Climate Change Over The Last Decade

Climate Change By The Lens of the 2010's Climate Change for the alarming truth has been exposed over the last decade. Scientists around the world have spoken in real time with evidence of its impact–melting Arctic ice caps, forest fires, hurricanes and so much more. Our world is imbalanced and today, we are experiencing its impact first-hand. Sadly, these changes disproportionately affected the most marginalized populations in society, but as the decade progressed, the adverse effects of climate change were increasingly felt.

By the beginning of the decade, the melting ice caps of the Arctic were playing a significant role in the dawn of our understanding that climate change is real and remain here unless we do something about it. By scientific discoveries and the interpretation of these results, we have realized that temperature changes in the Arctic are not isolated-the effect can be felt throughout the world in our ecosystems.

We've seen the devastation that Hurricane Sandy wrought in 2012. When it hit the Northeast United States, and ravaged New York City, we reached a massive pivotal point in the climate change discussion. The fact that one of the world's most developed areas was affected by a disaster driven by climate change has implied danger. Powerful bankers from Manhattan, government officials and ordinary people everywhere were left helpless watching the horrific event unfold on the television–a difficult pill to swallow for a city that had been relatively unaffected by the ever-expanding scope of climate change so far. Finally, people woke up to the immediateness of the issue at hand, with the changing of public conversation and a citizen-led campaign started actively pursuing information on climate change and the possible solutions that we could follow.

Carbon dioxide concentration in the Earth's atmosphere reached 400 parts per million on May 9, 2013-for the first time in nearly three million years. It lies normally at 300 parts per million. In 1988, James Hansen cautioned Congress about the risks of human-induced global warming but unacknowledged his efforts. They refused to cut or regulate the use of fossil fuels in the country which resulted in this massive increase in carbon dioxide. This startling result kicked off the widespread climate change policy movement–people began to realize that their policymakers probably wouldn't understand the rapidly changing environment for the emergency until and unless they were held accountable by citizens. One of the biggest protests of more than 300,000 people deliberately coincided with the 2014 UN conference on climate change. The People's Movement for the Climate started to gather momentum.

In 2015, the Paris Agreement was adopted in an attempt to curb the growing average temperatures and keep them below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The agreement called for countries to take their own pledges to contribute to the greater goal by 2020.

The following years taught us that those most responsible for climate change are in fact not the ones bearing the brunt of it. The climate conditions in poor countries like Syria were worsening while major polluters like the US remained comparatively well-off. Species of animals were suffering greatly – coral reefs in particular were experiencing large scale wipe outs. By June 2017, 70% of the world’s coral had been exposed to waters hot enough to cause bleaching.

Climate change began shifting our perceptions of seasons. Natural calamities were on a steep rise. Seventeen named storms resulted in 2017. Ten became hurricanes. Six of those were Category 3, 4, or 5, and three made landfall in the U.S. or its territories. Some notable hurricanes include Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Hurricane Harvey in Texas. As these grave conditions became more prominent, citizens and unions began desperately filing petitions against corporations and governments that were accelerating climate change with their unregulated fossil fuel emissions, a still unheeded plea to recognize the harms caused by their greed and refusal to commit to a solution.

In 2018, a significant increase of popular awareness of climate change was attributed to two reports–Global Warming and the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC report takes a lead from the fact that to restrict warming to 1.5 ° C, our emissions have to be deeply reduced and our net zero emissions achieved in the middle of the next decade. The report shows us that drastic differences in life expect us when warming reaches 2 ° C. The NCA4 evaluation focused on the cost of climate change and showed its excessive impact on people of lower economic status. These two reports spread over social networks and other news channels like wildfire. This led to widespread fear and the overwhelming sense that we have a climate crisis in fact.

Millions of people were pushed into the streets in 2019 by awareness. It led to the development of coalitions and movements led by people of various ages, races, ethnic backgrounds and backgrounds. Fridays For The Future and Amazon Frontlines are among the many notable climate justice strikes. The people in charge are resilient and motivated toward a climate-free world and all of the injustices involved.

Here is the hope that the people's strength will reduce the imminent threat of climate change in the 2020s. Perseverance will help secure progressive policies on climate change that end the climate injustices that have been suffered so far.

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