A recent study Nature Climate Change has concluded that climate change is already affecting people across the world. The study found that at least 85% of the world’s population has already been affected by climate change in some way.
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The unprecedented changes that await the world are not yet well understood due to limited research. One known fact is that the effects of climate change will affect poor countries more than wealthier ones. This is despite wealthier nations having fueled the majority of pollution worldwide.
Related: 110 countries pledge to end deforestation by 2030
Discussing this topic, the Nature Climate Change study states, “Our results reveal a substantial ‘attribution gap’ as robust levels of evidence for potentially attributable impacts are twice as prevalent in high-income than in low-income countries.”
Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College, says that we are at a time where almost everyone is exposed to the effects of climate change. “It is likely that nearly everyone in the world now experiences changes in extreme weather as a result of human greenhouse gas emissions,” Otto said.
The disparities in data across the world make it difficult to accurately predict the future. For instance, most studies concerning the effects of climate change have been conducted in North America and Europe, leaving little to no information about Africa and South America. These disparities leave huge gaps that make it impossible for the most threatened countries to prepare for climate change’s effects.
Researchers have found that climate change will force behavior changes in several ways. For instance, scientists predict the need for species to move from their traditional habitats in search of habitable ones. Additionally, reforestation measures will likely become more relevant. Mangrove forests can store four times more carbon than other tropical forests, but they are threatened by rising ocean levels.
With severe weather patterns already being experienced worldwide, the recent pledge to end deforestation from countries at COP26 is more necessary than ever.
Via The Revelator