This area of the Change is Coming site is in the process of being updated and some of the following information may be a little out of date.
- According to the World Health Organisation 150,000 people currently die every year as a result of climate change. It is predicted that by 2050 there could be as many as 150 million environmental refugees due to the effects of climate change.
Sources: 1, 2
- A staggering 182 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone could die of disease directly attributable to climate change by the end of the century. Source
- Annual global emissions have grown by a factor of fifteen since 1900. That's nearly 3 per cent per year. Source
- The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the current atmospheric CO2 concentration has not been exceeded in the last 420,000 years and probably not during the past 20 million years. Source
- Half of all energy-related carbon emissions come from only four countries- the U.S., China, Russia and Japan. Yet people in developing countries are four times more likely to die as a result of natural disasters. Does that seem fair?
Sources 1, 2
If you were to take a calendar year and give a date for the point at which a country has used their annual natural resources and begins requiring those from another country, the UK's date would be April 16th. This means that if the whole world were to live at the model of material consumption set by the UK today, we would need the resources of 3.1 planets. Source
The date given for the world is October 23rd. After that we begin to eat into our bio-capacity and our life-sustaining environmental resources. Source
From temperature records dating back to the 19th century we can see that the global average temperature has increased by 0.6°C in the 20th century. Source
The IPCC predict that the global average temperature will increase between 1.4°C and 5.8°C by the year 2100. Source (see page 8)
An increase in the global average temperature of 1.5°C is predicted to lead to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Source
The West Antarctic ice sheet and the Greenland ice sheet contain enough water to raise the sea level by six and seven metres respectively. Source
See what the world map would like if this happened
Over the past hundred years the average sea level is believed to have risen by 10-20cm. Estimates are that it will rise by approximately 50 cm in the next hundred years. Source (See Q5)
A sea level rise of only 1.5m would displace up to 17 million people in Bangladesh alone. Source (see page 2)
- In 2004, Britain exported 460 tonnes of gingerbread and imported 465 tonnes. We also imported and exported 1500 tonnes of potatoes to and from Germany. Ridiculous, no? Source
- Methane is 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. However, because there is currently 200 times more carbon dioxide being emitted than methane, most agree it is carbon dioxide that we need to focus on. Best to keep methane in mind though. Source