians believe that it was the second most important thing after the domestication of cattle, from an economic standpoint. But it came at a cost.

Since the industrial revolution, the average pH value of the world’s oceans has decreased by 0.1, which makes them roughly about 26% more acidic than 3 centuries ago. It is expected to fall another 0.2 units by the year 2100.

Read: 15 Interesting Facts About Earth That You May Not Know

4. Milankovitch Cycles and the Reverse Trend in Arctic Cooling

Arctic CoolingEffects of precession on the seasons  Image Courtesy: Krishnavedala

Earth’s natural axial tilt and the orbital shape around the Sun cause cyclical variation in the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth and this in turns affects climatic patterns on this planet. These collective moments are called the Milankovitch Cycles.

In In the last thousand years or so, this very phenomenon triggered a slow cooling trend in the Arctic region. But now researchers are pretty sure that the greenhouse effect has actually reversed the cooling effect sometime back in the 20th century

3. Climate Change is Damaging The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is certainly one of the nature’s wonders that humans should preserve. But it looks like we are doing the exact opposite. In 2017, it was reported that around 33% of Great Barrier Reef has been damaged due to process known as coral bleaching. Researchers are almost certain that most of them are not in shape to recover anymore.

Corals bleaching occurs only in condition when water temperature becomes too high, which forces algae living within those corals to banish. As a consequence, the coral loses its normal color and becomes white.

2. Rising Sea Level

The current rate of global sea level rise is the fastest observed in the last 2,700 year or more, and every year the oceanic water rise by 3.4 mm. Researchers reached to this conclusion after analyzing global temperature differences over three centuries using ecological data and tide-gauge data from more than 60 locations all over the world.

1. Global Warming is Not a Primary Concern For Most

According to a research conducted by YouGov,  citizens all over the world thinks that the problem of global warming is the third most serious problem that we are currently facing after international terrorism and poverty. If we dig deep into the data provided by the agency, it is clear that most of the population in the developed nations are more concerned about issues like population increase and global terrorism.

Read: 27 Interesting Facts About Earth’s Atmosphere

But on the other hand, the data show that climate change is a very serious problem for people living in Asian countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Some European nation such as Sweden and Denmark however, share the similar concern.

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