Many climate change impacts are already felt at the current 1.2 °C (2.2 °F) level of warming. Additional warming will increase these impacts and can trigger tipping points, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations collectively agreed to keep warming "well under 2 °C". However, with pledges made under the Agreement, global warming would still reach about 2.7 °C (4.9 °F) by the end of the century. Limiting warming to 1.5 °C will require halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Climate change affects the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies. Changes in the climate system include an overall warming trend, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. These in turn impact nature and wildlife, as well as human settlements and societies. The effects of human-caused climate change are broad and far-reaching, especially if significant climate action is not taken. The projected and observed negative impacts of climate change are sometimes referred to as the climate crisis.
Recent warming has strongly affected natural biological systems. It has degraded land by raising temperatures, drying soils and increasing wildfire risk. Species worldwide are migrating poleward to colder areas. On land, many species move to higher ground, whereas marine species seek colder water at greater depths. At 2 °C (3.6 °F) of warming, around 10% of species on land would become critically endangered. (Full article...)
Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti (born August 1, 1995) is a Kenyan environment and climate activist and founder of the Green Generation Initiative, which nurtures young people to love nature and be environmentally conscious at a young age and has now planted 30,000 tree seedlings in Kenya.
The following are images from various climate-related articles on Wikipedia.
Image 1Earth's climate is largely determined by the planet's energy budget, i.e., the balance of incoming and outgoing radiation. It is measured by satellites and shown in W/m2. The imbalance (or rate of global heating; shown in figure as the "net absorbed" amount) grew from +0.6 W/m2 (2009 est.) to above +1.0 W/m2 in 2019. (from Earth's energy budget)
Image 3The growth in Earth's energy imbalance from satellite and in situ measurements (2005–2019). A rate of +1.0 W/m2 summed over the planet's surface equates to a continuous heat uptake of about 500 terawatts (~0.3% of the incident solar radiation). (from Earth's energy budget)
Image 4The rising accumulation of energy in the oceanic, land, ice, and atmospheric components of Earth's climate system since 1960. (from Earth's energy budget)
Image 14Frequency of occurrence (vertical axis) of local June–July–August temperature anomalies (relative to 1951–1980 mean) for Northern Hemisphere land in units of local standard deviation (horizontal axis). According to Hansen et al. (2012), the distribution of anomalies has shifted to the right as a consequence of global warming, meaning that unusually hot summers have become more common. This is analogous to the rolling of a dice: cool summers now cover only half of one side of a six-sided die, white covers one side, red covers four sides, and an extremely hot (red-brown) anomaly covers half of one side. (from Attribution of recent climate change)
Image 15CO2 reduces the flux of thermal radiation emitted to space (causing the large dip near 667 cm−1), thereby contributing to the greenhouse effect. (from Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere)
Image 18Mean temperature anomalies during the period 1965 to 1975 with respect to the average temperatures from 1937 to 1946. This dataset was not available at the time. (from History of climate change science)
Image 24The greenhouse effect can be understood as a decrease in the efficiency of planetary cooling. The greenhouse effect is quantified as the portion of the radiation flux emitted by the surface minus that doesn't reach space, i.e., 40% or 159 W/m2. Some emitted radiation is effectively cancelled out by downwelling radiation and so doesn't transfer heat. Evaporation and convection partially compensate for this reduction in surface cooling. Low temperatures at high altitudes limit the rate of thermal emissions to space. (from Earth's energy budget)
Image 25Carbon dioxide observations from 2005 to 2014 showing the seasonal variations and the difference between northern and southern hemispheres (from Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere)
Image 27This diagram of the fast carbon cycle shows the movement of carbon between land, atmosphere, and oceans in billions of metric tons of carbon per year. Yellow numbers are natural fluxes, red are human contributions, white are stored carbon. (from Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere)
Image 31CO2 sources and sinks since 1880. While there is little debate that excess carbon dioxide in the industrial era has mostly come from burning fossil fuels, the future strength of land and ocean carbon sinks is an area of study. (from Attribution of recent climate change)
Image 33The greenhouse effect is a reduction in the flux of outgoing longwave radiation, which affects the planet's radiative balance. The spectrum of outgoing radiation shows the effects of different greenhouse gase. (from Earth's energy budget)
Image 34Greenhouse gases allow sunlight to pass through the atmosphere, heating the planet, but then absorb and redirect the infrared radiation (heat) the planet emits (from Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere)
Image 35Modeled simulation of the effect of various factors (including GHGs, Solar irradiance) singly and in combination, showing in particular that solar activity produces a small and nearly uniform warming, unlike what is observed. (from Attribution of recent climate change)
Image 37Observed temperature from NASA vs the 1850–1900 average used by the IPCC as a pre-industrial baseline. The primary driver for increased global temperatures in the industrial era is human activity, with natural forces adding variability. (from Attribution of recent climate change)
Image 43Annual CO2 flows from anthropogenic sources (left) into Earth's atmosphere, land, and ocean sinks (right) since year 1960. Units in equivalent gigatonnes carbon per year. (from Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere)
Image 44Global average temperatures show that the Medieval Warm Period was not a planet-wide phenomenon, and that the Little Ice Age was not a distinct planet-wide time period but rather the end of a long temperature decline that preceded recent global warming. (from Temperature record of the last 2,000 years)
Image 47Atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured at Mauna Loa Observatory from 1958 to 2022 (also called the Keeling Curve). Carbon dioxide concentrations have varied widely over the Earth's 4.54 billion year history. However, in 2013 the daily mean concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million (ppmv) - this level has never been reached since the mid-Pliocene, 2 to 4 million years ago. (from Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere)
Image 48Since the 1980s, global average surface temperatures during a given decade have almost always been higher than the average temperature in the preceding decade. (from History of climate change science)
Image 49The rate of global tree cover loss has approximately doubled since 2001, to an annual loss approaching an area the size of Italy. (from Attribution of recent climate change)
The Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) is one of the primary reference compilations of temperature data used for climatology, and is the foundation of the GISTEMP Temperature Record. This map shows the 7,280 fixed temperature stations in the GHCN catalog color coded by the length of the available record. Sites that are actively updated in the database (2,277) are marked as "active" and shown in large symbols, other sites are marked as "historical" and shown in small symbols. In some cases, the "historical" sites are still collecting data but due to reporting and data processing delays (of more than a decade in some cases) they do not contribute to current temperature estimates.
As is evident from this plot, the most densely instrumented portion of the globe is in the United States, while Antarctica is the most sparsely instrumented land area. Parts of the Pacific and other oceans are more isolated from fixed temperature stations, but this is supplemented by volunteer observing ships that record temperature information during their normal travels. This image shows 3,832 records longer than 50 years, 1,656 records longer than 100 years, and 226 records longer than 150 years. The longest record in the collection began in Berlin in 1701 and is still collected in the present day.