fbpx

Climate Change

The climate change challenge

Earth in its natural state, without humans, is able to maintain carbon neutrality.

7.9Bn people at ca 5MT CO2-e /person adds 39.4Bn Metric Tons of Carbon dioxide emissions per year. This is the highest in mankind’s history.

This is more than a problem, it is a threat. We cannot sustain the planet with these levels of carbon in the atmosphere.

Without an atmosphere in balance we won’t exist. Simple.

The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.

Ernest Hemmingway

The primary cause of climate change is an increase in greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere.

Energy from the sun, in a wide spectrum of frequencies, hits the earth’s atmosphere. Some of it reflects out into space. The rest warms up the earth causing it to reflect heat (as infrared radiation) back towards space. An excess of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, ozone, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons), blocks this radiation from reaching space resulting in a temperature rise of the atmosphere.

Mankind, through the burning of fossil fuels, clearing of land for agriculture, industry and normal day to day activity has disturbed earth’s natural state and ability to maintain a balance in our planet’s atmosphere. As a result, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, has increased to its highest level in human history. This means more heat is trapped by the greenhouse gases, an outcome known as the greenhouse effect. The rise in greenhouse gases relates in many ways to how heavy our lifestyles are on the planet.

By increasing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, sea temperatures also rise as the ocean absorbs the additional heat from these gases. This in turn affects our planet’s weather patterns and climate and is causing a rise in sea levels. The rise in sea levels is caused by thermal expansion as well as melting ice caps and glaciers resulting in a spiral of negative climate impacts.

Climate change facts

CO2 Levels Are Rising

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is currently the highest in human history.

Temperatures Are Rising

Average global temperatures are 1.02 °C higher than average for 20th century.

Sea Levels Are Rising

Around 3.4 mm per year since 1993. Around 160mm over the last 100 years.

Remaining Wilderness

66% (1937) > 35% (2020)

Some sobering climate change facts

Life as we know it will, in many ways, become unsustainable if the global average temperature rises above 2 degrees Celsius. There are several climate risks associated with temperature rises. 

Global temperature is already 1.02 ºC above pre-industrial age.

References and learn more about the 1.5 ºC Urgency here.
View our climate change facts and references here.

How heavy is my lifestyle on the planet?

Measure, Reduce, Offset Explained

By being conscious of your choices and actions you can reduce your own carbon footprint and support the transition to a low-carbon sustainable future. Learn how carbon offset credits help offset your carbon footprint.

Measure

What we measure we manage. The average carbon footprint of a world citizen is 5.0 Metric Tonnes/year. You can measure your individual footprint the using United Nations' carbon footprint calculator.

Reduce

Consider your activities and adjust where possible. Gold Standard, developed by WWF and collaborating with the UNFCCC, compare lifestyle choices and reduction opportunities.

Offset

Reduce your net carbon footprint using any of our Smarter Net Zero™ solutions.

Learn. Appreciate. Make a difference.

We believe science is the most democratic way to communicate and learn about the impact of the rapid changes to our climate and how this can affect our own lives. Paying.Green ® is not political, a climate activist or a commercial climate consultant. 

We are pragmatic while delivering hope and empowerment through our climate solutions where you can also make a real difference. 

Below are the top 10 asked climate change questions. If you have further questions contact us and we would be happy to help out.

If you have ever asked yourself this question, you are not alone.

Climate change is the broader term. Global warming is one of the many aspects of climate change, as are rising sea levels and extreme weather patterns.

Global warming refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change also refers to changes in precipitation, temperature, wind and their impact on biodiversity, food security and the overall environment.

The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.07°C (0.13°F) per decade since 1880 and jumped to an average rate of 0.17°C (0.31°F) per decade since 1970. That comes down to more or less 2 degrees Fahrenheit and currently 1.02 degrees Celsius since records began in 1880. This shows mankind is a key factor in global warming.

Two degrees doesn’t sound like much, but the planet is already showing us that it is too much. We are seeing ocean levels rise, land ice in places like Greenland is melting at an alarming rate and glaciers are disappearing before our eyes.

50% of the Great Barrier Reef, a crucial marine eco system, has already died due mainly to increasing sea temperatures.

Learn more about the 1.5˚ urgency.

Greenhouse gases are present in the earth’s atmosphere and include gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide amongst others. We need these gasses as they reflect heat from the sun and so the earth doesn’t get too cold to support life. When there are too many of these gasses however, they prevent the absorbed heat from the sun to escape back into space, warming the earth up.

Carbon dioxide is a major contributor. It is released in some natural earth processes but excessively emitted when coal, oil, natural gas and fossil fuels are burned. Since the industrial revolution, humans have let increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. Scientists have known since the  later part of the 19th century that this is happening.

