Last updated 7.6.23
The not-for-profit Job One for Humanity organization provides a unique "big picture" and holistic view of the many inter-connected and inter-dependent climate systems creating our current climate change emergency. Unlike other climate change educational organizations, we do provide prioritized, critical-path solutions to the climate change emergency built upon the most accurate global fossil fuel reduction targets and the most dangerous global warming tipping point deadlines we currently face.
Our website focuses on educating individuals and businesses on adapting to what we can no longer avoid! It will help you and your business survive and thrive through the many soon-arriving climate change crises.
Our website illuminates the "big picture" physics and math-determined interactions of the climate's many complex systems in easy-to-understand illustrations, descriptions, and documentation. We know no other website that so candidly presents such a comprehensive window into viewing our global warming future.
Below you will also find links to the many surprising and significant benefits that you and humanity will acquire as we resolve the global warming challenge, opportunity, and adventure. We must not forget "that our greatest challenges are also our greatest opportunities."
"You cannot be called an alarmist if there really is something to be alarmed about." Unknown
Large-scale changes to our atmosphere and environment that normally happen over thousands of years are now happening over decades.
As our global atmosphere heats up and becomes warmer and more turbulent from fossil fuel burning and its greenhouse gas effect, our personal, business, and national lives will soon become more turbulent in many new ways as described below.
The 20 worst global consequences you read about below can bring about global warming mass human, animal, and biological extinction within our lifetimes. Click here to read why and how this can happen.
The following graphic contains an overview of many of the worst consequences of global warming. Most of the consequences below are already occurring around the world at various levels. A few will soon be occurring as global warming continues to increase our average global temperature.
Further down this page, you will find detailed explanations for each of these consequences we will continue to face.
This list of unfolding consequences above will also provide critical early warning signals that every prudent person should be monitoring.
Month-by-month and year-by-year, the consequences of escalating global warming will increasingly:
cut into your personal, business, and national budgets,
change your normal day-to-day personal and work life in increasingly negative ways,
significantly affect the plans you are making for your future, and eventually,
cause you to consider migrating above or below the 45 parallel north or south to reduce your suffering and survive longer,
- bring about the extinction of most of humanity by mid-century as well as trigger economic, political, and social chaos within our lifetimes.
Although the list of global warming consequences below is scary, there is still hope to slow and lessen the effect of these consequences. The unhappy vision of future consequences you will see unfolding below occurs only if we fail to act immediately using effective strategies like those offered in the Job One For Humanity Plan.
The 20 Worst Consequences of Climate Change and Global Warming
The key global warming consequences to prepare yourself for across climate, human, and biological systems.
(The following list is not in any priority or severity order.)
Spreading of diseases, epidemics, and pandemics
Pandemics and new epidemics are just one of many well-predicted "normal" consequences of the escalating climate change emergency. COVID19 like Ebola, MERS, and SARS (to name just a few dangerous diseases,) was caused and/or exacerbated by global warming.
Escalating global warming is creating or exacerbating pandemics like COVID-19 in several ways:
1. Global warming is quickly destroying the natural habitat of wild animals. This forces the wild animals (like bats) into closer proximity with humans making it easier for the animal viruses (zoological viruses,) to cross over into humans. This has happened with the COVID 19 virus.
2. Global warming is and will continue to cause increasing crop failures, hunger, and famine. This will force poor and starving individuals to hunt, capture, live in closer proximity, and eat more wild animals. This will once again make it easier for animal viruses to cross over into humans. This was also most likely an important component part of the original COVID 19 outbreak in a wild animal market.)
3. Global warming is melting increasing amounts of millennia-old tundra and permafrost, releasing long trapped and frozen bacteria and viruses that humans have never seen. There are also many infectious organisms stored in ancient sea ice and glaciers that will be released into the water system as this ice melts. (20) These may be infections for which we currently have no antibodies or medicines. Additionally,
4. Increased heat from global warming in the atmosphere will spread more tropical diseases, epidemics or pandemics (19) to northern and southern areas as well as higher altitudes where they have never been before—and where most of the population has no immunity. These are tropical diseases like West Nile Disease, Zika, Rift Valley Fever, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus, and Chagas Disease, all of which are rapidly moving north and appearing in the news on a regular basis.
Tropical diseases rapidly spreading north and south are due in part to migrating humans, animals, and insects trying to escape their heat and/or water-stressed ecosystems. Other diseases likely to spread due to global warming to epidemic or even pandemic levels are new and old strains of avian flu, cholera, plague, Ebola, and tuberculosis.
The above means that it is inevitable that we will be seeing more pandemics, but not every hundred years as has occurred for the last few thousand years. Because of our escalating climate change emergency, global pandemics could quickly become every decade or sooner occurrences.
Human-caused carbon and methane pollution of the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels causes global warming. This carbon and methane pollution process traps more of the sun’s solar energy in the form of heat inside our atmosphere. This increased atmospheric heat means more heatwaves and many more 100+-degree days annually. During the growing season, having more than 10 days with 100+-degree temperatures is catastrophic for many of the world’s five key food staples (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, potatoes).
In many of the warmer climates, regular temperatures of 46° to 51° Celsius (115° to 125° degrees Fahrenheit) will become commonplace. During the hottest summer days in some traditionally hot places, temperatures could rise as high as 71° Celsius (160° Fahrenheit) within just decades.
What we are not talking about here are the large-scale changes to our atmosphere, seasons, weather, and environment that happen normally over thousands of years. These large-scale changes are now happening over frighteningly shorter time periods, such as decades!
It's important to understand how increasing heat will affect us personally. For instance, for every degree of Celsius temperature increase, global food production will drop by 10% in many southern areas. Meanwhile, the human population will continue to soar to 9 billion.
As we approach 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) of global warming-caused heat increase, 1.5 billion people will be exposed to heatwaves each year. At a 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit) increase, the number of heatwave exposures triples to 4.5 billion. At a 5° Celsius (9° Fahrenheit) increase, 6 billion people will be exposed. Click here (8) to see a 30-second animation called Earth's Long-Term Warming Trend, 1880-2015.
Increased heat during winter seasons will also cause periodic rain in winter and dangerous freezing rain and ice storms. These winter ice and freezing rain storms will take down power lines and disrupt transportation, production, and life in general.
