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How climate change drives humanitarian crises

How climate change drives humanitarian crises

The triple threat of conflict, COVID-19 and climate change are dramatically worsening already dire situations around the globe.

Climate change is set to unleash widespread and sustained damage across the world—even if we succeed in limiting global warming.

This is not a problem for future generations to solve. The catastrophic consequences are already here as more frequent and intense natural disasters and extreme weather destroy livelihoods, intensify violent conflict, and force people to flee their homes. The impacts of COVID-19 have only compounded these threats to the lives of millions around the world.

The need for bold and urgent action could not be clearer. Find out what you need to know.

What is climate change?

Scientists estimate that the Earth has already warmed by 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit (1.18 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century. With the exception of 1998, 19 of the warmest years on record occurred after 2000.

There is overwhelming evidence that this warming is caused by human activity, specifically the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of thousands of scientists, projects a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.

How climate change is transforming the planet

Climate, the average temperature and precipitation over time, is distinct from weather, which refers to the day-to-day temperature, precipitation, or events like storms, and is influenced by a number of factors. It is difficult to say one specific weather event, such as a hurricane, is directly caused by climate change. However, scientists do know that global warming makes extreme weather more frequent and more intense.

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