The science of climate change is complex, but everyone should know the basics: the Earth is heating up because gases produced from vehicles, power plants, deforestation, and other sources are building up in the atmosphere, acting like a thick blanket over our planet.
We can all reduce climate change by doing our part to decrease the emission of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Read below to learn some more facts about climate change!
The Facts About Climate Change
- FACT: Average global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Celsius over the 20th century.
- FACT: The United States contains only 5 percent of the world's population, but contributes 22 percent of the world's carbon emissions.
- FACT: 15 percent of carbon emissions come from deforestation and land use change.
- FACT: The Golden Toad (Bufo periglenes) is thought to be the first species to go extinct because of climate change.
- FACT: Personal cars and trucks in the United States emit 20 percent of the United States' carbon emissions.
- FACT: Air conditioning and heating account for almost half of electricity use in the average American home.
- FACT: Climate change is linked to stronger hurricanes, more drought and increased coral deaths from bleaching.
- FACT: Climate change is linked to an increase in disease-carrying pests that lead to the increased spread of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, lyme disease and West Nile virus.