The 10 Science «Must Knows» on Climate Change

What are the 10 things you need to know about how climate change is affecting the world and how we can slow it down? Future Earth and the Earth League addressed those questions at a press briefing at COP23, summarising their new report.

Selected significant climate-related events 2016-2017 (FutureEarth, adapted from NOAA 2017)

Where do we stand? Why should we care? How can we avoid dangerous impacts?

  1. 1)Evidence shows that Earth has entered a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – with profound implications for humanity and the relative stability of the Earth system.
  2. 2)Earth is approaching tipping points due to human pressures.
  3. 3)Risks of extreme weather are increasing.
  4. 4)Rising sea levels and ocean acidification are growing threats.
  5. 5)The costs of climate change are already being felt today and will increase in the future.
  6. 6)Human health is at risk from air pollutants that alter the climate, and the impacts of a changing climate, which are decreasing food security and increasing the risks of disease and heat stress.
  7. 7)Climate change is likely to exacerbate the risk of large-scale migration and civil unrest.
  8. 8)The world needs to act faster: deeper cuts are needed to reduce risk of global average temperature rising 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. A pathway of halving global emissions every decade is consistent with this goal.
  9. 9)Analyses suggest that it is possible for the world to meet Paris Agreement targets if nation states cooperate and coordinate mitigation efforts. Carbon pricing is an important policy tool that would create substantial revenues amounting to potentially several percent of GDP.
  10. 10)Adaptation and resilience building are necessary even if the world succeeds with aggressive international action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.