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 that 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.
- By stopping the destruction of forest ecosystems, 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced.
- In 2018, 89% of CO2 emissions came from fossil fuels and industry.
- Fossil fuel is responsible for over 80% 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.
What is Climate Change?
Before we start looking at some shocking climate change statistics, it will help to understand what climate change is.
There are two kinds. Firstly, natural climate change which, as the name suggests, are changes made by the earth for survival. These changes are gradual and take place over hundreds of thousands of years. However, human-induced climate change (Anthropogenic) drowns out all these natural events.
Anthropogenic climate change is brought on by everything we as humans do that impacts how the earth runs. This includes increasing temperatures, CO2 emissions, and pollution, just to name a few. As a species, we are single-handily destroying the planet and this article will tell you how.
When Did Climate Change Start?
Statistics about climate change give an unexpected answer.
1. We’ve Known About Climate Change Since the 1800s
- The history of climate change began when scientists discovered 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.
- In January 2021, this increased to 419.80 ppm.
- 2020 saw a drastic decline in emissions which is great overall. However, this is due to COVID-19 impacting industrial sectors across the globe. India saw a 41% decrease in emissions, however, this quickly changed, overtaking pre-pandemic emissions when lockdowns began easing.
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 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
- 2020 wasn’t just the COVID-19 year. Australia recorded its hottest year ever in 2019, followed by massive wildfires at the start of 2020. 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 are 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
- 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. Not a good thing considering the 2011 heatwave already decreased dolphin survival rates by 12%.
- 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.
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
- 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 the current rate contributes over 20% to the rising sea levels. If this sheet melts entirely, it 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. Climate change 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 80% of Gas Emissions.
- Oil is our primary fuel source and causes 45% of greenhouse gas emissions. A 2020 report stated the US uses 18.1 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 19% of our electric power. Things are steadily declining each year which is fantastic.
- 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 36% of US greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s time for drastic changes because, at this point, we cannot reverse some climate change statistics.
10. The Asia-Pacific Region Produces the Most CO2 Emissions Worldwide in 2020.
- China produced 60% of these emissions and contributed over 30% of global emissions in 2020.
- The US was second-worst emitting a total of 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2020.
- In 2019, transportation was the main driver of US greenhouse gas emissions, with a contribution of 29%. Electricity was up next with 25%
Unfortunately, while we may think relying on these emissions is essential, proof of climate change is staring us right in the face when you see the impact it can have on your health.
Effects of Global Warming on Your Health
Did you know that climate change has a detrimental effect on human health? The statistics are scary.
11. Dengue Fever Cases Have Increased by 8 Times Since 1990.
- Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness that has increased dramatically due to climate change since warmer weather creates the perfect damp environment. Recent studies suggest for every one degree in temperature rise across the globe, there will be a 32% increase in possible Dengue fever contraction.
- The increasing global temperature has left many without food, such as wheat and rice, causing a malnutrition epidemic in some countries. In 2019, 7.4 million children died from preventable causes like starvation, thirst, and inadequate medical care.
- Air pollution is also a massive problem for our breathing and cell development, it kills over seven million people each year. What’s more, it’s linked to cancer and respiratory illnesses like asthma. One in five deaths is from fossil fuel air pollution exposure.
- Currently, there are 800 million people vulnerable to climate change impacts, which make up 11% of the global population.
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.
12. Climate Change Causes 150,000 Deaths per Year
(Source: United Nations)
- What’s more, between 2030-2050, it could cause an additional 250 000 deaths per year.
- 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?
13. 13% of Americans Believe Humans Aren’t Responsible for Climate Change
- 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 2022.
14. 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. Recent data 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. Also, all this contributes to alarming factory farming practices.
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.
15. Carbon Dioxide Is Increasing 250 Times Quicker Compared to the Last Ice Age
- 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 melt 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.
16. We Only Have 12 Years Left to Make a Difference of 34.7°F
- 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. Besides destroying their habitat, people are putting animals in danger by increasing the practice of illegal wildlife poaching.
Just think about the growing list of endangered species, and how far we`ve gone. So, is climate change real? There’s no doubt that we ruin our earth dramatically, and the proof is growing by the day.
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.
17. How to Reduce Climate Change
- 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.
- Introduce plant-based meals on your menu. According to the Meatless Monday movement in the USA, consuming plant-based food even one day a week will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the global food production systems.
People are becoming more aware of the climate change impact. Leading companies around the world are starting to produce vegan-friendly products and energy-efficient gadgets that people love to buy.
Plus, many eco-friendly dog food brands are making delicious and environment-friendly food options for your dog. The positive comments on the Wild Earth dog food reviews are proof that dogs can enjoy vegan food too.
These are just a few ways you can personally make a big difference to the global warming statistics.
18. Countries That Took a Step Forward
( Source: CN Traveler )
- Belgium is among the top countries with efficient environmentally friendly policies. This country is determined to reach the EU target and cut carbon emission levels by 20% by shutting down its last coat-powered power plants.
- The organized recycling system in Sweden is making this country disciplined when it comes to preserving the environment. They even have to import garbage in order to keep the recycling plants going. By 2040, Sweden aims to switch to 100% renewable energy.
- When Portugal faced an unemployment crisis, its government managed to create green jobs that not only people to work, but revised its energy system as well. Portugal promotes a low carbon economy and invests in sustainability in every industrial field.
Even though this gives hope and example to other not so concerned countries, the current statistic on climate change show that this is not enough for an impeccable climate change in the world.
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. Whan percent of the world is affected by climate change?
The human-induced climate impact affects 80% of the world`s area and around 85% of the global population.
2. What is the number one cause of climate change?
Burning fossil fuel, such as gas, coal, and oil, is the main cause of climate change.