Today, the fact that humans are the cause of climate change is understood like a scientific fact. This is because it is a fact that human activities release too many greenhouse gases. These emissions result in a warmer climate through the greenhouse effect. In other words, human activities create a global warming on planet earth.
IPCC & climate change
In 2013 the IPCC, meaning the climate panel of the UN, stated that it was “extremely likely” that humans were the dominant factor in the measured global warming since the middle of the 20th century. More so, the UN organises one global environmental meeting per year to hinder climate change. These are called the COP-meetings. One example of an outcome from these meetings is the Paris Agreement from 2015. This deal decided that all the UN members (193 out of 195 countries) should work together to reduce emissions. Particularly greenhouse gases such as CO2. One goal is for instance to keep the global temperature below 2° Celsius. A temperature rise above this risks to greatly endanger biodiversity and cause changes in the climate with severe consequences (amongst many other things).
Climate change & global warming
Climate change is sometimes used like a synonym to global warming. However, climate change can also refer to other types of changes in the climate. For example, changes that occur naturally, without human influence. This can be variations in the earth’s climate, reaching over big or small areas throughout short or long periods of time. There can be many different reasons for these changes. Such as variations in solar activity or geological processes.
A changing climate
Researchers predict many and different consequences of global warming across the earth. Especially since many places already struggle with an extreme climate. Such as droughts, floods and storms. A warmer temperature further increases an extreme climate. More so, the melting ices, which is a direct consequence of climate change, leads to an increase in sea levels. This increase will cause huge issues for many of the worlds larger cities. As a consequence of the fact that many cities are constructed right next to the ocean. Many of these cities are believed to end up under water. More so, some of the places at risk are Miami, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro. Since most of the world’s population live in cities this will also lead to millions of climate refugees.
In the future it is believed that the amount of climate refugees will increase enormously. Something that can only be decreased by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some scientists claim that there could be around 30 million each from India and China. As well as about 15 million from Bangladesh and Egypt. The global total is believed to be around 150-200 million people by the year 2050.