What’s going on with our planet?

Climate change statistics are painting a worrisome picture.

We’ve compiled the most relevant information to help you understand the impact we have on our planet.

Change is necessary, but it can only happen if you’re well informed and open to it.

Little Known Climate Change Facts  

  • Scientists claim 100% of global warming is due to human activity.
  • In the last 30 years, climate change disasters have tripled.
  • 95% of the thickest Arctic ice is gone.
  • We have less than 30 glaciers left in Glacier National Park.
  • In 2018, 89% of CO2 emissions came from fossil fuels and industry.
  • Fossil fuel is responsible for over 76% of gas emissions. 
  • Climate change causes 150,000 deaths per year.
  • 13% of Americans believe humans aren’t responsible for climate change.
  • Carbon dioxide is increasing 250 times quicker compared to the last Ice Age.

When Did Climate Change Start?

Statistics about climate change give an unexpected answer.

1. We’ve Known About Climate Change Since the 1800s

(Source: History.com)

  • Scientists first found the greenhouse effect in the 1820s. It sparked much-needed research and some of it is still helping us discover more about the issue.
  • In 1895 Svante Arrhenius theorized that rising CO2 levels might increase the earth’s temperature by about 9°F. Turns out he wasn’t far off the mark.
  • In the 1980s, global warming became part of the daily conversation. The summer of 1988 recorded the hottest temperatures. The trouble is, we’ve seen a lot worse since then.

Climate change statistics started coming to light in the 1980s. Thanks to the research we’ve accumulated since then, we now have a clearer picture of the issue.  

2. The First Industrial Revolution Started Climate Change as We Know It Today

(Source: Climate Policy Watcher)

  • The first and second industrial revolutions changed the world drastically by accelerating the greenhouse effect, human population, and pollution. In the 1750s, there were 280 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. By 2005 the ppm of carbon dioxide increased to 380. That was an unprecedented drastic rise for such a short period.
  • The US is responsible for a quarter of the planet’s greenhouse emissions, and China isn’t far behind. 

Unfortunately, things are getting worse, and we don’t have to look far to find out why. 

Causes of Climate Change Statistics

Global climate change statistics show that there is one ultimate cause of global warming. Can you guess what it is?

3. Scientists Claim 100% of Global Warming Is Due to Humans

(Source: Carbon Brief) 

  • Between 1950 and 2010, we caused over half of the observed temperature increase.
  • Land temperatures have risen much quicker over the past 100 years. The average increase is 35,06°F. It may not seem like much, but it’s a massive difference for our planet in such a short time frame. 
  • Scientists predict that the earth’s temperature will increase 30% faster in the future, and by 2100 the overall number will warm by 39,2°F.

So, is climate change man made? 

Yes. We’re ruining the planet with our selfish need for fast solutions that are great for us but detrimental to the Earth. 

Climate Change Disasters Have Tripled in the Last 30 Years

Climate Change and Natural Disasters Statistics

Millions of people have been affected by severe natural disasters. As you’ll read below, statistics on climate change and environmental degradation are incredibly worrying.

4. Climate Change Disasters Have Tripled in the Last 30 Years

(Source: Oxfam)

  • 2020 wasn’t just the COVID-19 year. Australia recorded its hottest year ever, which caused massive wildfires. The flames killed nearly 30 people and burnt a total of 38610,2 square miles, leaving thousands homeless and millions affected by toxic smoke inhalation.
  • Increased sea temperatures have doubled the possibility of droughts in Eastern Africa. The shortage of water in 2011, 2017, and 2019 left millions in need of aid. Crops and livestock depleted, leaving dependents with nothing. 
  • 12 million people are homeless because of floods and landslides in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. While the monsoon season usually brings these natural disasters, they’ve never been recorded at this magnitude. 

Climate change dramatically affects natural disasters. Over 20 million people lost their homes with the rising sea levels. Statistics of climate change in the world show things are only going to get worse.

5. Category Four and Five Hurricanes Have Drastically Increased Since the 80s

(Source: NASA)

  • Sea levels have increased by eight inches over the past 100 years. Scientists estimate a further one to eight feet rise by 2100, which will lead to flooding and warmer ocean temperatures.
  • Currently, extreme heat days occur once every 20 years. Scientists predict this will reduce to every two to three years by the end of the century, causing severe droughts.
  • The frost-free season has increased since the 1980s and will continue to affect ecosystems and agriculture dramatically.

Droughts in the Southwest will only get worse. 

