Climate Threats and Impacts

What Can We Do to Make a Difference?

Climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth.  Without action, climate change threatens to catastrophically damage to our world. But by rallying people around the world to take action, together we have the power to limit the damage.

Higher Temperatures

Earth’s temperatures in 2015 were the hottest ever recorded (source: NASA). Why does this matter? Because a change of even 1 degree Fahrenheit – which may sound small – can upset the delicate balance of ecosystems, and affect plants and animals that inhabit them. Here's how you can help.

Changing Landscapes and Wildlife Habitat

Rising temperatures and changing patterns of precipitation are changing where plants grow, and in the case of our oceans, encouraging the proliferation of species that impact native ocean habitat. As landscapes and habitats literally shift, wildlife must quickly adjust. Experts predict that one-fourth of Earth’s species will be headed for extinction by 2050 if the warming trend continues at its current rate. Take action and help save wildlife from the effects of climate change.

Rising Seas

As ocean waters warm, they expand, causing sea-levels to rise. Melting glaciers compound the problem by dumping even more fresh water into the oceans. Rising seas threaten to inundate low-lying areas and islands, threaten dense coastal populations, erode shorelines, damage property and destroy ecosystems such as mangroves and wetlands that protect coasts against storms. Learn how nature itself is the most important piece of the climate solution puzzle.

Increased Risk of Storms, Droughts, and Floods

Climate change is intensifying drought, storms, and floods around the world. Where nature has been destroyed by development, communities are at risk from these intensified climate patterns. Scientists around the world are studying how nature can be a buffer for these intensified weather patterns, and TNC is working with leaders and communities to implement solutions that make a difference for nature and people. Take action — your small acts will add up to big results.

Communities at Risk

In the U.S. alone, half of its residents live within 50 miles of the coast. Worldwide, approximately 100 million people live within three feet of sea level. Sea level rise associated with climate change could displace tens of millions of people in low-lying areas – especially in developing countries. Inhabitants of some small island countries that rest barely above the existing sea level are already abandoning their islands, some of the world’s first climate change refugees. In fact, in May 2016, the residents of Isle de Jean Charles were given $48 million to move – the first U.S.-based climate refugees. Help fight climate change and sign our climate pledge.

Economic Impact

The true economic impact of climate change is hard to predict. But it’s safe to say that many key economic sectors – from fishing to energy to water utilities – will feel long-term impacts of climate change. From warming seas, which encourage proliferation of non-native species that impact fishing industries, to rising temperatures, which impact energy usage around the world, our shifting global climate will force many industries to move quickly to adapt to change. Even recreation and tourism industries are weather-dependent – with many planning based on historic weather patterns, which climate change will disrupt. As we move into an era in which climate change impacts are all around us, adapting to these changes quickly will be key for all sectors of the global economy. By innovating and sharing solutions, we can adapt faster.


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