Climate Change

We believe that climate change is a real, ever-present danger to our planet. We stand with the 97% of scientists who agree the earth’s temperature is getting warmer and the 84% of scientists who agree global warming is human-induced. We challenge Indiana University to improve its recycling system, prioritize reusable products, and reintroduce composting practices. We pledge to work on these and other initiatives to improve sustainability on a broader level.

  • Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
  • Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
  • The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030.
  • Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.
  • Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution.
  • Globally, the number of reported weather-related natural disasters has more than tripled since the 1960s. Every year, these disasters result in over 60 000 deaths, mainly in developing countries.
  • The 100-year linear warming trend (1906-2005) was 0.74°C, with most of the warming occurring in the past 50 years. The warming for the next 20 years is projected to be about 0.2°C per decade.

Projections of future changes in climate indicate for example the following:

  • Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations lead to increasing acidification of the oceans;
  • Snow cover projected to contract, widespread increases in thaw depth over most permafrost regions;
  • Sea ice projected to shrink in both Arctic and Antarctic, and arctic late-summer sea ice may disappear almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century;
  • Hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events very likely to continue to become more frequent;
  • Changes in precipitation patterns, with increase being very likely in high latitudes, while decreases are likely in most subtropical land regions;
  • Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries due to the time scales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if greenhouse concentrations were to be stabilized.

 

Sources

WHO

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change