Global warming has been a hot button issue for some time now, and yet experts continue to disagree about what exactly its effects will be. Much of this controversy may be due to its name; global “warming” is less about warming and more about drastic climate change. Though many people are familiar with the common facts about global warming, here we present 10 shocking facts that might inspire you to recycle just a little bit extra.
Number Ten: The Greenhouse Effect Can Be a Good Thing. Though many assume the Greenhouse Effect is entirely bad, there are significant benefits. The Greenhouse Effect maintains a consistent temperature on our planet, filters unwanted UV rays and even helps to grow crops that are no longer in season.
Number Nine: 2014 Was the World’s Hottest Year on Record. In fact, every year of the past decade has been in the running for the world’s hottest year on record. Before 2014 was declared the hottest, it was 2010.
Number Eight: More Than 100 Million People Would Be Displaced by a Rise in Sea Levels of Just One Yard. That’s an increase of just three feet. The coastal populations around the world are large enough to be significantly impacted by any rise in sea level.
Number Seven: Climate Change Costs the United States Over $100 Billion Each Year. This is due to costs spent battling the negative effects of global warming. Examples of major costs due to climate change include the costs of recovering from crop loss, rising sea levels, food and water shortages and higher temperatures.
Number Six: Scientists Believe Inducing Global Warming on Mars May Make it Habitable. Mars is a very, very cold planet. By inducing global warming on Mars, scientists think it may become more approachable to humans as a living option.
Number Five: 37% of Americans Still Believe Global Warming Is a Hoax. Despite numerous studies that show global warming is a very real phenomenon, nearly 40% of Americans aren’t buying it. This is unfortunate, considering it is exactly these people who contribute to the worsening of global warming.
Number Four: The United States Is Responsible for 80% of the World’s Fossil Fuel Consumption Each Year. Despite knowledge that fossil fuel consumption is terrible for the environment, the United States still derives 84% of its total energy from coal, oil and gas. Not only that, but the United States is responsible for more than half of the world’s consumption of fossil fuel each year.
Number Three: Humans Release 37 Billion Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Each Year. Yes, it’s true. According to experts, carbon dioxide emissions will have to decrease by more than five percent each year just to give the earth a 50% chance of avoiding a two degree Celsius increase in temperature – at which point global warming’s most disastrous effects will be felt.
Number Two: By the Year 2050, up to 37% of Plant and Animal Species Could Become Extinct Due to Global Warming. Though many people focus on the impact global warming will have on humans, plants and animals continue to suffer as well. In just 35 years, nearly 40% of plant and animal species could fall prey to the effects of global warming.
Number One: 64% of Americans Don’t Believe Climate Change Will Affect Their Lives. The most shocking fact on this list is that over half of all Americans don’t believe climate change will affect their lives. Ironically, whether you want to believe it or not, climate change has already affected your life in one way or another. Look at your gas, your electricity, and your water bills. Pay attention to the cost of meat and produce. All of these things are greatly affected by climate change.