More than a quarter of species assessed by the IUCN around , are threatened with extinction. Corals reefs are suffering mass die-offs from heat stress. These events are becoming much more common with back to back die-offs on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in and The predictions are that at just 2C of warming above pre-industrial temperatures these heat waves will occur on an annual basis and coral reefs would become functionally extinct.
Catastrophic reductions in global insect populations have profound consequences for ecological food chains and human crop pollination. There is strong evidence that many insect populations are under serious threat and are declining in many places across the globe. Multiple pressures might include habitat loss, agro-chemical pollutants, invasive species and climate change.
Love them or loathe them, we humans cannot survive without insects. More frequent and severe water extremes, including droughts and floods, impact agricultural production, while rising temperatures translate into increased water demand in agriculture sectors. We have assessed the amount of climate change we can adapt to. Rachel Warren, University of East Anglia. The number of extreme climate-related disasters, including extreme heat, droughts, floods and storms, has doubled since the early s , with an average of of these events occurring every year during the period of — People across 51 countries and territories facing crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse, requiring immediate emergency action.
Risk of extreme weather hitting several major food producing regions of the world at the same time could triple by 1 in year event to 1 in Water withdrawals grew at almost twice the rate of population increase in the twentieth century.
The global water cycle is intensifying due to climate change, with wetter regions generally becoming wetter and drier regions becoming even drier. A UN report highlights that at present, an estimated 3. Melting glaciers in both the Andes and the Himalayas threatens the water supplies of hundreds of millions people living downstream. A severe drought in Cape Town in led to severe water restrictions being put in place. Climate scientists have now calculated that climate change has already made a drought this severity go from a one in year event to being a one in a hundred year event.
Sea level is rising faster in recent decades. Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers and the expansion of seawater as it warms. Sea level rises will cause inundation of low lying land, islands and coastal cities globally. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur much more often , causing severe disruption to coastal communities, and even rendering some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage.
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The land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland have been losing mass since Both ice sheets have seen an acceleration of ice mass loss since If we continue warming we will trigger the collapse of more sectors of the ice-sheets. Unfortunately, the data now show us that we have underestimated the climate crisis in the past. This will affect marine life from shellfish to whole coral reef communities by removing needed minerals that they use to grow their shells. The oceanic conditions will be unlike marine ecosystems have experienced for the last 14 million years.
Present ocean acidification is occurring approximately ten times faster than anything experienced during the last million years, jeopardising the ability of ocean systems to adapt. Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of Summer Arctic sea ice is predicted to disappear almost completely by the middle of this century. This is in itself much earlier than projections from nearly all climate model simulations. Scientists are now investigating connections between the huge changes we have seen in the Arctic and changes to the jet stream resulting in increasingly dramatic impacts on extreme weather events at lower latitudes.
These pollutants can also dramatically affect aquatic ecosystems, for example, through eutrophication caused by the accumulation of nutrients in lakes and coastal waters impacts biodiversity and fisheries. Ocean dead zones with zero oxygen have quadrupled in size since , suffocating the organisms that live in those areas.
It takes about years to form 2. Soil erosion and degradation has been increased dramatically by the human activities of deforestation for agriculture, overgrazing and use of agrochemicals.
Impacts of global warming - WWF-Australia
By , land degradation and climate change together are predicted to reduce crop yields by an average of 10 per cent globally and up to 50 per cent in certain regions. Several species of worms are extinct and many others are heading that way. The published science tends to underestimate the severity of threats and the rapidity with which they might unfold. Reasons why is NOT what we are asking for. There are no guarantees with something as complex as predicting the effects of changes to the climate.
Setting a distant target date is like trying to calculate exactly when you should step in while watching a group of small children playing near a cliff edge. The government cannot be allowed to continue to kick the ball into the long grass by setting the date for decarbonisation at We need to start acting now.
The target forces us to do that, whereas condemns us to a bleak future. The faster we act the better. Rogelj, J. Hoegh-Guldberg, O. Roy, J.
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