Droughts are due to increased heat and reduced moisture over prolonged periods of time. There will be an increased probability and intensity of droughts. As the climate warms, experts estimate drought conditions may increase by 66 percent. Severe droughts are expected in Europe, but Africa will receive the worst of it. Less rainfall is also likely in mid-latitude and subtropical arid and semi-arid regions. For more information, read "California's Drought Could Continue for Centuries." (9)
Desertification (the process of greener areas turning into deserts) is also caused by the increased long-term heat of global warming. It is aggravated by soil and vegetation loss. Semi-arid and sub-humid areas will likely endure a future of almost irreversible barrenness caused by global warming’s evapotranspiration and the accompanying decrease in rainfall. For more background information, read “95% of Glaciers in Tibetan Plateau Have Receded.” (10)
Fires and wildfires
The potential for more fires of every kind rises dramatically as the heat of escalating global warming turns forests around the world into kindling. Fueled by the ever-increasing, long-term heat drying out the land, the Earth will experience endless wildfires increasing in magnitude and frequency with each degree of temperature increase. We are seeing this already in increasing California and European wildfires.
Worse yet, these ever-increasing wildfires due to increasing heat alternating with droughts will create a positive feedback loop that will release more carbon into the atmosphere creating even higher temperatures. There is also a huge danger for the countries with the most forests. Particularly those countries above or near the 45th parallel north such as Canada, Russia, Scandinavia, and Northern Europe. Even though those countries will be generally safer far longer from many of the consequences of global warming, the heavily forested countries between the 45th parallel north and the 45th parallel south will be regularly plagued with wildfires of increasing size, frequency, and severity. For more information, read “Wildfires: A Symptom of Climate Change.” (11)
Loss of biodiversity
As our ecosystems degrade with escalating global warming, current animal habitats become inhospitable to increasing numbers of insects, aquatic, and other animal species. For example, animals that are entirely dependent on colder or cold ecosystems will move to more northerly ecosystems. This animal migration will lead to competitive encroachment upon other ecosystems and the possible displacement or elimination of other animals from their natural colder habitats
If average temperatures rise more than 1.1° to 6.4° Celsius (2°-11.5° Fahrenheit), as much as 30 percent of all plant and animal species alive today risk extinction by or before 2050. Some biologists have already stated we are experiencing what is being called the beginning of the Sixth Great Extinction Event. (43)
Destruction of ecosystems
Many of the world’s critical ecosystems face catastrophic degradation due to the increasing heat of escalating global warming. As coral reefs bleach, deserts expand, soils become unproductive, and the oceans warm, we will lose the critical productivity of the ecosystems we depend upon for food and other critical resources we and other lifeforms need.
Toxic air pollution
When we burn fossil fuels we create smog and soot, which is commonly known as air pollution. Some fossil fuel burning—especially coal-burning—also releases toxic heavy metals, radiation, and other chemical toxins. Of the fossil fuels, coal is also the largest single source of airborne mercury poisoning.
Air pollution is the one consequence of global warming that often gets the least attention, yet in many ways, it has the most impact on a personal level. This is because air pollution from fossil fuel burning is a slow and invisible cause of painful respiratory disease and death. It is also responsible for aggravating many other diseases.
Directly or indirectly, air pollution causes approximately 11 to 13% (about 1 in 8) of all deaths globally each year. According to a recent World Health Organization survey, 40 percent of deaths linked to outdoor air pollution are from heart disease; another 40 percent from strokes; 11 percent from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); 6 percent from lung cancer, (30) and 3 percent from acute lower respiratory infections in children.
China has the most air pollution fatalities with nearly 1.4 million deaths a year. India has 645,000 and Pakistan has 110,000. To put this in perspective, air pollution kills more people each year than malaria and AIDS combined!
Because air pollution supports weed growth, it is also a major accelerator of allergy attacks. It has been directly linked to asthma. Within the past 20 years, there has been an observed doubling of pediatric asthma prevalence.
Air pollution also exacerbates pre-existing health conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Air pollution from fossil fuel burning also dramatically increases national and international health costs, and the burden for those increased health costs falls squarely upon individual taxpayers. Paul Epstein, with the Harvard School of Public Health, found that the hidden costs of burning fossil fuel coal in the U.S. alone to be $345 billion per year!
They calculated these costs based on public health impacts, pollution, toxic waste, and climate disruptions to people’s normal lives and work. When you consider the costs of air pollution the coal industry is currently dumping onto the public without consequence, there is no offsetting net value in the electricity the coal provides!
If global warming and pollution caused by fossil fuel burning did nothing more than kill millions of people every year, that alone would make fossil fuel use a completely untenable energy generation source. Unfortunately, it does much more damage, as our continued exploration of the consequences of global warming will show. For more information, read this article on countries hit hardest by air pollution (31) and this article on the biggest threats to humanity. (32)
And finally, maximum warming from fossil fuel pollution occurs about one decade after carbon dioxide emissions have occurred, so the full global warming and health wrath of the carbon dioxide emissions over the past ten years is still to come.
Shifting jet streams will act to significantly change long-established weather patterns. This is already being witnessed in many areas of the world where the normal rains, snowfall, and seasonal temperatures are becoming more unpredictable and atypical.
In what may sound like a paradox, global warming will also produce cold waves in some areas due to the changing location of jet streams and ocean currents. In some areas, winter storms have already become more frequent and intense.
At a 4° Celsius (7.2° Fahrenheit) increase, the atmospheric circulation of our jet streams is significantly affected. Jet streams commonly found in the mid-latitudes are predicted to shift polewards by 1 or 2 degrees latitude in both hemispheres. For more background information or examples, click here to read "'Arctic amplification' to blame for Greenland's ice melt." (12)
Shrinking sea ice and ice shelves
As the average global temperature rises, temperatures will rise almost twice as fast in the world’s northernmost and polar regions. Because of this, our ice caps are also melting at an unprecedented rate. For more information, see this video on the disappearance of Arctic sea ice (13), and this visualization of Arctic ice melt over the past 25 years. (14)
If the ice shelves on Greenland and Antarctica melt, sea levels could become more than 10-20 feet higher (3-6 meters) in 2100 than they are today. This would flood low-lying areas such as New York City's Lower Manhattan, Miami, and Bangladesh. This sea-level rise would also be perilous for many low-elevation countries and inhabited islands.
Additionally, melting sea ice sheets also disrupt oceanic circulation patterns because they are made of fresh water, and freshwater is less dense than saltwater. Because of the impact of melting freshwater on the Atlantic’s meridional overturning circulation pattern, (15) Europe may become colder. (This meridional overturning circulation drives cold saltwater into the deep ocean while drawing warm water up and northward.) As the ocean currents change, they also can contribute to the shifting of jet streams and the altering of normal storm patterns.
