8. Arctic sea ice is rapidly diminishing
Temperatures within the Arctic are rising faster than almost anywhere else on the planet. Between 2011 and 2020, annual Arctic sea ice reached its lowest level since no less than 1850, and late summer Arctic sea ice was smaller than at any time in no less than the past 1,000 years. As of 2022, Arctic sea ice cover is decreasing at a rate of 12.6 percent per decade, in comparison with its average extent in the course of the period from 1981 to 2010.
Under all the longer term emissions scenarios in the newest IPCC report, the minimum amount of Arctic sea ice will fall below 1 million square kilometers no less than once before 2050—making the world practically freed from sea ice altogether.
9. The world is getting hungrier and thirstier
For the primary time in many years, world hunger is increasing—and climate change is a giant driver of this. Extreme weather events from droughts to heat waves affect crop yields and their dietary value, and a few crops will develop into unviable in certain areas. Under heat stress, animals will develop into less productive and more liable to pests and disease, which could develop into more frequent and spread.
Across Africa, where many countries struggle with food insecurity, agricultural productivity has decreased 34 percent due to climate change. By 2050, the chance of hunger and malnutrition could rise by 20 percent worldwide due to the consequences of climate change.
Crops, animals, ecosystems, and humans also depend upon water—and already the UN estimates that roughly half the world’s population experiences water scarcity for a part of the 12 months. Over the past 20 years, climate change has intensified this shortage by lowering the water stored on land.
Water quality can be worsened by climate change, which accelerates urban migration, making water sources more polluted. It also causes flooding, droughts, and better water temperatures, which may increase the amounts of sediments, pathogens, and pesticides in water.
10. Average wildlife populations have dropped by 60 percent in only over 40 years
The average size of vertebrate populations (mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles) declined by 69 percent between 1970 and 2018, in line with the biennial Living Planet Report published by the Zoological Society of London and the WWF. That doesn’t suggest total animal populations have declined by 69 percent, nevertheless, because the report compares the relative decline of various animal populations. Imagine a population of 10 rhinos where nine of them died—a 90 percent population drop. Add that to a population of 1,000 sparrows where 100 of them died—a ten percent decrease. The average population decrease across these two groups can be 50 percent although the loss of people can be just 10.08 percent. And between 1 and a pair of.5 percent of animal species have already gone extinct.
Whatever way you stack the numbers, climate change is an element. An international panel of scientists backed by the UN argues that climate change is playing an increasing role in driving species to extinction. It is regarded as the third biggest driver of biodiversity loss after changes in land and sea use and overexploitation of resources. Even under a 2 degrees Celsius warming scenario, 5 percent of animal and plant species can be vulnerable to extinction. Coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to extreme warming events; their cover might be reduced to only 1 percent of current levels at 2 degrees Celsius of warming.