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Climate Change Impacts

Higher Temperatures

Heat-trapping gases emitted by power plants, automobiles, deforestation and other sources are warming up the planet. In fact, the five hottest years on record have all occurred since 1997 and the 10 hottest since 1990, including the warmest years on record – 2005 and 2010.

High temperatures are to blame for an increase in heat-related deaths and illness, rising seas, increased storm intensity, and many of the other dangerous consequences of climate change.

During the 20th century, the Earth’s average temperature rose one degree Fahrenheit to its highest level in the past four centuries – believed to be the fastest rise in a thousand years.

Scientists project that if emissions of heat-trapping carbon emissions aren’t reduced, average surface temperatures could increase by 3 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.

Don’t let average temperatures fool you: A one-degree increase may be found in one place, a 12-degree increase in another place, and yet other areas may become much colder.

The planet’s oceans are also warming, which is causing dangerous consequences such as stronger storms, coral bleaching and rising seas.

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