“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.”

-Rajendra K. Pachauri, IPCC chairman (2002-2015)

Image by NASA

Hurricane Laura

August 2020

Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful hurricanes in modern history. Over 1.5 million people in Texas and Louisiana were ordered to evacuate. Due to COVID-19 social distancing, evacuation centers and hotels were stretched to their limits trying to accommodate evacuees. Flooding due to rising sea-levels and heavy rainfall has left hundreds of thousands of residents without electricity and/ or clean tap water. Early estimates put the economic cost due to Laura at around $20 billion. However the cost to rebuild will be much higher (In 2017, Hurricane Harvey cost ~$160 billion and hurricane Maria cost ~$150 billion) and take many years.

Socio-Economic Impacts

Those who contribute the least are hurt the most

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Implementing global warming adaptations now will cost ~$1.8 trillion. 

The world currently spends ~3x that amount subsidizing fossil fuels. 

An investment now would return $7 trillion net gain to the global economy.

 

If we don't take immediate action, fixing global warming will cost over $20 trillion by 2030.

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Climate change has been linked to a number of health impacts including:

... and many more.

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Flooding and drought decimate crops and farmland, sometimes for many years. People who depend on local agriculture are faced with famine.

Additionally,  severe weather events caused by global warming, such as prolonged drought, extreme heat, and flooding is rapidly making tropical areas uninhabitable. 

 

Prolonged hardship due to food shortages, related health issues, and financial ruin can cause civil unrest within communities and push populations to migrate away from their homelands. 

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Wildfires, droughts, severe weather storms, and warming oceans all impact the habitats of local wildlife.

 

As vertebrate, plant, and insect species struggle to adapt to the warming environment, endangered animals are pushed closer to the brink of extinction

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Global warming is accelerated by feedback loops:

  • Permafrost thaw: releases tons of sequestered carbon and carbon-emitting microbes

  • Melting ice caps: smaller ice caps reflect fewer sun rays and the dark surrounding ocean absorbs heat

  • Warming oceans: cold water acts as a carbon "sink", whereas warm water absorbs less carbon

  • De-forestation: Wildfires and drought kill trees which not only releases carbon but shrinks forests, which normally act as a natural carbon sink.

© 2020 by CarbonNix LLC. 

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