There is no doubt whatsoever. Scientific studies can and have distinguished between emissions from industrial activities and natural emissions.

While it’s true that carbon dioxide levels have never been stable over time, those changes in levels took place over millennia. What concerns scientists now is that human activity is accelerating this change. The annual rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 60 years is about 100 times faster than previous natural increases.

We are now at mankind’s highest CO2 concentration in our atmosphere. 

Carbon dioxide is a major contributor. It is released in some natural earth processes but excessively emitted when coal, oil, natural gas and fossil fuels are burned. Since the industrial revolution, humans have let increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. Scientists have known since the  later part of the 19th century that this is happening.

No, the warming of the earth is happening too fast. Natural factors like changes in the sun’s intensity and volcanic eruptions contribute to changes in the earth’s temperature, but these factors bring about climate change over time. Besides, there’s not a lot of that happening now.

The current warming is happening too fast to be attributed to natural causes.

People simply doubt or don’t understand the science. Besides, there are powerful sources from different arenas, including political, media and fossil fuel industries that actively work to promote their own agendas, which include the idea that climate change is not happening. They actively work to sow the seeds of doubt. However, it’s also true that many people don’t take the time to properly inform themselves.

The tide is turning, though. The public at large are experiencing the effects of climate change directly and are demanding that governments, organisations and businesses take action.

We don’t like to hear this but unfortunately the answer is YES.

Scientists predict dire consequences for the earth and its inhabitants if current emissions continue unabated. In the next few decades, we can expect to see the climate warming more with increasing numbers of extreme weather events like uncontainable wildfires and superstorms.

In fact, if things continue as they are, scientists foresee that governments could be destabilised, the rise of millions of climate change refugees, coastal towns and cities flooded by rising seas and most tragically, the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals in the Earth’s history. This generation knows that these dangerous emissions are continuing and we need to face the moral questions it raises.

The longer we take to respond, the harder it is going to get to turn things around.

Whilst we will not all be climate refugees climate change is affecting all of us. Air quality, water quality and availability, food security, nutritional value, biodiversity and economies are all impacted

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide is affected through poor quality air. Air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people worldwide every year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 93% of all children live in environments with air pollution levels above the WHO guidelines. Exposure to fine particles in both the ambient environment and in the home is already causing around seven million premature deaths a year.

Food scarcity and increasing prices increase will also be key considerations in decades to come with more droughts, loss of arable land and rising sea levels. CO2 levels in the atmosphere will also affect the nutritional value of our food.

With the high levels of CO2 in the environment, plants are growing faster, ending up with more sugar content and fewer minerals, vitamins and protein. In the long term, deficiencies are inevitable with severe consequences for the health of millions of people.

The question is not only how much sea levels will rise, it’s how fast.

The oceans have been rising at about a foot per century and so far, we have been coping with that rate of sea-level rise.

It’s when the rise in ocean levels accelerate beyond this point that we will be in real trouble. Some scientists warn that this situation could escalate to a foot a decade.

One study found that millions are at risk from rising sea levels. If the seas rise by three feet, 4.2 million will be at risk and with an increase of six feet, 13.1 million will be affected. This means many coastal cities will be flooded. It’s not sure how long this will take, but if emissions continue, the rise will be devastating for coastal areas.

A relatively new field of study called ‘’extreme event attribution’’, has produced more than 300 peer-reviewed studies into extreme weather events around the world, from wildfires in California, and Alaska to hurricanes in the Caribbean, flooding in Europe, and heatwaves in Australia. The scientists concluded that while human activities are contributing to some of the climate risks, it may not the case with extreme weather events.

They found the 69% of the 355 extreme weather events studied were made more likely or more severe by climate change.

For the 68 studies looking at rainfall or flooding, 54% found human activity had made the event more likely or more severe. For the 61 drought events studied, it’s 61%.

So, human activities are impacting weather events like droughts and floods.

However, for certain events like severe hurricanes or earthquakes, the linkage to global warming remains uncertain. These storms are very complex, so there is more at play than just the temperature of the ocean surface, the scientists say.

Read what global organisations have to say about climate change.

Our part of the solution

Can we achieve individual carbon neutrality? YES!

$25

If roughly $25 per annum can be raised for every person on earth, we could totally offset our carbon impact and earth can be carbon neutral.

We’re failing right now due to the lack of unity across the planet and lack of political will or ability. Private individuals need to act.

Paying.Green has a GLOBAL solution to create a community to unify earth’s people, allowing them to take action.

Be the Hero. Join Paying.Green®