As soon as a 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) increase is reached, the extent of Arctic sea ice in September falls by 43% compared to long-term averages. At a 4° Celsius (7.2° Fahrenheit) increase, the Arctic would be nearly ice-free in summer. This could occur as early as 2035-2050 or sooner. Rising sea levels will displace up to 350 million people, making the Middle East’s 21st-century refugee crisis seem insignificant by comparison. For more information, read “Historical Data Shows Arctic Melt of Last Two Decades is ‘Unprecedented’.” (16)
Shrinking glaciers and snowpack
The glaciers around the world are shrinking because of the increasing heat due to global warming. In the U.S., Montana’s Glacier National Park has deteriorated over the last seven decades from 150 to just 35 glaciers.
With the approaching 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) heat increase, glaciers will decline in global volume by as much as 55%, and snow cover in the northern hemisphere will decrease by 7%. (This excludes those on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and on Antarctica’s periphery.) At 4° Celsius (7.2° Fahrenheit) of heat increase, glaciers decline in global volume by as much as 85%, and snow cover in the northern hemisphere decreases by 25%.
Once most of the white sea ice, glaciers and white snowpack melts, there is another serious consequence lurking in our dark future. The white of the glaciers and the snowpack helps reflect the heat of the sunlight back into space (the albedo effect). This helps to cool the Earth.
But if the glaciers, ice caps, and snowpack melt, the only heat reflector left for sunlight is the ocean. The ocean, unfortunately, is much darker than white ice and snow. Darker colors do not reflect the sunlight’s heat; they absorb it, further warming the Earth in another self-reinforcing loop of ever-increasing heat. For more information, read “Crisis On High.” (17)
If you're a techie the following albedo details may interest you. Professor Peter Wadhams of the University of Cambridge has calculated that the Earth has a total surface area of 510,072,000 square km (196,888,000 square miles) or about 510 million square km. He estimates the present summer area of sea ice at 4 million square km, with a summer albedo of about 0.60 (surface covered with melt pools). When the sea ice disappears, this is replaced by open water with an albedo of about 0.10. This will reduce the albedo of a fraction 4/510's of the earth's surface by an amount of 0.50.
The average albedo of Earth at present is about 0.29. So, the disappearance of summer ice will reduce the global average albedo by 0.0039, which is about 1.35% relative to its present value. As NASA describes, a drop of as little as 0.01 in Earth’s albedo would have a major warming influence on climate—roughly equal to the effect of doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which would cause Earth to retain an additional 3.4 watts of energy for every square meter of surface area.
Based on these figures, Professor Wadhams concludes that a drop in the albedo of 0.0039 is equivalent to a 1.3 W/sq m increase in radiative forcing globally. The concept of radiative forcing (RF) is useful because a linear relationship has been determined between the global mean equilibrium surface temperature changes and the amount of RF. Furthermore, the units of radiative forcing are watts per square meter, and, if the value is positive (negative), it has a warming (cooling) effect on the climate.
RF does not depict the climate response in its entirety. There are many parameters related to global warming that exist, but they are greatly variable and complex. Since RF is easy to calculate, it provides a general, yet respectable, estimate of how global warming and the climate will respond to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations and various other agents.
Overall, the total net human-caused radiative forcing is equal to an average value of 1.6 W/m² [0.6 to 2.4 W/m²]. This level means the overall warming of the climate. Now that you have a better understanding that higher radiative forcings over 1.6 W/m² [0.6 to 2.4 W/m²] will equal increased average global temperature you're ready to continue with more about the different areas relating to albedo.
The albedo change resulting from the snowline retreat on land is similarly large, so the combined impact could be well over 2 W/sq m. By comparison, if all the ice and snow on earth melted this would more than double the net 1.6 W/sq meter of radiative forcing resulting from the emissions caused by all people of the world
The good news is that it is going to decades for ALL of the ice and snow on earth to melt so that there is very little light-reflecting albedo effect left during the year. The bad news is our albedo reflective snow and ice cover is retreating rapidly in many areas around the world particularly the Arctic.
This means that our decreasing albedo will continue to function in a positive feedback loop to continue increasing the average global temperature has more ice and snow melt faster and faster as the temperatures rise. If albedo decreases radically and suddenly albedo has reached its own internal tipping point.
Melting tundra and permafrost
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. This warming in the far north can create another vicious, self-reinforcing cycle and positive feedback loop. This methane is 25-100 times more powerful as a global-warming greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning.
When considering the methane problem, do not forget that the increasing methane releases from fracking and big agribusiness are dangerous on their own. However, when adding in new methane releases from loss of tundra and permafrost, this multiplying factor of methane versus carbon must once again be factored in. With methane 25 to 100 times more powerful than carbon, rising methane pollution may soon become as problematic as carbon. For more information, see here. (18)
Many areas will become wetter due to global warming. The high latitudes and equatorial Pacific are likely to see more rainfall. Increased regular flooding represents one of the most dangerous risks to us because it destroys our crops, homes, and businesses for great lengths of time, if not permanently.
While our already existing 1.2° Celsius (2.2° Fahrenheit) temperature increase over pre-industrial levels might sound manageable, it alone will raise sea levels by at least 3 feet (0.9 meters). This will flood some of the world’s richest agricultural lands and river deltas—as well as drown entire nations.
Due to seawater salination and intrusion, many rich lands and river deltas will become unusable. For example, in Bangladesh, a 3-foot (0.9 meters) sea-level rise will inundate about 15% of the land and threaten more than a million hectares of agricultural production. Additionally, the Mekong River Commission warns that a 3-foot (0.9 meters) sea-level rise will wipe out nearly 40% of the Mekong Delta.
Just a 3-foot (0.9 meters) sea-level rise will flood one-fourth of the Nile Delta, forcing more than 10% of Egypt’s population (9.3 million people) from their homes. Because nearly half of Egypt’s crops, including wheat, bananas, and rice, are grown in the delta, starvation and malnutrition will accelerate.
The damage caused by just 1° Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) of warming is beyond management and remediation for many nations and peoples. Even this low-level increase will quickly create more failed states among the most vulnerable nations.
For more information on the costs of flooding and sea-level rise, see this article on the exponential rise of flooding costs (23) and this article on which areas in the United States will be hit hardest. (24)
Rising sea levels
Rising sea levels are caused by factors such as the polar ice caps and glaciers melting, as well as thermal expansion. Thermal expansion occurs when global warming warms the seas. Because warmer water expands and takes up more space than cooler water, the sea’s surface level rises.
