Search
Close

Begin Typing to Search Submit Search

Close
Search Results
    December 18, 2015 | 2:48 PM

    What Does Climate Change Look Like? Here Are the Signs.

    Think about the last time you read a news article about climate change. Did you hear the words “glacial melt”? What about the year 2050 -- or even 2100? How about “centimeters of sea level rise”?

    It can be hard to take action on climate change when the impact seems so far away. But the fact of the matter, climate change isn’t something that we’ll have to confront in the future. It’s happening right now, right here.

    Here’s where to look to see its impacts on a human scale - and what these warning signs mean.

    DROUGHTS

     TW_Drought.png

    As temperatures increase, there’s also an increase in the amount of moisture evaporating from land and water. That means there’s less water left behind. Climate change is also shifting our weather patterns, meaning that areas where we used to expect a steady amount of rainfall are now experiencing more unpredictable and extreme precipitation.

    ../Box%20Sync/Graphics%20SLAM%20Team/_Climate%20Reality/_Banners/12Questions-Activist%20(1).png

    At the same time, snowpack and glaciers -- two key sources of water for many people worldwide -- are melting faster due, in part, to warmer weather. If that’s not scary enough, NASA scientists recently predicted the potential for a decades-long “megadrought” unless we reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

    WILDFIRES

     TW_Fire.png

    Once you see the drought sign, the Wildfire sign won’t be far behind. That’s because droughts dry out the land, killing plant life and creating the perfect source for a hungry wildfire. And, with less predictable rains, it’s harder to stop these fires once they begin.

    FLOODS

     TW_Flood.png

    But wait -- if the planet is warmer and that leads to drought, why does climate change also lead to floods? It may seem counterintuitive at first, but floods and droughts go hand-in-hand. When the earth is so parched for an extended period of time, the soil can’t absorb the sudden downfall of rain when it finally comes. And with our weather patterns becoming stronger and less predictable, the spring showers of the past are turning into extreme storms, leading to sudden downpours, rushing waters, and flooded roads. Increased wildfires further compound the problem by leaving behind a burn scar. With nothing to hold the soil in place, and the ground unable to absorb the water, floods and landslides become a serious danger.

    HEAT WAVES

     TW_Heat.png

    It’s getting hot in here, and a hotter planet means more heat waves. Climate change has shifted the odds and changed the natural limits, making heat waves more frequent and more intense. Don’t believe it? This is the cold truth about warm weather: Fourteen of the 15 hottest years ever recorded have occurred since 2000. Even a small change in average global temperature leads to a big change in the frequency and severity of heat waves. Since 1950, the number and duration of heat waves worldwide has increased. And the hottest days and nights have become even hotter and more frequent.

    STRONGER HURRICANES AND TYPHOONS

     TW_Hurricane.png

    Love the warm water at the beach? So do hurricanes. With warmer ocean temperatures, the hurricanes feed on the heat and can absorb more energy -- sometimes called “weather on steroids.” While the number of hurricanes has not been increasing, the severity of hurricanes has been on the rise. Stronger hurricanes mean higher winds and stronger storm surges and devastating damages and losses of life, as we’ve seen with Super Typhoons Haiyan (Yolanda), Vongfong (Ompong), and Melor (Nona).

    HERE’S HOW WE CAN STOP CLIMATE DISRUPTION

     TW_Stop.png

    We’ve made a lot of progress in the fight against climate change. But our work isn’t finished.

     

    GET THE FACTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

    Thanks to the Paris Agreement, world leaders are honoring their commitments to climate action and working together to solve the climate crisis. Take the pledge and show them your support!   

    The Climate Reality Project

    The Progress Pulse tracks the actions you and every other supporter take on the site. We all act as individuals, but our actions add up and create powerful momentum for change. Learn More

    Progress Pulse

    Your Actions0
    Total Actions0

    Global Actions

    A measurement of our global network

    Your Actions

    Your contributions today