Why you need to care about climate change – now

Around the world, scientists are tracking storms that are bigger, heat that is more intense and droughts that last longer.

It's climate change at work, and we can curb it. Here are the facts.

Global warming changes climate

Human activity – mainly burning fossil fuels and chopping down forests – has caused average temperatures to rise worldwide. That's global warming.

Meanwhile, climate is the average weather pattern of a region over many years. A warmer atmosphere triggers climate change, or shifts in normal climate patterns.

Changes breed intense weather

Hotter air increases ocean evaporation. And a warmer atmosphere can hold more water, which can intensify weather events.

Heatwaves are stronger. Storm surges rise higher. Blizzards bring more snowfall. The number of natural disasters has more than tripled since 1970 – 90 percent of them are weather related.

These intensified episodes can cause greater destruction to property and loss of life.

The threat is global and urgent

polar bear seeing reflection

Warmer temperatures have shrunk the sea ice polar bears need to hunt for food.

Such changing conditions have consequences. Coral reefs are dying. Forests are crumbling. Arctic animals, such as polar bears, are losing the sea ice they call home.

We, too, feel the effects. Climate change threatens our agriculture, health, water supply, infrastructure and more.

No part of the world is immune.

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