The numbers are in and they aren’t good. Here are some facts and figures to ponder this Earth Day.
1.9 F since 1880
12.85% per decade
Arctic ice is declining
800 million people
11% of the world’s population is currently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and rising sea levels.
1 million hectares lost
An area of coastal ecosystems larger than New York City is destroyed every year, removing an important buffer from extreme weather for coastal communities and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Save nature: It’s cheaper
Conserving ecosystems is often more cost-effective than human-made interventions. In the Maldives, building a sea wall for coastal protection cost about US$2.2 billion. Even after 10 years of maintenance costs, it is still four times cheaper to preserve the natural reef.
Since 1950, the number of record-high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record-low temperature events has been decreasing. The U.S. also has witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.
412 parts per million
Carbon dioxide levels in the air are the highest in 650,000 years.
The Amazon is a carbon-storing powerhouse
In the Amazon, 1% of tree species sequester 50% of the region’s carbon.
3.3 millimeters per year
The sea level is rising.
413 gigatons per year
Ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland