The impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world through increased incidence of extreme weather events like droughts, floods, storms and heat waves, damage to ecosystems such as coral reefs, and melting glaciers and ice sheets
To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, scientists warn that average global temperatures should not be allowed to rise more than 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels.
A rise in temperature above 1.5˚C could lead to:
- significant rise in sea levels – potentially displacing tens of millions of people
- a dramatic reduction in global food supplies
- water shortages affecting hundreds of millions of people
- increased risk of extinction for up to 30% of the world’s species
If temperatures are forced even higher by continued emissions, scientists are concerned that climate change could become irreversible, threatening the planet’s basic systems for supporting life.