How Climate Change Is Affecting Us Right Now

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Displayed with permission from Newsweek

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Answer from Michael Barnard, low-carbon innovation analyst:

Climate change is already being felt in innumerable ways today. Climate change is one of the underlying contributors to some of the most major stories of the past decade and is being felt broadly and mostly negatively.

  • Regional conflicts: Climate change has increased drought in the middle east, and has contributed to the rise of ISIS and the destabilization of the middle east playing out now. This in turn has led to the millions of Syrian and other refugees in temporary refugee camps in countries outside of the worst impacted areas and the hundreds of thousands of refugees attempting to get to Europe and often drowning. Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change.
  • Miami is sinking: Many parts of Miami are already experiencing sea water welling up from under foot at king tides and some are experiencing regular flooding at merely high tides. This is with the relatively small amount of sea level rise already experienced. This is an indicator of what is to come. Miami Is Sinking Into the Sea—But Not Without a Fight.
  • Farmers are under stress: Farmers are already adapting to changes in climate, but not without impacts. There is already an increase in frequency and severity of drought and heavy rains, extremes which make getting crops difficult. Already crops are shifting north in the northern hemisphere. Climate Impacts in the Midwest: Becoming More Resilient.
  • Pine Beetle devastating forests: The Pine Beetle has shifted its range further north with increasingly warm climates in North America, moving into Canada and devastating extremely large areas of pine forest. This has caused significant economic and environmental fallout. The Bug That’s Eating the Woods
  • Wildfires are increasing: Wildfires are becoming more frequent, more severe and covering more ground due to climate change. This is killing people, burning communities out, reducing air quality substantially over major areas of continents and costing quite a lot to deal with. Is Global Warming Fueling Increased Wildfire Risks?
  • Insurance premiums are up: Insurance companies have been paying out a lot more in claims due to climate change, and in return have been changing their premium structures and rates. They have seen a statistically clear indication of climate change in terms of extreme weather events which cause significant economic damage. Extreme weather forces insurers to adapt and lobby for change.
  • Hundreds of thousands are already dying annually: A UN organization tasked with monitoring the impacts of climate change calculates that climate change is already causing 400,000 premature deaths a year. CLIMATE VULNERABILITY MONITOR.
  • Permafrost is melting: Northern communities and physical infrastructure is built on permanently frozen ground, which if melted is a quagmire. Melting of this permafrost is already occurring, destroying buildings and infrastructure such as roads. Permafrost warming in parts of Alaska ‘is accelerating’ – BBC News.
  • Jellyfish blooms are causing damage: Jellyfish are enjoying the warmer oceans, and increasing substantially in range and numbers. They are clogging thermal power plant intakes causing the plants to shut down and destroying fish farms. Massive Swarms of Jellyfish Are Wreaking Havoc on Fish Farms and Power Plants.
  • Tornadoes are increasing and shifting range: Tornadoes are clustering, increasing in destructive power and being seen further north and in different times of the year. This is one of the predictions of climate change models and appears to be playing out. Communities with no tornado warnings or experience in dealing with them are being hit. New U.S. tornado trend is worrisome.

What are some of the impacts of climate change that have already happened? originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

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Posted by on April 17, 2017. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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One Response to How Climate Change Is Affecting Us Right Now

  1. Ross Kardon Reply

    April 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I really hate it how idiots like President Donald Trump deny global warming and other serious environmental problems. Especially because President Trump’s older sons are hunters, and hunters of all people should be worried about global warming and other serious environmental problems of today.

    If bees become as extinct as the Passenger Pigeon, even billionaires like Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk will also starve to death in a worldwide global famine!

    I support the National Wildlife Federation, WildAid, and Rain Forest Action Network. I often sign online petitions to save endangered wild life species and for other environmental issues. But, this why I once refused to sign a petition to ban trophy hunting of polar bears. If the animal rights people who circulated this petition online, and the polar trophy hunters both had any sense, they would gladly put aside their differences and work together to fight global warming. This is because both sides want for there to be abundant thriving polar bear populations, and that will not be possible if global warming is not bought under control. If I lived in Alaska or the northern Canadian arctic, and I ran a polar bear trophy hunting business, I would be sacred out of my wits at the thought of global warming making polar bears extinct and putting me out of business!

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