In case you were wondering what all the fuss about climate change is about and if it is really happening here are the numbers.  This is quite definitive and, in my opinion, pretty scary.  And things are, excuse the pun, just heating up.  We’ve already locked in increasing consequences for decades to come.  

I made a business presentation last month to a group of 20 and 30 somethings about a non environmental topic.  At the end I asked how many of them were concerned about climate change.  An alarmingly low percentage of them raised their hands.  I told them that they’d better wake up and get worried, really, really worried since they and their kids are the ones that are going to have to deal with the worst effects of what my, and previous generations, are handing them regardless of what and how fast we react now.

I hope that the following data wakes up anyone who’s either not yet convinced or on the fence…


Since first climate talks in ’92, world is hotter, wilder and more polluted

Published: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

International leaders and delegates first gathered in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro to address ways to mitigate global warming. Yet, since then, the globe has become warmer, more crowded and more polluted, and has witnessed increasingly extreme weather.

The world’s population is up 1.7 billion, and carbon emissions have increased 60 percent. Global temperatures have risen six-tenths of a degree, and sea levels have climbed 3 inches. And extreme weather in the United States has jumped by 30 percent while Greenland and Antarctica have lost 4.9 trillion tons’ worth of ice from their polar sheets.

“We are rapidly remaking the planet and beginning to suffer the consequences,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

Talks for a global warming summit organized by the United Nations began Monday in Lima, Peru, which many hope will set the stage for productive discussions and climate accords in Paris in December 2015.
In an attempt to assess how much the world and the climate policy realm has changed since 1992, the Associated Press conducted an analysis of global databases — examining data since 1983.

There have been more than 6,600 major disasters related to climate, weather and water worldwide since 1992, which have collectively incurred more than $1.6 trillion in damage and killed more than 600,000 people, according to the Belgium-headquartered Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters.

Every climate-related disaster cannot be attributed to climate change, but extreme events have ramped up since 1983, said Debby Sapir, who oversees the center and its database.

Between 1983 and 1992, the world averaged 147 climate, water and weather disasters annually; in the past decade, that number has climbed to 306 each year on average.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, climate extremes — represented by hot and cold, and wet and dry swings — has jumped 30 percent from 1992 to 2013, hurricanes notwithstanding, based on an assessment of decadelong averages. And since 1992, there have been 136 domestic weather disasters that have caused more than $1 billion in damage, when indexed for inflation, NOAA said.

“The numbers don’t lie,” said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University. “Greenhouse gases are rising steadily, and the cause is fossil fuel burning and other human activities. The globe is warming, ice is melting, and our climate is changing as a result” (Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, Dec. 2). — BH

Leave a comment

FranklyTalking © 2024 All rights reserved.