The evidence of climate change is all around us. Here’s a rundown of the dramatic problems we now face, and why we need solutions, not more debate.
If left unaddressed, the current signs of climate change will progress into more devastating, permanent effects that will dramatically change our way of life.
The long, steady line shows the relatively stable level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which remained at around 285 parts per million (ppm) until humans began burning fossil fuels in the mid-19th century (short line).
NATE SKOW; SOURCE: CDIAC & NOAA, 2011
The famous Grinnell Glacier (in Glacier Nation Park, Mont.) has undergone a dramatic recession in recent years. The top photo, taken in 1940, shows the very beginnings of Upper Grinnell Lake in the bottom left corner of the glacier. The bottom photo, from 2004, shows hte expansion of the lake due to the melting of the glacier. As global warming continues, the park is expected to lose all of its namesake glaciers by 2030.
More frequent occurrences of extreme weather, such as last spring’s floods in Nashville, Tenn., are among the numerous signs of climate change.
Shorter, milder winters have allowed pine beetles to expand their range, and new regions are experiencing major forest damage, such as California’s Easter Sierra Nevada mountains.