Of the three causes of rising sea levels, the melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers represents the greatest threat. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says that if all glaciers melted today (about 5,773,000 cubic miles of water in ice caps, glaciers, and permanent snow), the seas would steadily rise about 230 feet (70 meters) over a period of several centuries or less. (25)
On a considerably shorter time scale, a recent study by a team working with James Hansen (the scientist who first warned us about global warming 30 years ago) says that by 2050 we could see up to 10 feet (3 meters) of sea-level rise. (26) This well-respected new study contradicts the 3-foot (.09 meters) maximum sea-level rise by 2100 that was previously predicted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC). (27)
Rising sea levels will create huge new costs and necessitate the complete relocation of water and sewage treatment plants, refineries, electric, nuclear, and fossil fuel power stations, toxic chemical storage sites, hospitals, homes, and other businesses and institutions located near or at sea level. Low-lying or coastal communities will suffer unbearable costs (28) as well as the threat of complete destruction as the sea levels continue to rise steadily.
With the approaching 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) heat increase, 30 million people will be affected by flooding and sea-level rise each year. At 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit) of heat increase, about 60 million people a year will be affected. At 5° Celsius (9° Fahrenheit) of heat increase, about 120 million people a year will be affected. To read how this will affect future generations, read this article on accelerating sea-level rise. (29)
Less food, less water, costing more
The food consequences of escalating global warming are high and could quickly result in chaos in the world food economy. A Stanford University study analyzed the historical relationship between temperature and corn yields from 600 U.S. counties. The report concluded that each 1° Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) rise in temperature above the growing-season norm dropped yields 17%.
Rice, wheat, and the world’s other food staples are also vulnerable to global warming’s higher temperatures. With each degree of temperature rise and the consequent crop-withering heat waves, food prices will be driven up to unprecedented levels.
This will also cause shrinking harvests, malnutrition, starvation, and famine, which will increase disease, death, and conflict. As food prices and shortages grow, economically or politically unstable countries will descend into chaos. Nations that still retain good water and food resources will probably be unwilling to share these vital commodities or accept the tens or hundreds of millions of “climagees” (climate refugees) who will desperately be seeking new homes.
“The Syrian conflict was preceded by the worst long-term drought and crop failures since civilization began in the region, resulting in 800,000 people losing their livelihoods by 2009, and 2-3 million being driven into extreme poverty.” (From Climate Reality Check by David Spratt.) (33)
The Syrian drought initially triggered a migration of about 1,500,000+ climagees into Europe. Europe as a whole is struggling to deal with them. The Syrian and other Middle Eastern drought climagees are only a tiny preview of the migration tidal wave that is coming.
With the approaching 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) of temperature increase, 1.5 billion people will be exposed to increased water stress. At 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit) of temperature increase, there will be significant negative consequences on the production of major crops including corn, rice, and wheat. In temperate and tropical regions, 1.75 billion people will be exposed to increased water stress, and there will be 5.7 million square kilometers (2.2 million square miles) of cropland decline. For more information on water stress, see this article on which areas will be hit hardest (34) and this article on worsening water pollution. (35)
At a 4° Celsius (7.2° Fahrenheit) increase, it will be hot and humid enough for parts of the year in some areas to compromise day-to-day human work activities such as working outdoors or growing food. At a 5° Celsius (9° Fahrenheit) increase, about 2 billion people will be exposed to increased water stress, and 7.6 million km² (2.9 million mi²) of cropland will decline. By the end of the century, some states in the U.S. Midwest, Southeast, and lower Great Plains risk up to a 70 percent loss in average annual crop yields.
Increased water vapor
For every 0.6° Celsius (1.08° Fahrenheit) rise in average global temperature, the atmosphere’s capacity to hold water vapor grows by 4%. This means as global warming and water vapor increase, storms will pour forth at a greater magnitude.
Water vapor in the atmosphere increases every time more heat evaporates from standing water in rivers, oceans, and lakes. We are already seeing unusually heavy rains occurring at times never encountered before. More than 170 extreme weather events struck America between 1980 and 2014, disrupting daily life. Extreme weather events are defined as the weather at the extremes of the historical distribution or within the most unusual 10 percent in that location's recorded weather history. Extreme weather by definition is unusual, severe or unseasonal—events often thought of as close to or beyond hundred-year storm records. Eventually, increasing water vapor will become the largest indirect human-caused factor increasing global warming.
Global warming’s increasing atmospheric heat energy, along with the increased water vapor, is also available for use in and by the planet's other weather systems. In particular, warmer waters are causing more hurricanes and cyclones. Global warming creates warmer ocean water, which again leads to greater evaporation. This helps to not just “prime” the creation of hurricanes and cyclones, but also to maintain their strength once they form. The destructive power of hurricanes has increased by roughly 50% in the last 30 years, a time frame closely aligned with the rising temperature of the oceans caused by global warming. For more information, read this article on 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. (22)
Mass climagee migrations
The previously mentioned worsening global warming conditions combined with dwindling resources will lead not only to the massive migration of animals and insects but also to massive waves of global warming and climate destabilization-driven human migration. These individuals will be the new climagees.
Millions will migrate at a 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) temperature increase, hundreds of millions at a 4 degrees increase, and eventually billions of climagees will be desperately on the move as we approach a 5°-6° Celsius (9°-10.8° Fahrenheit) temperature increase. They will seek out already overcrowded urban areas in the northernmost countries of the world.
These mass migrations will cost nations more of their resources and cause continual increases in taxes to deal with the ever-growing influxes of new climagees. The northernmost nations will face a compassion dilemma. The more climagees they allow in and support, the more will come in a self-reinforcing cycle that will further diminish emergency resources and budgets for both their own population and the other newly arriving climagees.
Problems with cultural integration will also cause fear and tensions with the nation’s existing citizens. Growing tensions between the indigenous national citizens and the new climagees have already resulted in nationalist backlashes all over Europe.
Today, global warming-related migrations are only in their earliest stages. As the climagee migration pressure continues to increase, tensions will also arise among the wealthy northern countries that do not do their fair share and allow entry for as many climagees as other wealthy northern countries allow. The growing tensions of climagee migration into vulnerable areas and nations will also likely lead to more conflicts.
As temperature increases, we will experience the greatest mass migration in human history, which we are also totally unprepared for. This massive and unprecedented migration will continue to break down law and order in previously stable countries and produce chaos for nations all over the world that is hard to imagine. Luckily, several authors are already writing novels about what it will be like for you and your family to try to migrate if you wait until it is too late.
We strongly recommend that to try to understand the stresses that will be caused in societies all over the world you're read the following books which going to great detail describing the coming chaos. Although the Job One for Humanity website and the new book Climageddon both express a broad and useful overview of the many severe consequences global warming will bring into our lives, both do not adequately portray the immense emotional and physical suffering that people will go through every day as they live in or migrate through these worsening global warming danger zones. Luckily, there are several must-read books by an award-winning writer that will humanize the intimate details of the approaching climagee social, economic, and political meltdown. These two spellbinding books on the effects of global warming migration after it is too late are:
Butler, Octavia E. Parable of the Sower. Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993. This is part one of the two sequential novels. It is set in 2024.
