These Lives Are Being Devastated By Climate Change Right Now

Forget 2050 climate targets — the world, its people and its wildlife are suffering RIGHT NOW because of rising sea levels and global temperatures.

The climate emergency is finally in sharp focus across the planet. But as greener targets are constantly being set for 30 years from now, the message being conveyed to the vastly uneducated public is that problems are coming way down the line.

Think again. Global warming is taking victims already.

I’ve already revealed how the climate crisis is impacting on mental health on a global scale.

Within that report, physical trauma was detailed too:

  • Lives lost through more frequent and extreme weather conditions, caused by global warming, such as floods, droughts and wildfires;
  • A clear relationship identified between increased temperatures and number of suicides, with climate change believed to have contributed to the suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers and farm workers, in latest research.

Evidence is clear that sea levels are already rising, and ocean temperatures are increasing.

This is causing marine and wildlife devastation, and is displacing thousands of people, as they are forced to leave their homes in search of safer, higher ground.

Climate predictions for the next 10, 20, 30 years are terrifying. But for many people, the nightmare has already begun, both in remote areas and heavily populated regions well known to us all…

Commons Wikimedia

Newtok, Alaska

As with many villages in Alaska, Newtok was built on top of permafrost — permanently frozen soil. But that phrase ‘permanently frozen’ doesn’t carry any security these days, as ocean temperatures rise.

Alaska’s permafrost is melting, which causes whole coastal towns and villages to sink as the ground erodes.

Newtok, on the western coast of Alaska, has already lost half its 400 residents, and the rest will need to follow them within a few years to Mertarvik, a 30-minute trip by boat or snow machine, on higher ground.

Their new home is not equipped with an airport or major clinic, which has made it difficult to access Covid vaccines.

These are real life, real world issues, being caused by climate change, and happening right NOW.

One displaced resident told The Guardian:

“We hear these top people in power not thinking climate change is real just because where they live, they’re not seeing the effects right away.

“Where we live, it’s impacting us really fast. We can see that it’s real, it’s bad, it’s hurting our environment.”

Commons Wikimedia

Glacier National Park, Montana

The stunningly beautiful ecosystem sprawls over a million acres in Montana, on the US-Canada border, and usually attracts more than three million visitors each year.

But it won’t be a glacier national park without its glaciers — and they are melting away at an alarming rate as global temperatures rise.

The US Geological Survey and Portland State University reported that climate change has hugely reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966 — some of them by as much as 85 percent.

The park is also reporting increasing numbers of naturally occurring devastating wildfires.

Scientists claim that global warming has doubled the amount of acres burned in western US wildfires alone, in the past 30 years.

viaggi-usa

Key West, Florida

Hurricanes Sandy (2012) and Irma (2017) brought a preview of what’s coming to this apparent paradise.

With 90% of the land sitting vulnerable at five feet above sea level or less, rising seas and storm surges have already shown that people, wildlife, homes and businesses are under severe threat.

A Florida Keys property report in 2019 concluded dismally that “not everywhere can be saved.”

Further, the Southeast Florida Climate Compact recently reported that:

“Warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns have altered Southeast Florida’s “physical systems” — with a prominent impact on the ocean, which influences the region’s water table and water supply.”

Commons Wikimedia

Venice, Italy

The ancient, iconic city is perhaps an obvious potential victim, with the Adriatic Sea gushing through the city’s canals.

Nevertheless, for such a popular tourist destination to be completely underwater by the end of the century is a shocking prediction. Pre-Covid, the city was attracting 20 million visitors a year.

Flooding is now a more regular occurrence as high tides become even higher, putting homes, businesses, schools at risk, closing off the rabbit warren of streets and making navigation difficult, sometimes impossible.

A barrier system of 78 floodgates has succeeded in holding off more recent flooding, but it is far from a permanent solution.

Commons Wikimedia

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The largest coral reef system in the world supports more than 1500 species of fish, 400 species of coral and 4000 species of molluscs, among many others, stretching for more than 2,300km along the northeast coast of Australia.

But rising ocean temperature causes coral bleaching — this is where the coral turns white, can die off and destroy miles upon miles of vital marine habitat.

Recent aerial survey results revealed the impact of the third mass bleaching in five years — the most widespread ever witnessed — with 60 percent of the reef’s living corals appearing to be dying.

Flickr

The Maldives

A luxury sun-drenched holiday destination, The Maldives is an archipelago of almost 1200 coral islands in the Indian Ocean — and the lowest-lying country in the world.

At an average of 1.3m above sea level, The Maldives would be totally submerged by the end of the century, if current predictions are accurate.

A tsunami in 2004 gave warning of what is to come, and the islands have been desperate to raise enough finance to fund defences to protect the 530,000 population.

Commons Wikimedia

The Amazon Rainforest

South America’s Amazon is a fragile ecosystem that is vitally important in regulating the world’s climate.

The rainforest covers 1% of Earth’s surface, but is home to 10% of all the wildlife species — plus more we are still discovering (a new species is found, on average, every three days).

Devastating deforestation has already ripped down 20% of the Amazon Rainforest since the 1970s, most of it for cattle ranching, to serve the global meat and dairy demand.

Cattle ranchers start fires to clear the land — and the abundance of vibrant wildlife within and under the tree canopy — for the sake of cattle farming.

But climate change is also making the dry season hotter and drier, and this enables the Amazon fires to spread more rapidly.

A tipping point is approaching without urgent evasive action. Scientists warn that if 5–8% more of the Amazon is destroyed, the rainforest will not be able to produce enough rain to sustain itself.

This would not only have a devastating impact on the Amazon, it would seriously affect the climate of the entire planet.

The Alps (Flickr)

The list goes on…

Climate change is impacting life across the planet. Right now. Not in 2050. NOW.

Whole communities in Fiji have been relocated away from the coast, with many more of the expensive, complex exercises planned.

The wildlife-rich island of Madagascar is suffering from climate change as flooding destroys mangrove forests, longer dry seasons have reduced the number of fresh bamboo shoots — vital for creatures such as lemurs — and coral bleaching is threatening marine species off the coast.

The Rhône Valley in France, Tuscany in Italy and the Napa Valley in California are just a few of the many wine-producing regions that have witnessed over-ripening due to rising temperatures, affecting wine production.

The number one European destination for skiers, The Alps, is experiencing an ever-shorter snow season.

The capital of Taro, in the Solomon Islands, is being abandoned with Choiseul Bay Town being built as its replacement on higher ground.

On Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, US, only 320 acres remain from 22,000, as the island gradually sinks into the Gulf of Mexico, forcing a major resettlement project to be put into action.

Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell
Editor of greengreengreen, Mark has been a journalist for more than 30 years, campaigning on environmental issues. Living a vegan and sustainable lifestyle, he also writes for green groups and businesses across the world.

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