The world is set on track to finish the year of 2015 as the hottest year on record, which means we are now at 1°C above pre-industrial levels, according to Climate Central.
Although the temperature fluctuates annually, creating a confusion which makes some people deny the existence of climate change, various scientific evidences have pointed out that the “1°C of warming shows how humans are reshaping the climate in the here and now and not some distant future. Additionally, Earth’s oceans and land cover are helping humans with global warming. “As people burn fossil fuels and clear forests, only half of the carbon dioxide released stays in the atmosphere, warming and altering Earth’s climate. The other half is removed from the air by the planet’s vegetation ecosystems and oceans,” reported NASA.
NASA is advancing new tools like the supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth’s climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. Credit: NASA/GSFC.
According to the Met Office, which maintains one of the four global warming records, the average temperature of September is 1.02°C above normal. While El Niño effect, the warm ocean waters in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, makes the situation worse than usual. If the temperature continues to rise to 4°C above pre-industrial levels, many major coastal cities such as London, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Sydney will be partly under water. It is estimated that the residences of 60 million people will be flooded. Taiwan, an island country, will be severely affected as well. Most of Taipei, Yilan, Kaohsiung, central and southeastern Taiwan will be under water.
In December, hundreds of government representatives around the world will meet in Paris to negotiate a global climate agreement. There have been several climate talks before COP21, but they all ended in failure. Many people believe COP21 is humans’ last chance to establish a global commitment to hinder climate change. To emphasize the importance of taking action towards the predicament of climate change, environmental groups such as 350.org has initiated a Global Climate March in major cities around the world from November 28-29.
In the upcoming month, environmental groups such as 350 Taiwan, Greenpeace Taiwan and Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition have organized various events to raise environmental awareness and a Global Climate March-Taiwan in Taipei on November 29.