Scientists predict over a third of the remaining glaciers will melt before 2100, and the Arctic will have ice-free summers by 2040

Climate Change Statistics: Melting Ice

We all know the ice caps are melting. Scientists have warned us for years about the upcoming effects. Here are the climate change facts we know so far. 

6. 95% of The Thickest Arctic Ice is Gone Already

(Source: WWF)

  • Scientists predict over a third of the remaining glaciers will melt before 2100, and the Arctic will have ice-free summers by 2040
  • The Greenland ice sheet is melting four times quicker than in 2003 and currently contributes over 20% to the rising sea levels. If this sheet melts entirely, they will rise over 20 feet. 
  • The Arctic’s ice is warming faster than anywhere else and declining by 10% every ten years. 

So, what does this mean for you? Entire ocean ecosystems could evaporate, meaning fish could vanish. Climate change polar bears statistics predict the species may go extinct as it becomes more difficult for them to find food. 

7. We Have Less Than 30 Glaciers Left in Glacier National Park

(Source: National Geographic)

  • Located in Montanna, Glacier National Park had over 150 glaciers in 1910. Predictions show all of them could disappear in the next 30 years.
  • 80% of the snow on Mount Kilimanjaro has melted since 1912. Simply put, the famous trek to the summit may become near impossible if things don’t change. 
  • Louisiana is losing parts of its coastline as you read this, averaging a land loss of about three feet per century. 

Climate change statistics predict that billions who live on the coast globally will be more negatively affected by floods and mudslides, including Shanghai and New York.  

Fossil Fuel Climate Change Statistics

Think about it. All these changes have happened since we started using fossil fuels. Let’s find out what they are and what effect they have. 

8. 89% of CO2 Emissions Came From Fossil Fuels and Industry in 2018

(Source: Client Earth)

  • Fossil fuels come from carbon-rich organisms, which we burn to make 80% of the world’s energy through coal, gas, and oil.  
  • Coal is the most harmful and has contributed over 32,54°F of the overall increase in global temperature.
  • Scientists estimate we’ll burn double the fossil fuel amount by 2030, which isn’t  sustainable and will only bring more harm.

Fossil fuel and climate change statistics paint a bleak picture. What’s more, these temperature rises might even be the number one reason for our own extinction. We are knowingly changing the planet as we know it. 

9. Fossil Fuel Is Responsible for Over 76% of Gas Emissions 

(Source: EESI)

  • Oil is our primary fuel source and causes 45% of greenhouse gas emissions. A 2018 report stated the US uses close to 20 million barrels per day. 
  • The US produces 11% of the world’s total electricity. As of 2017, coal, which is the dirtiest fossil fuel, comprised 30% of our electric power. 
  • Natural gas is a cleaner alternative, though not enough. It has 43% less carbon dioxide than coal. On the other hand, it’s still responsible for 29% of US greenhouse gas emissions. 

It’s time for drastic changes because, at this point, we cannot reverse some climate change statistics.  

2020 wasn’t just the COVID-19 year. Australia recorded its hottest year ever, which caused massive wildfires.

Effects of Global Warming on Your Health 

Did you know that climate change has a detrimental effect on human health? The statistics are scary. 

10. Dengue Fever Has Increased by 3%–6% Since 1990. 

(Source: MGH Institute) 

  • Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness that has increased dramatically due to climate change since warmer weather creates the perfect damp environment. Diarrhea could also increase by 10% in 2030, especially in South-East Asia countries where medical help is not readily available.
  • The increasing global temperature has left many without food, such as wheat and rice, causing a malnutrition epidemic in some countries. By 2030, seven and a half million children will be underdeveloped because of insufficient access to food and water. 
  • Air pollution is also a massive problem for our breathing and cell development. What’s more, it’s linked to cancer and respiratory illnesses like asthma. One in ten deaths is due to air pollution exposure. 

You may be wondering:

What do these climate change facts and statistics have to do with me? 

The truth is, we’re all responsible for ruining the planet. Unfortunately, developing countries are suffering right now because of it. Due to economic instability, they take the first hit, but developed countries like the US aren’t far behind. 

11. Climate Change Causes 150,000 Deaths per Year

(Source: United Nations)

  • In 2003, a heat wave killed 35,000 people in the UK. Scientists linked the disaster to the increasing global temperatures.
  • People with heart issues are also suffering. The organ has to work harder to circulate blood sufficiently in a warmer environment. There’s no way to get an exact number, but higher temperatures contribute to the 655,000 US heart-related deaths each year.
  • 80% of diseases in developing countries are water-related, and by 2025, 30% of the world will face water shortages

Climate change statistics are showing us what to expect over the next five years. In short, the estimations should be a serious wake-up call to all of us. 

