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This Is Why You Should Start To Care About Climate Change Too

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This Is Why You Should Start To Care About Climate Change Too

The problem about getting people to care about climate change is that it is a rather subtle affair. It only makes a splash when a local disaster happens and then eventually everybody seems to go back to their old, uncaring ways. Global climate change is far too big for people to grasp. But because of the melting ice caps, in about 50 years, the Twin Tower memorial in New York will be under water.

You and I are burning too many fossil fuels. We are the only agents who can turn it around. That means using alternative energy sources. But if this does not convince you, take a look at the 30 photographs below which should make you sit up and take notice!

1. Arctic ice cap

This NASA photo shows that the ice cap is constantly getting smaller in size due to rising global temperatures. Experts predict that summer ice in the Arctic will be a memory in 20 years. Marine species that depend on the ice will just disappear.

Arctic

    2. Hard rain

    “And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.” – Bob Dylan

    Wetter regions will be subject to heavier and prolonged rainfall while dry regions will get dryer and dryer.

    hardrain

       3. Tuvalu at risk

      Rising seas threaten to wipe Tuvalu off the map. Sea levels are expected to rise by 23 inches in this century, compared to 6 inches in the 20th century.

      Tuvalu

         4. Dry river bed

        Rivers drying up will affect their biodiversity. This will have severe economic consequences where livelihoods depend on rivers.

        dryriverbed

           5. Lake Hume, Australia

          Drought has led to dramatic falls in water levels in Lake Hume

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          lake hume

             6. Hurricane Katrina

            The National Geographic states that continuing rising temperatures will contribute to many more devastating hurricanes like Katrina. This one ended 1,800 lives and caused damage estimated at $125 billion.

            Katrina

               7. New York carbon dioxide emissions

              New York added 54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2010. That is 1.72 tons a second!

              NewYork

                8. Wind Turbines, Bangui, North Phillipines

                One way of reducing harmful greenhouse gases is to install wind turbines.

                windturbines

                  9. Zero emission vehicles

                  Nissan and Renault have produced this zero emission vehicle, which could be a model for the future.

                  zero emission vehicles

                    10. Methane gasses released from permafrost

                    In Siberia, the permafrost is starting to melt and, as it does, it releases methane gas which is a major factor in global warming.

                    permafrost

                      11. Forest fires

                      Forest fire seasons may become longer in the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and elsewhere. There is a possibility that eight times more land may be destroyed by 2100.

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                      forestfires

                        12. Displaced persons

                        Ninety-eight percent of all displacement in 2012 was due to climate change. Hundreds of millions of people will be displaced by disastrous weather conditions and climate change by 2050.

                        APTOPIX Pakistan Floods

                          13. Infectious diseases flourish with climate change

                          malaria

                             14. Water shortages

                            More and more people will be desperate for water as it becomes scarcer.

                            drought in Utah

                              15. UNESCO world heritage sites at risk

                              Just one degree rise in global temperatures could have a disastrous impact on cities like St. Petersburg and Venice.

                              Venice

                                16. Food will run out

                                Supplies of wheat and maize are already slowing down and, as a result, becoming more expensive.

                                hunger

                                  17. Pollution risks

                                  California is a typical example of the risks of pollution. Pollution, smog and forest fires all add to very poor air quality, which is affecting citizens’ health. This photo shows smog over Los Angeles.

                                  smog over LA

                                     18. Decline of fish stocks

                                    By the year 2060, there could be a decline of up to 50% of fish stocks if there is global warming of 2.8 degrees or more. This is not counting the reduction caused by overfishing.

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                                    overfishing2

                                      19. Animals will get smaller

                                      Studies show that animals, such as polar bears, are now smaller as a result of more carbon dioxide in the air.

                                      polarbear

                                        20. Heat waves will increase mortality

                                        Prolonged heat waves are set to become more frequent. The 2003 heat wave in Europe is known to have caused 70,000 deaths.

                                        heatwave. jpg

                                          21. Flooding and property damage

                                          An EU report states that 2,500 people drowned in flooding in Europe in the period 1980 -2011. Property damage runs into millions of dollars.

                                          Minot emergency workers patch Broadway levee

                                            22. Coral reefs at risk

                                            The reefs are very sensitive to any change in the seawater temperature. Another drastic change is that the seawater is becoming much more acidic due to so much carbon dioxide dissolving into the oceans.

                                            coralreefs

                                              23. Major currents are subject to changes

                                              Major currents, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), are subject to unexpected changes and can cause havoc with climate patterns.

                                              ElNino

                                                24. Lakes are warming up

                                                One NASA study shows that large lakes worldwide could warm up by as much as 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next 10 years. The effects on the ecosystems and the growth of some algal blooms, which may be toxic to some fish, is causing concern. Lake Baikal in Siberia is probably the largest lake in the world. It has seen some dramatic changes which are affecting the 2,500 species living there.

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                                                LakeBaikal

                                                   25. Butterflies are at risk

                                                  The butterfly is one of the most sensitive species to climate change, pollution and changes within ecosystems. If the temperatures are too warm, they cannot survive. One report shows that Europe will lose much of its biodiversity and this is alarming because it has an impact on pollination and crop production.

                                                  butterflies

                                                     26. Food chain is affected

                                                    Inevitably, as changes in climate and the ecosystems take hold, there are knock on effects on the food chain. Toxins, chemical contaminants and use of pesticides are putting the food chain at risk.

                                                    foodchain

                                                      27. Chronic stress

                                                      Large swathes of populations at risk of flooding, loss of housing and livelihood will lead to chronic stress syndrome as people struggle to survive. The NIH has issued a document stressing the effects on health in general.

                                                      chronicstress

                                                        28. Populations at risk

                                                        More than half the world’s people live 60 kilometers from the sea. With rising sea levels, this will cause major social and economic crises in many countries where the infrastructure is inadequate.

                                                        OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                          29. Increased mortality

                                                          The WHO estimates that climate change will be responsible for early and tragic death of over 250,000 people over the next 20 years.

                                                          mortality

                                                             30. What will be left?

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                                                            what will be left

                                                              If each and every one of us takes action, then we can avoid the above desolate scene which could haunt our children and grandchildren. Save energy, eat sensibly and campaign to get polluters to pay a carbon tax. Think about video-conferencing instead of polluting the skies with unnecessary travel, and buy a compost maker, if you can. These are just a few ways that we can implement now to prevent disaster.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Climate Emergency /Takver via flickr.com

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                                                              Robert Locke

                                                              Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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