Butler, Octavia E. Parable of the Talents. Seven Stories Press, 1998. This is part of two of the Parable duology. It is set in 2032
Octavia Butler is a fabulous fiction writer and these two books are absolute must-reads to see the day-to-day ordinary and extraordinary suffering that irreversible global warming will impose upon our future. They will educate you in detailed ways we have not been able to due to our lack of phase-by-phase emotional insight into what happens to real people and families in the kind of regular deep crisis that the escalating climate change emergency will bring.
To be clear, irreversible global warming and climate change means that we will not be able to get the dangerous levels of excess greenhouse gases (like carbon) out of our atmosphere and back down to a normal and human-safe pre-industrial level for hundreds to thousands of years. (As of July 2023, We are currently at the insane atmospheric carbon level of 420 ppm. We will soon enter the generally considered irreversible and second phase of runaway global heating sometime between 2025-2031. This is when we enter into the carbon 425-450 ppm range.)
Franky, we are baffled as to how Octavia Butler was able to so accurately depict the tortuous lives of individuals who waited too long to migrate and suffered the consequences. Scene by scene, she skillfully compels the reader along as a brilliantly-written cast of families migrates up the California coast toward Canada through crisis after crisis. It is impossible not to be drawn into the painful personal details of what happens to these decent, regular families when societies break down at every level because of the consequences of late-stage global warming.
There is a third book we also strongly recommend. For anyone you who does not like reading a lot of science and wants to be entertained, get On Vestige Way by David Spielberg just arrived at Amazon. It is an emotion-packed novel about how global warming affects the future and fate of the world’s Millennials, generation Z, corporations, and the political alliances we take for granted.
Get it for anyone you know who doesn’t like to struggle through global warming science as in books like Climageddon and, who would rather be entertained and educated without ever even knowing that they are being educated. This book is so hard to put down you will be missing work and sleep wondering what happens next to the story’s heroes and heroines struggling with the very real future climate challenges the younger generations will face most of all.
Not only is it exceptionally well-written with compelling characters and elegant descriptions that seamlessly take you in and through every fast-changing scene, quite surprisingly, it also follows real global warming science more honestly than you will find almost anywhere else except in the newest global warming science books such as Climageddon.
Conflict and wars
An ecological crisis such as global warming and violence are inextricably entangled. Nations suffering from climate catastrophes, food shortages and/or crop failure, water shortages, or mass migrations become highly vulnerable to security challenges, including regional panic, social instability, breakdowns in law and order, and aggression. In another deadly self-reinforcing positive feedback loop, diminished quantities of food, water, and arable land invariably further increase mass migrations, global security threats, conflicts, and war.
Escalating global warming started out as an ecological threat. It has now become the world’s greatest security threat and threat multiplier. Over time, one of the most costly consequences of escalating global warming will be the regional, national and international conflicts and wars it will create, intensify, or prolong. As these global warming-induced migrations, resource, and land conflicts expand or worsen, they can quickly escalate from conventional weapons and warfare to small-scale tactical nuclear weapons—possibly even full-scale nuclear war.
Before these conflicts and wars reach their worst possible levels, those nations involved will institute martial law to quell the chaos that occurs during the breakdown of law and order as these climate conflicts grow. In the areas most affected by the consequences of our escalating climate change emergency, there will always be widespread breakdowns of law and order and political and social instability.
The books mentioned in the migration section just above particularly, On Vestige Way by David Spielberg will help you envision the coming conflicts in wars in a very detailed and personal way. (We strongly once again recommend you get the books recommended just above so that the statistical facts and scientific information that we are providing for you is also converted into a visceral understanding of the detailed, emotional and day-to-day real consequences that will be coming to your life in the very near future! For more information on the increasing tensions of armed conflict and global warming, read this article.)
Ocean acidification and marine death
The oceans absorb roughly 30% of all human-caused carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
As global warming increases the average temperature, the process of absorbing carbon dioxide increases both the average ocean temperature as well as the acidification of the oceans. (38) (Acidification is simply the ocean becoming more acidic from the absorbed carbon, creating carbonic acid.)
The reproductive cycles in many ocean species will be dramatically harmed by the combination of warmer oceans and ocean acidification. A strong connection has already been observed between ocean warming and increases in mortality rates, as well as declines in reproduction among seals, sea lions, and seabirds. The shells of most crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, mussels, clams) are destroyed as acidification increases in the oceans. Because of this escalating ocean warming and ocean acidification, ocean fish food stocks will be dramatically reduced beyond their current threatened levels and remaining ocean fish food stocks will increase in price.
At a 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) increase, the oceans become more acidic with the surface ocean pH decreasing by 15-17%. (pH is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or basicity [alkalinity] of a solution.) At a 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit) increase, ocean acidification is much greater, with surface ocean pH decreasing up to 62%. At a 4° Celsius (7.2° Fahrenheit) increase, ocean acidification accelerates hugely, with surface ocean pH decreasing up to 109%. For more information on ocean acidification, read this article about its effects on the Atlantic ocean (39) and this article on how it is already affecting phytoplankton. (40)
Loss of breathable air from phytoplankton
Ocean phytoplankton create oxygen that rises into our atmosphere and creates breathable air. Ocean phytoplankton are responsible for up to 50 to 80% of all the oxygen we breathe! One of the most critical longer-term consequences of ocean warming and ocean acidification is the reduction of ocean phytoplankton. These are living microalgae are also indispensable to the ocean’s marine food cycle.
A study published in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology calculated how unrestrained global warming could affect phytoplankton and thus the ocean’s ability to generate breathable air. Their computer models looked at what would happen to phytoplankton’s ability to photosynthesize at different temperatures. According to the Bulletin study, if global emissions continue unabated, and if the world’s oceans warmed (41) by 6° Celsius (10.8° Fahrenheit), the phytoplankton would halt oxygen production! What this means is that if we cross over the 6° Celsius global warming tipping point, the oceans will stop producing breathable oxygen and we will run out of breathable air. (42)
As animal habitats degrade or are lost, animals will be forced to migrate to new areas. In these new habitats, they often come into contact with humans. This, in turn, leads to an increase in animal attacks. For instance, we are already seeing this happen with bears when residential development encroaches on urban-forest interfaces.
At a 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) increase, many species and ecosystems with limited ability to adapt to higher temperatures will be subject to very high risks. At a 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit) increase, most small mammals without high ground to escape, will not be able to keep up with the rate of climate change. At a 4°Celsius (7.2° Fahrenheit) increase, wildlife and ecosystems will be hit by severe and widespread impacts, with substantial numbers of species going extinct.
