It is good that more people are now getting aware of the danger the world faces due to climate change. Last week, researchers from the United Nations Development Programme and the University of Oxford revealed that in their survey of 1.2 million people in 50 nations, nearly two-thirds say humanity faces a climate emergency.
The rising level of awareness among people in the different continents, plus the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement—the global pact to combat climate change—are for us good signs while we suffer from the effects of a slowly deteriorating environment.
Within hours of becoming president, Joe Biden moved to recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement, a year after the United States formally withdrew from the deal, despite being the world’s second-largest producer of greenhouse gases behind China.
But the US now looks set to return to the climate agreement after a 30-day notice period, and is expected to resubmit an emissions reduction target for 2030.
Recent studies show the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, and the top four in the past four years.
Over the past century, the average temperature of the Earth has risen by 1.8°F. Over the next one hundred years, scientists are projecting another 0.5 to 8.6°F rise in the temperature.
Official documents say the cause of this temperature change is human activities that have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (such as methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) into the atmosphere.
The majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy. Results of this global warming include rising ocean temperatures, a more acidic ocean, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels.
The negative consequences of human-driven climate change will continue to accelerate with disastrous effects. Seas continue to rise, inundating and eliminating nesting beaches and foraging habitat for marine wildlife. Warming seas are driving ocean animals further north, leading to cold stunning and further reducing sea turtle hatchling success. The effects of increasing ocean acidification will become more deadly to all marine life.
Human-driven climate change is a key driver of biodiversity collapse and species extinction—up to one million species may go extinct by the end of the century.
With the rising awareness on what climate change is doing and can further do to our environment.
There is indeed an urgency to hit the brakes—for a better Earth, for a better world, and for a better environment.