Connect the Dots Presentation


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RUSSIA. Deadliest heat wave ever. 55,000 dead. $15 billion in damage.

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HORN of AFRICA. Drought caused widespread famine. 30,000 dead.

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THAILAND. Heavy monsoon rains. 600 killed. $45 billion ($18% of GDP) in damage.

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95º F/35º C - Ascension Islands 97º F/36º C - Solomon Islands 99º F/37º C - FInland 102º F/38º C - Belarus 108º F/42º C - Ukraine 108º F/42º C - Colombia 108º F/42º C - Zambria 114º F/45º C - Russia 116º F/46º C - Nigeria 116º F/47º C - Cyprus 116º F/47º C - Bolivia 117º F/47º C - Myanmar 118º F/48º C - Chad 122º F/50º C – Sudan 123º F/50º C - Qatar 124º F/51º C - Jordan 126º F/52º C – Saudi Arabia 126º F/52º C – Iraq 127º F/53º C – Kuwait 128º F/54º C - Pakistan 119º F/48º C - Niger Record heat in 2010 Countries that set new record highs in 2010

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Are all these records and extremes a coincidence?

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Connect the dots.

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Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly frequent and severe all over the planet. 500 450 400 350 300 250 150 100 50 0 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Other weather related events Storms Floods Droughts Geophysical year number of reported disasters per year Source: CRED (2011)

Slide 9 Estimated costs of natural disasters have risen from $25 billion in the 1980s to over $130 billion today

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“ “ “The evidence is in: global warming has caused severe floods, droughts, and storms. More violent and frequent storms, once merely a prediction of climate models, are now a matter of observation.” - Scientific American

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It’s time we start connecting THE DOTS

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This is the world of climate change.

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Climate change increases the likelihood of extreme weather events...

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Just like smoking increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with lung cancer.

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“ “ - Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Natural Center for Atmospheric Research “...all weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and wetter than it used to be.”

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As global temperatures rise due to global warming, the atmosphere can hold more moisture. Molecules in warmer air spread out farther, creating more space for water vapor to form. As global temperatures rise due to global warming, the atmosphere can hold more moisture. Molecules in warmer air spread out farther, creating more space for water vapor to form.

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More water in the atmosphere means when it does rain, It really pours

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We’re experiencing these impacts now. Climate change is no longer a problem of the future;

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2010 floods in Pakistan: most expensive natural disaster in nation’s history. $9.5 billion in damage, 20 million people displaced. FLOODS Number of Hydrological Events Flood, Mass Movement with Relative Trend 1980 1990 2000 years 300% 200% 100% 0%

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There has been a 20% increase in the most extreme rainfall events in the US over the past century. SEVERE STORMS Number of Meteorological Events Storms with Relative Trend 300% 200% 100% 0% 1980 1990 2000 years

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2011: driest year on record in Texas. Half a billion trees were destroyed by wildfires. DROUGHTS Trends in Occurrence of Wild Fires Number of Recorded Major Wild Fire Disasters (1950-200) 1950 2000 1950 2000 1950 2000 1950 2000 1950 2000

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2010: the Aceh province of Indonesia alone lost 80% of its coral reefs. CORAL REEFS “The science is clear: Unless we change the way we live, the Earth’s coral reefs will be utterly destroyed within our children’s lifetimes.” J.E.N. Verone, Former Chief Scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science

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Rising tides divided the South Pacific Carteret Islands in half, creating the first climate refugees. SEA LEVELS RISING Sea Level Over the Rise of the Last Century cm years

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EXTREME COLD/SNOW Anomalies in Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover years 2009-10: Mid-atlantic US had snowiest winter on record. 4 3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2008 Million Square Kilometers

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Discussion What changes are we experiencing in our community? How are they connected to climate change?

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This sounds like our world is breaking

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But we can fix it

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We have to act NOW. We have to act TOGETHER. Photo credit: Milan Ilnyckyj

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In 2011, network news channels ran only 14 climate change stories– down from 147 in 2007. Coverage around the world declined 42% from 2009. Yet the number of average citizens who believe our planet is warming is on the rise.

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What can we DO?

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It’s our job to make sure everyone is connecting the dots – even if our politicians and media won’t tell the story.

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So send this information to your friends, family, and your favorite climate skeptics.

Tags: climate change extreme weather global warming impacts 350ppm