90% of the Earth’s population has felt the heat of climate change
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More than 7 billion people, or about 90% of the planet’s population, experienced days of high temperatures due to climate change over the past year, according to a new report from the nonprofit research group Climate Central.
Furthermore, the analysis showed that last year was the hottest 12-month period on record on Earth.
“These are temperatures we shouldn’t be seeing. We’re only experiencing them because we’re putting too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” Andrew Pershing, Climate Central’s vice president for science, told reporters in a data preview on Wednesday.
The report dealt with average daily temperatures and heat waves Across 175 countries, 154 states or provinces, and 920 major cities, using the Climate Center’s Climate Transition Index. The index measures the impact of human-caused climate change on daily temperatures
7.3 billion people were exposed to high temperatures for at least 10 daysThe analysis found that climate change was three times more likely to occur. More than 5 billion people, or about 73% of the population, have experienced these temperatures for a month or more.
The data also showed that one in four experienced a heatwave Which lasted at least five days, and is also becoming more likely due to climate change.
The study adds to a large body of research, analysis, and news about warmth this year and how they relate to long-term climate change trends. Also on Wednesday, for example, the European Copernicus Climate Change Service announced that last month was the warmest October on record on Earth. Overall, 2023 has already broken many records, and will almost certainly continue to do so.
Human-caused climate change is caused by greenhouse gas emissionsEspecially carbon dioxide, or CO2, which traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. This, in turn, leads to an increase in extreme weather, including record heat.
It’s not just this year. Overall, emissions have already raised global temperatures by 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1850. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s a change that creates cascading effects on both people and the environment. Most of the warming has occurred in the past 40 years, according to NASA, with the last seven years being the warmest.
Most carbon dioxide emissions in the United States come from gas or diesel vehiclesand coal or natural gas power plants and industry, according to the EPA.
Due to the El Niño phenomenon, the next twelve months may be warmer. El Niño, especially the strong one we’re headed toward now, leads to warmer temperatures that could exacerbate the effects of climate change in the short term.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is still possible. “It’s within reach if we want it to be within reach. We have the technologies, we have the knowledge,” Frederik Otto, a climate scientist and chair of the International Commission on Global Weather Attribution, said at the press preview. “But right now we don’t do that.”
Weather.com Reporter Jean Childs Covers breaking news and features on weather, space, climate change, environment and everything in between.
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