Statistics on Climate Change Denial in America

We already know the US is the CO2 emissions frontrunner. But why is it the only country that wants to leave the Paris Climate Agreement? 

12. 13% of Americans Believe Humans Aren’t Responsible for Climate Change

(The Guardian) 

  • A further 5% believe the climate isn’t changing at all, denying global warming exists entirely.
  • The fossil fuel industry spends billions every year on information that denies any responsibility for climate change. They even sent it to school teachers. Conspiracy theories are rife, with 17% of Americans believing climate change is a hoax.
  • 40% of US citizens believe that ethical shopping isn’t an important alternative.

By now, you should be starting to see our impact on the planet. Scientific evidence for our destruction is piling up. No matter how you slice it, we’re the reason for the rise of climate change statistics in 2021. 

13. 15% of Global Emissions Come From Livestock

(Source: Our World)

  • Meat consumption is estimated to rise 75% by 2050, with China being the biggest meat consumer. The good news? Countries like China are much more susceptible to climate change, unlike the other main carnivores — the UK and the US, where many doubt climate change even exists.
  • Beef and dairy comprise 65% of livestock emissions. Studies suggest these two industries will need to almost evaporate entirely for a change in carbon emissions.
  • By 2050, the entire globe’s carbon budget will be taken up by agricultural emissions, leaving zero room for transport, energy, and industry. 

These global statistics on meat consumption and climate change mean an irreversible mark on Earth. The US is the third-highest meat consumer. Unless more of the population stop denying climate change, there will be no room for change in the industry.

Proof of Global Warming

Scientific evidence that climate change is happening right now and is changing the planet as we know it is undeniable.

14. Carbon Dioxide Is Increasing 250 Times Quicker Compared to the Last Ice Age

(Source: NASA)

  • Thermometers show us that the last seven years have been the warmest ever recorded, with 2016 and 2020 tying for the hottest year on record. 
  • The earth absorbs most of this heat and stores 90% in the ocean, leading to the rapid increase in water temperature.
  • Between 1993 and 2019, NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment showed that 279 billion tons of Greenland ice melts per year.

Whether you believe the evidence of climate change or not, it’s all happening. We need to make changes or risk extinction ourselves. 

15. We Only Have 12 Years Left to Make a Difference of 34.7°F

(Source: WWF)

  • Climate breakdown will occur within the next 12 years unless we see that difference. It may not seem like a lot, but thousands of years led to this point, and we only have a few left to reverse the effect.
  • Many believe renewable energy is expensive. But let me tell you a secret — the EU spends over 14 billion dollars on fossil fuels each year. It would take a fraction of that cost to run renewable energy sources.
  • We’ll lose a considerable amount of our plant and animal species if we continue doing things the same way. The number of endangered species keeps on growing. 

So, is climate change real? There’s no doubt that we ruin our earth dramatically, and the proof is growing by the day. 

Between 1993 and 2019, NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment showed that 279 billion tons of Greenland ice melts per year.

How to Combat Climate Change

So, what can you do to help the planet? In my experience, it takes one person to make a change and your actions matter.

16. How to Reduce Climate Change

(Source: NRDC)

  • Use your voice. Speak to friends, family, and neighbors about the risks and effects of climate change. Spreading the word is the most significant impact you can make.
  • Buy energy-efficient appliances. If more people do it, we can keep an estimated 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the air. 
  • Save water where you can. The earth’s drinkable water is already diminished. We need to preserve as much as possible to make sure there’s enough for everyone.

These are just a few ways you can personally make a big difference to the global warming statistics. 

Wrap Up

All in all, humans are responsible for climate change, and the scientific evidence is undeniable. As a result, natural disasters are increasing in severity, and billions are affected. The rising temperatures might even have an impact on your health and cause asthma or heart issues.

What’s more, the meat industry is a massive contributor to global warming, so you might want to consider more plant-based sources of protein in your diet. 

You have the power to influence climate change statistics. We can reverse the damage as a species but only if we work together. 

  1. History.com
  2. Climate Policy Watcher 
  3. Carbon Brief
  4. Oxfam
  5. NASA
  6. WWF
  7. National Geographic
  8. Client Earth
  9. EESI
  10. MGH Institute 
  11. United Nations
  12. The Guardian 
  13. Our World
  14. NASA
  15. WWF
  16. NRDC