Increased volcanic activity
The shifting weights of melting glaciers over the planet’s surface can initiate episodes of volcanic activity. Sustained large-scale volcanic activity can have a catastrophic effect on human life. If the volcano is large enough, such as with a supervolcano, the eruption could actually cool the planet and create two or three years of nuclear winter. Such a development creates its own extinction-level destruction in the form of severe negative impacts on agriculture and other living systems.
Glacial ice sheets apply massive pressure to the surface beneath them. As glaciers melt from global warming, their massive weight decreases—lessening the total weight over the tectonic plates below them. As the tectonic plates move and shift, this unweighting can lead to volcanic activity and earthquakes. Whenever these tectonic plates move significantly, they are also capable of creating deadly tsunamis.
Methane time bomb, and key extinction event probability
In addition to the many consequences listed above, there is one additional consequence that could rapidly turn into a mass extinction event. See more about this and the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) extinction event click here.
This theory suggests that a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop between permafrost-melting methane emissions and warming of methane clathrate crystals on the bottom of the ocean created a massive and rapid global warming temperature surge. As the ocean temperatures rose, gigatons of frozen methane hydrate crystals trapped along the continental shelves of our oceans thawed. This caused a sudden and dramatic release of carbon into the atmosphere (from melted methane hydrate crystals.) This caused another sudden heat increase. As a result, roughly 70 percent of all life on the planet was killed off.
An extinction event of this scale happening today would decimate populations so completely that either there would be no survivors or there might be as few as 200 million surviving close to the poles. The onset of this PETM extinction event has been linked to an initial 5° Celsius (9° Fahrenheit and about carbon 600 ppm) temperature increase and extreme changes in Earth's carbon-eating and carbon-releasing cycles. To read more about how today’s carbon levels mimic those from about 56 million years ago, read this article. (44) (Please also click here to watch a short video that brilliantly explains the extinction process once we start releasing methane clathrate from our coastal shelves. New research shows we actually begin this release process once we reach 5°C and by 6°C it is in full bloom.)
Increasing deaths and debilitating illnesses from the toxic plastic by-products of fossil fuels.
As plastics produced from fossil fuels decay, they eventually become toxic micro-particles. These harmful microplastic particles are turning up in soils, water, and oceans to such a degree they are found in most fish and much of the plants and animals we eat.
This microplastic particle explosion is terrible for long-term human health. New studies show that these strange microplastic particles cannot be adequately processed by our bodies and are sources of cancers and other illnesses. As more research is done on our food and water supplies, it may turn out that this toxic microplastic by-product of fossil fuel will create more long-term problems than the poisonous carbon and other atmospheric pollution it produces when we burn fossil fuels.
The general financial costs, losses, and economic consequences of the escalating climate change emergency
(These financial consequences are found in the members-only section of our website at the top right of the menu bar. Become a member here or click the image below.)
There are more primary and secondary climate change consequences, which are critical to know
On this 2nd most read page on our website, we have rearranged and prioritized the 20 primary climate consequences above. We also have listed the 20 plus indirect climate consequences, which will, over time will be as bad if not worse than the 20 above primary consequences. This page will take your understanding of the horrors humanity faces in the near future to levels few have seen.
Here are important additional "outside" global challenges and contextual factors that will directly or indirectly interact to worsen the coming climate change and global warming consequences
The accelerating climate change emergency is not taking place in a vacuum. There are many other global challenges in play. The world is dealing with 11 other global challenges (described below) that provide a powerful interactive, inter-connected, and inter-dependent context in which accelerating global warming consequences are occurring.
These 11 other global challenges will accelerate many of the worst global warming consequences (described above.) Simultaneously, the accelerating climate change emergency and its consequences will also multiply or amplify many of the worst consequences of these 11 other global challenges.
Because of the negative consequences of how all of these global challenges feed off each other, once we go over the 2025 global warming Climate Cliff, we will make most of humanity's global challenges so much worse that humanity's survival is unlikely. If we miss the 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets, and because of the global challenges below, what we will face is the eventual near-complete collapse of our global civilization within a matter of 3-5 decades.
Here are today's 11 most dangerous global challenges (other than global warming) fueling the high likelihood of the first great global collapse in human history.
As you are reading the challenges below, also think about how they can, and will affect each other and the 20 major global warming consequences as they worsen: As you will discover below, humanity is not dealing with only a single-incident, non-interconnected local or regional crisis. Humanity is heading into a deteriorating and undeclared globalized emergency involving the collapse of its critical global survival and stability systems, (such as the climate, the environment, the economy, and our political and social systems.)
As you read about the 12 global crises, it is helpful to also think about our key deteriorating global systems like the angry, unpredictable, and attacking heads on the dragon below.
Our 12 most dangerous global crises and challenges
(The single most urgent and dangerous global crisis is listed last.)
Global Crisis and Challenge 1: Ever-rising over-population, the Earth has the carrying capacity for about 1and 1/2 billion to 2 billion people maximum as shown in the illustration below. On average, about 141 million people are born every year, and normally pre-pandemic 50 million people a year die.
We are currently at near 8 billion people racing to 9.8 billion by or before 2050. Even though we are far, far over sustainable population levels already, no government is currently setting human reproduction policy! Future and current generations will suffer unthinkable catastrophes because, as humanity, we failed to manage the size of our global population to match the sustainable carrying capacity of our global environment and the Earth's available and renewable resources.
Overpopulation and its inherent over-consumption beyond our carrying capacity IS the core major cause behind today's climate change emergency. Furthermore, as the global population continues to rise, the additional population serves to further multiply and amplify the most harmful consequences of almost all the other 11 global crises below. This is particularly true for global resource depletion aka global resources overshoot. (See Global Crisis and Challenge 2.)
Overpopulation also greatly worsens the many primary and secondary global warming consequences further down this page.
(For a candid and balanced article on the immense suffering caused by our overpopulation global challenge, please see this article, Population, the Great Knee-Jerker: A Holistic Survey and Plea to Reduce Suffering.) Please also click this carrying capacity link for more about why our beyond carrying capacity and rapidly rising overpopulation challenge is extremely dangerous to everyone's future.)
As you will discover, overpopulation and Crisis 2 below are intimately intertwined and connected.
Global Crisis and Challenge 2: Over-consumption causing ever-rising global resource depletion. This overconsumption is also known as global resources overshoot.) This overshoot is driven first by overpopulation in relation to the carrying capacity of the land and sea acreage available for a given population.
Overshoot also manifests itself in the consequent toxic pollution of water, lands, and air, crop failures, overfishing, topsoil loss, resource distribution injustice, and the massive "overconsumption and waste" of the Earth's very finite resources and its limited carrying capacity. In addition to the many crop-failing consequences of global warming, global resource depletion itself will significantly increase food shortages and cause soaring food prices leading to mass starvation and mass migrations.
