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Climate change:
11 facts you need to know

We’re already seeing the effects of human-caused climate change — but nature can help.

We’re already seeing the effects of climate change, but thankfully, we’re equipped with the most effective tool to mitigate and adapt to it: nature. Protecting nature today means a better planet for future generations. Share these facts about climate change and help make a difference:​

 

 

  1. Skyline of a small rural town with rolling hills in Tibet during sunset.© Gong​ Hangxu

    408 part​s per million.
    The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2)​​​​​​​ in our atmosphere, as of 2018, is the highest it has been in 3 million years.


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  2. Jungle sunbeams© Elfstrom

    2016 ​was the warmest year on record.
    NASA and NOAA data show that global averages in 2016 were 1.78 degrees F (0.99 degrees C) warmer than the mid-20th century average. Seventeen of the 18 warmest years have occurred since 2000.


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  3. Aerial view of clear cut portion of forest.© shaunl

    11% of emissions.
    Eleven percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are caused by deforestation — comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on the planet.


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  4. Aerial photo of the Amazon River© Johnny Lye

    The Amazon is a carbon-storing powerhouse.
    In the Amazon, 1% of tree species sequester 50% of the region’s carbon.


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  5. Woman hiking in the rainforest in Thailand© Fred Froese

    800 million people.
    Eleven percent of the world’s population is currently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise.


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  1. Leopard seal on the ice in Antarctica© Lucas Bustamante

    Coastal ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems are critical.
    Just 0.7% of the world’s forests are coastal mangroves, y​​​​​​et they store up to 10 times as much carbon per hectare as tropical forests.


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  2. Aerial view of mangrove forest and open sea.© Arun Roisri

    Nearly 1 million hectares lost.
    An area of coastal ecosystems larger than New York City is destroyed every year, removing an important buffer from extreme weather for coastal communities and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


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  3. Singapore skyline at night© Mayumi Terao

    Save nature. It’s cheaper.
    Conserving ecosystems is ​often more cost-effective than human-made interventions. In the Maldives, building a sea wall for coastal protection cost about US$ 2.2 billion. Even after 10 years of maintenance costs, it is still four times cheaper to preserve the natural reef.


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  4. Tree in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia© CI/Emmeline Johansen

    Nature is an untapped solution.
    Tropical forests are incredibly effective at storing carbon — providing at least 30% of action needed to prevent the worst climate change scenarios. Yet nature-based solutions only receive only 2% of all climate funding.


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  5. Eiffel tower in Autumn© Damien Roué/Flickr Creative Commons

    195 nations on board.
    195 countries signed the 2015 Paris Agreement, agreeing to limit global warming and adapt to climate change, partly by protecting nature.


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  6. Earth from space© NASA

    Price tag: US$ 140​ billion per year.
    This is what it would take to make the changes humanity needs to adapt to a warming world. It may sound like a lot, but it’s less than 0.1% of global GDP.​​​


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  7. BONUS FACT

  8. Girls in Kiribati© CI/Peter Stonier

    Fight climate change, naturally.
    Natural climate solutions like ending deforestation and restoring degraded forests could, at the global level, create 80 million jobs, bring 1 billion people out of poverty and add US$ 2.3 trillion in productive growth.


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© Trond Larsen

You Can Help Fight Climate Change

Join the thousands who have stepped up to protect nature like mangroves, which trap carbon and safeguard coastal communities against sea-level rise and storms. Restoring mangroves is just one of the essential ways we can use nature in our urgent fight to halt climate change.

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