Three maps that show exactly how climate change has spread across the world over the past 30 years
Over the past three decades, the world’s climate has changed in several ways as temperatures have risen and forests have disappeared.
Temperature anomalies, a deviation from the average temperature, have increased by one degree worldwide since the late 1970s, according to NASA.
These temperature increases have affected regions around the world. Compared to 1980, temperature anomalies increased by about five degrees in regions of the northern hemisphere, especially in northern Russia, Europe and Canada.
Global warming is having an existential effect on other important parts of the globe. Rising temperatures have led to an 18% drop in Arctic sea ice this decade and a 3.4 millimeter rise in sea level this year alone.
In 2015, almost every country in the world signed a document pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the average global temperature to two degrees above the pre-industrial temperature.
Rising temperatures are also directly related to the increasing prevalence of extreme weather events. Scientists have published over 150 attribution studies of weather events around the world.
About half of them detected significant human influence in the increasing prevalence of droughts and extreme rainfall. Almost all studies have detected a human contribution to the increasing number of extreme heat episodes.
In 2020, parts of South Africa, Central America and Australia experienced incredibly severe droughts, while parts of China and Russia suffered some of the worst flooding in history. recent.
Many studies have also detected that the rise in sea temperatures has led to an increase in the intensity of tropical storms.
Forests, which are an important source of carbon capture, are also disappearing due to deforestation. The most notable fall is in the Amazon rainforest, which loses around 10,000 acres of forest every day.
Deforestation rates declined slightly from 2004 to 2012, but since then they have been on the rise again. Most notably, in Brazil, forest cover fell from over 70 percent in 1990 to just under 60 percent in 2020.
Deforestation leads to a drier ecosystem as it changes weather conditions, which in turn reduces precipitation. At the same time, as forests become fragmented, the species that inhabit them become more vulnerable to extinction.
At the end of the week, the COP26 climate change event will be held in Glasgow, where countries around the world will come together to try to stem global warming. Scientists hope that the decisions taken at COP26 will ensure that emissions start to decline enough to meet the targets set in the Paris climate agreement.