Some people think the green movement is just a lot of talk. We think it’s a lot of science.
When you start to get into the facts about how our planet is changing and the outlook for the future, it can get pretty scary. Which, in a way, is good thing because that’s driving people to act. With that in mind, we’ve included this page to give you a glance at some of the facts about our environment and the effect we can have on it. One point though – don’t be discouraged by these numbers, be inspired by them. Working together we can get on the right track to positively affect the environment and leave a better world for future generations.
The following statements are accepted by a majority of scientists as being a direct result of global warming:
- The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. 1
- Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level. 2
- The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade. 3
- At least 270 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles. 4
If global warming continues, we can expect increasingly dramatic consequences.
- Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years to 300,000 people a year. 5
- Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide. 6
- Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
- Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
- The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050. 7
- More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050. 8
1 Emmanuel, K. 2005. Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature 436: 686-688
2 World Health Organization
3 Krabill, W., E. Hanna, P. Huybrechts, J. Cappelan, B. Csatho, E. Frefick, S. Manizade, C. Martin, J. Soontag, R. Swift, R. Thomas and J. Yungel. 2004. Greenland Ice Sheet: Increased coastal thinning. Geophysical Research Letters 31.
5 World Health Organization
6 Washington Post. “Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change,” Juliet Eilperin, January 29, 2006. Page A1
7 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. 2004. Impacts of a Warming Arctic. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Also quoted in Time Magazine, Vicious Cycles, Missy Adams, March 26, 2006.
8 Time Magazine, Feeling the Heat, David Bjerklie, March 26, 2006.