Thanks to Greta Thunberg, the 2019 Climate Strike took place on Friday, September 20 – causing thousands of people from all around the world to gather in protest of global warming and climate change.
Sixteen-year-old Thunberg has a fearless approach to climate change – she’s been raising awareness while putting powerful political leaders in their place. Her passion has sparked a movement of young people fighting for change all around the world.
Some people call it Fridays for Future, others call it Youth for Climate or Youth Strike 4 Climate, no matter what you call it, Thunberg has started an international movement of school students who are ditching their classes to take part in demonstrations to demand action against global warming and climate change.
This month, Thunberg traveled to the US by sailboat. It took her two weeks to reach New York from Sweden, as she refuses to use air travel because of its negative impact on the environment.
While in the States, Thunberg spoke at the UN Climate Summit, and prior to that, she participated in school strikes on September 20. Thousands of people from all around the world joined her to strike in their hometowns – hence, where these brilliant signs came from.
“This Monday world leaders are going to be gathered here in New York City for the United Nations Climate Action Summit,” Thunberg said while marching in one of the strikes in NYC.
“The eyes of the world will be on them,” she continued, “they have a chance to prove that they too are united behind the science. They have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us. Do you think they here us?”
Human-caused climate change is a real thing that has been proven to increase the risk of extreme weather, floods, heatwaves, wildfires, and more.
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The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is expected to remain at an average of 411 parts per million (ppm) throughout 2019, which means we are far away from the Paris Agreement’s ambitious goals.
If that sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, think of it like this: prior to the Industrial Revolution (1750) atmospheric CO2 was around 280 ppm. Since then, it has increased by 46 percent.
Well-kept temperature records show that our world is about one degree Celsius hotter than it was in the pre-industrial period.
If temperatures continue to increase by another degree we will see “severe, widespread and irreversible” climate change effects.
If we do nothing to change the path we are currently on, it is without doubt we will surpass the 1.5 degrees Celsius mark sometime between 2030 and 2052. That is unless we find a way to reach net zero emissions.
Meanwhile, summers and winters continually get warmer – with record temperatures hitting cities all over the world.
In 2018, the UK had its hottest summer on record since 2006. Scientific research showed that heatwaves are 30 times more likely to occur as a result of climate change.
This is largely caused by two main factors. First is thermal expansion, the ocean is getting warmer and warm water expands. Second, the melting of ice and glaciers caused by hotter temperatures further increases the flow and volume of water.
If all of the ice in Antarctica and Greenland melted, sea levels could rise by 65 meters.
At least eight islands in the Pacific were swallowed by water over the last 10 years.
Furthermore, Indonesia plans to relocate its capital city away from Jakarta despite the fact 10 million people live there. That’s because portions of Jakarta are sinking by as much as 25cm per year.
Animal lovers will be sad to hear that average wildlife populations have decreased by sixty percent in a little over forty years.
“That doesn’t mean that total animal populations have declined by 60 per cent, however, as the report compares the relative decline of different animal populations,” wired.co/uk explains.
According to an international panel of UN-backed scientists, climate change is a major factor in the extinction of many species.
If average temperatures increase by less than two degrees Celsius, it could put five percent of plant and animal species at risk from extinction.
Our atmosphere has never contained such high levels of CO2 in all of human history. It was over three million years ago that Earth’s atmosphere contained carbon levels of this magnitude.
Scientists warn that if carbon dioxide levels reach over 450 ppm, we will see catastrophic and irreversible climate change unfold before our eyes.
To add fire to the facts, around fifty percent of the CO2 emitted since 1750 has accumulated over the last four decades.