The world is experiencing the most severe effects of climate change sooner than anticipated. Here’s what you should know:
- U.S. carbon emissions sharply increased in 2018 after three years of decline; this has been partly attributed to a three percent increase in the use of diesel and jet fuel.
- Diesel and jet fuel are used to respectively power trucks and planes; trucking and air travel “grew rapidly” in 2018.
- The research firm Rhodium Group reported the transportation sector has been the biggest source of U.S. carbon emissions for the past three years.
- The October 2018 report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) turned out to be a conservative estimate. Oceans are warming 40 to 50 percent faster than the IPCC suggested.
- This warming contributes to rising sea levels, increased rainfall intensity, the destruction of coral reefs, the weakening of ocean oxygen levels and a decline in ice sheets and glaciers.
- Extreme weather, including hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts, has been a deadly and costly culprit of climate change; for example, researchers found the effect of Hurricane Harvey was probably made worse by warmer oceans.
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