The future holds many resource shortages due to overshoot. Expect shortages in clean drinkable water, food, many raw materials, and even medical and other manufactured supplies. Never forget a single critical or necessary missing resource can stop a whole system from continuing to function.
We are going to have many soon arriving resource shortages. For example, the following are estimates of when only a few of our critical global resources will be depleted:
freshwater in 12 years (2032),
fish stocks will be almost totally gone by 2050,
adequate topsoil for crop growing gone by 2070.
(See this page to see 90 percent of fish stock already overfished and to see charts on how this loss will throw much of the world into starvation.) Of particular concern is the depletion of phosphorous critically needed for crop fertilizers. Adequate access to this could run out in as little as 35-45 years.
If you still do not believe that resource depletion and overshoot of our carrying capacity is a huge problem. Watch this fantastic resource overshoot video with great graphics and global resource depletion amounts and time frames in simple illustrations by Hugh Montgomery, a noted English professor. (We strongly recommend you watch this video for all of the food and non-food resources that are in an accelerating depletion adding to the mass starvation peril. [Forward the video to the 10 minutes and 30-second mark to begin watching Professor Hugh Montgomery's compelling graphic presentation.])
There are also many other critical mineral and non-mineral resources that will also run out soon, click here for more about these. After overpopulation which is a main amplifier of global resource depletion, overshoot is considered by most experts to be the key major cause behind or feeding global warming and almost all of our other 11 global crises listed below.
Global Crisis and Challenge 3: escalating pollution of lands, air, and waters. Ongoing and accelerating toxic pollution kills crops, fish stocks, and poisons our air, water, and soil creating and accelerating all types of global health, social, and economic problems. (Ocean heating and ocean acidification from carbon from global warming will eventually kill off much of the oceans' oxygen-producing plankton. These plankton are responsible for as much as 50% of all oxygen produced on the planet.)
Global Crisis and Challenge 4: loss of biodiversity, we are having more plants and animals go extinct than at any other time in human history. This is due to an ongoing and accelerating loss of natural habitat due to overpopulation, global warming, overuse, pollution, etc. (Leading Stanford University biologists, who were first to reveal that we are already experiencing the sixth mass extinction on Earth, released new research this week showing species extinctions are accelerating in an unprecedented manner, which may be another tipping point for the collapse of human civilization.)
This biodiversity is critical because it supports or is an essential part of our critical food chains.
Global Crisis and Challenge 5: Resolving the current COVID-19 global pandemic beyond just within the wealthiest nations!
Because of a continuous chain of emerging new Covid mutations in all global populations that remain unvaccinated, the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to continue globally until mid to late 2023 to 2025. It will take at least that long until most of the world's population is vaccinated or until a "herd immunity" is developed.
Worse yet, it is estimated we will have a new global pandemic threat about every 5-10 years because of the direct and indirect consequences of rising global warming. (Most people have no idea that pandemics and epidemics are also the part of the predicted "normal" results of the escalating climate change emergency.)
Directly and indirectly, the severe loss of natural wild animal habitat caused by global warming, the eating more wild and non-domesticated animals, and the exploding of hungry world populations crowding into urban areas will be a continuous contributing or the prime cause of new zoological Covid-like diseases crossing over from animal populations into human populations and becoming pandemics.
Pandemics, like COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and SARS have occurred about every ten years from each other over the last decades. These diseases will continue to happen regularly or will be exacerbated by the accelerating climate change emergency. (The many other reasons why accelerating global warming will create more regular global pandemics and epidemics are listed in this eye-opening article.)
Global Crisis and Challenge 6: increasing global economic instabilities that are leading to regularly reoccurring cycles of global and national recessions or depressions over shorter and shorter time periods. (These recessions and depressions are fueled by existing economic weaknesses, lack of financial reserves, huge national deficits, low financial system resilience, and major unexpected shocks or events (like COVID-19 and escalating regional global warming catastrophes,) hitting both the national and the global markets and global financial systems.
Global Crisis and Challenge 7: growing economic inequality, social and racial injustice, hunger, and poverty. Today less than 1% of the world's population owns more than 50% of all wealth. Over the last several decades, this ownership percentage continues to grow in favor of the wealthy.
Growing economic inequality and poverty often increase food shortages and often cause food prices to soar leading once again to mass starvation and mass migrations. This year (2020,) 130 million people are lacking adequate food and could starve to death. COVID-19's effect on the world economy could double that number in the next few years. Over the following decades, global warming consequences will raise that number into the hundreds of millions eventually rising well past a billion.)
Global Crisis and Challenge 8: Escalating local, regional, and international criminality, conflicts, terrorism, and war. Expect these population-destabilizing security and stability threats to increase in their intensity, frequency, and scale. This threat escalation will occur from the urban and rural local levels to regional and international levels.
Vastly increased levels of survival-driven criminality, conflicts, terrorism, and war will be due to the world experiencing almost all of the global challenges on this page getting steadily worse. Global nuclear war or widespread chemical or biological war is also a real and escalating threat as most of the global challenges on this page worsen.
Nations with nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons will eventually fight to the death for the few global warming safer lands, dwindling food supplies, and other critical resources. In addition, the ever-increasing mass migrations of desperate climate refugees (climagees) illegally crossing borders will soon be treated as hostile territorial invasions.
Global Crisis and Challenge 9: Mass migrations, political and economic instability, increasing terrorism, conflicts, and war plus global warming and many of the other listed global challenges on this page will both create and expand sudden, massive migrations of millions then billions of desperate refugees and climagees. During this phase, as most of the listed global challenges on this page intensify, various stronger governments will order precautionary evacuations of selected individuals and groups to limit casualties and losses from their most vulnerable areas. Before 2030-2035 because of global warming alone, the world will see hundreds of millions of climagees (climate refugees.)
Global Crisis and Challenge 10: increasing political instability and collapsing governments. Fueled by existing internal and external conflicts, soaring deficits, and the intensifying global challenges listed on this page, poorly managed nations with weak economies and low existing resilience will fall first. In 2020 we already see numerous countries on the verge of economic or political collapse. As the increased stresses of these listed global challenges continue to increase upon all nations, stronger nations will also steadily collapse. And finally, what is the most dangerous challenge and collapse accelerator of all.
Global Crisis and Challenge 11: New COVID-19 like pandemics as well as other new and older disease epidemics will continue to flare up every decade or less. This will in part be due to global warming melting of the permafrost, loss of natural animal habitat, eating more wild animals, overcrowding, less resilient health systems, mass migrations, wars and conflicts, and many of the other challenges and consequences listed on this page.
