The BBC published a fantastic article today explaining the key impacts of climate change and what we can do to help in seven charts. 

Read the full article here, but in summary:

Representatives from nearly 200 countries are gathering in Poland for talks on climate change – aimed at breathing new life into the Paris Agreement.

The UN has warned the 2015 Paris accord’s goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2C above pre-industrial levels” is in danger because major economies, including the US and the EU, are falling short of their pledges.

But scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the leading international body on global warming – last month argued the 2C Paris pledge didn’t go far enough. The global average temperature rise actually needed to be kept below 1.5C, they said.

So how warm has the world got and what can we do about it?

1. The world has been getting hotter

The world is now nearly one degree warmer than it was before widespread industrialisation.

2. The year 2018 set all sorts of records

This year saw record high temperatures in many places across the world amid an unusually prolonged period of hot weather.

3. We are not on track to meet climate change targets

If we add up all the promises to cut emissions made by countries that have signed the Paris climate agreement, the world would still warm by more than 3C by the end of this century.

4. The biggest emitters are China and the US 

Together they account for more than 40% of the global total, according to 2017 data from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

5. Urban areas are particularly under threat

Almost all (95%) of cities facing extreme climate risks are in Africa or Asia

6. Arctic sea ice is also in danger

The extent of Arctic sea ice has dropped in recent years. It reached its lowest point on record in 2012. Sea ice has been reducing for decades, with melting accelerating since the early 2000s, according to the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee.

The Arctic Ocean may be ice free in the summer as soon as the 2050s, unless emissions are reduced, the committee has said.

7. We can all do more to help

While governments need to make big changes – individuals can play a role too. 

Scientists say we all have to make “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” to our lifestyles, in order to avoid severely damaging climate change.

The IPCC says we need to: buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter; eat more locally sourced seasonal food – and throw less of it away; drive electric cars but walk or cycle short distances; take trains and buses instead of planes; use videoconferencing instead of business travel; use a washing line instead of a tumble dryer; insulate homes; demand low carbon in every consumer product.

The single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet is to modify your diet to include less meat – according to recent studies.

All information above taken from the BBC website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46384067