Additionally, new and older disease epidemics will occur more frequently and be more severe because of the abuse of antibiotics in animal product production. This abuse has resulted in bacteria that are now resistant to every known type of antibiotic.
Worse yet, because of accelerating global warming, more COVID-19 type global pandemics could come as often as every decade. The AIDS virus became widespread in the late 1970s, the SARS virus in 2003, the MERS virus in 2012, and the Ebola virus in 2013. Click here for more about how escalating global warming may begin producing COVID-19 like pandemics every decade.
Global Crisis and Challenge 12: The ever-accelerating climate change emergency. This global warming is causing escalating desertification, sea-level rise, flooding, deforestation, reef collapse, droughts, wildfires, extreme storms, and the spread of diseases through epidemics and pandemics. All of these global warming-specific consequences are increasing scale, severity, and frequency as our average global temperature continues to rise.
Accelerating global warming is the single greatest disruptor and global threat multiplier of the 21st century. It can directly or indirectly significantly amplify and multiply the adverse consequences of almost every other global crisis listed on this page. The climate change emergency in itself, if not resolved soon, will cause the deaths of most of humanity by mid-century. Worse yet, because of global warming long before 2050 we will also cross three extinction-evoking global warming tipping points. (These three critical global warming tipping points are described here.)
Global warming is also very bad for the world's economy. The rising consequences of the climate change emergency will eventually consume larger and larger percentages of every nation's Gross Domestic Productivity (GDP.) Loss estimates run from 3-5% of national GDPs now to as much as 30% of the total national GDPs in the final phases of the climate change emergency!
As global warming reaches its later Climageddon Scenario phases, it will become far more likely that we will destroy ourselves in a massive war or nuclear conflict over the remaining scarce resources or the very limited global warming safest lands.
Excluding the challenge of having no real global government (which is an evolutionary, structural, and developmental issue) and immediate global thermonuclear war, our out of control global warming is the single most dangerous global challenge today. It is also the most dangerous global challenge because:
a.) It is also the most immediate and probable meta-trigger for the growing possibility of a chain reaction of whipsawing and simultaneous ecological, economic, social, and political catastrophes and converging global system collapses involving directly or indirectly most of the other critical global challenges listed above.
If you think about accelerating global warming as a brightly burning match that will ignite the highly explosive and destructive "fuels" already existing within most of the other 12 critical challenges listed above, you would have another good idea why we have to get the climate change emergency under control as our immediate and top priority.
b.) Global warming is a severe security threat already unfolding. It is causing substantial global problems right now and, it is rapidly growing toward crossing four critical extinction-evoking tipping points. It is in fact, already all but out of our control. It can and will end most of the human species within our lifetimes if we do not act soon!
These additional interactions with the 20 major global warming consequences will make our lives far worse.
How the collective consequences of global warming will unfold to destabilize the climate as well as human and biological systems
Far beyond what we generally understand to be the painful individual consequences of global warming that are listed above is global warming’s effect on the overall global climate as well as the ensuing destabilization it causes within our human and biological systems. This is what takes place when many of the global warming consequences continue to increase in magnitude, as well as interact with each other in an accelerating and multiplying way as a whole system.
To further break down what this means, know that as global warming consequences unfold at a greater magnitude, the climate destabilizes, which then destabilizes everything else dependent on the climate. To see how this process unfolds, see the illustration below.
With each degree of increased temperature, our weather will become considerably more unpredictable and violent. An exact year time frame of when many of the worst global warming consequences mentioned above will occur is still being researched. How global warming will unfold as a process is much better established.
With each degree of increased temperature, global warming’s destabilization consequences will almost always increase in their severity, scope of affected areas, and frequency. Global warming consequences in terms of climate, human, and biological systems such as floods, droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, economic recessions or depressions, the spread of disease, species die-offs, seasonal disruptions, and catastrophic superstorms will unfold irregularly.
As most of the world warms, a few places will get colder. Seasons will not feel like they used to anymore. Monsoons will be too short and come at the wrong time. Winters will last too long or springs will come too early. Winter snows or monsoon moisture will run off long before it can be captured in properly positioned reservoirs for spring and summer use by our farmers. Crops will fail and people will starve and migrate.
As more critical global warming tipping points are crossed, there will be sudden, more extreme, and larger-scale chains of negative weather, human, and biological system consequences will be drastically greater than ever before experienced.
Our normal day-to-day lives will experience more unpleasant changes such as less spendable money in our budgets, more volatility, and instability in our physical environments, and less future planning predictability. (Note: Global warming “tipping points” are explained here.)
Eventually, the exponential growth of carbon and methane pollution in the atmosphere will cause the dynamic climate balance that has existed for hundreds of thousands of years to destabilize and collapse into some new unknown state. The normal cycle of glacial and non-glacial periods may never return as they were.
If this happens, the new climate conditions may no longer be suitable for human life as it is now. If the climate collapses and destabilizes to a new condition unsuitable for maintaining almost eight billion human beings, war and conflict will escalate radically in the fight for scarce remaining resources, and martial law will be quickly imposed in every climate-stressed nation. This would, unfortunately, cancel out centuries of hard-won, traditional protections of civil rights.
As the escalating individual consequences of global warming tumble further into human and biological systems we will face many costly and painful catastrophes within those systems (economics, politics, pandemics, mass species die-offs, etc.). When this happens, consequences will be multiplied and we will have created what is properly called the perfect storm of perfect storms, which is described in the later phases of the Climageddon Scenario.
A quick summary of what at least 30-50 more years of our currently out of control global warming means in unthinkable consequences for your future safety and security
a. What has been hidden from you?
1. We have actually increased fossil fuel use more this century than in the last two decades of the 20th century. To make this point alarmingly clear, more than half of all fossil fuel emissions that have been released in the last 25 years and parked in the atmosphere are more than was released in all of recorded history before 1990.
2. Even though we have had over 20 international conferences on fossil fuel use reduction, and we had international treaties since at least 1993 pledging we would reduce global warming, worldwide we still are about 67% higher in carbon emissions than the early 1990s. (Atmospheric carbon emissions is probably the best way to measure future global warming.)
3. In 2018 carbon emissions increased another dramatic 2.7% and they are projected to increase once again in 2019.
Yes, intentionally or through ignorance, our governments, the media, and most of the world's environmental groups have not been telling us the REAL facts about how what our REAL lack of any progress whatsoever in reducing the rate of fossil fuel use increases, much less the complete absence of any substantive reductions anywhere across the world in reducing atmospheric carbon.
Keeping the preceding horrific failure of any appreciable efforts to take seriously fossil fuel reductions, or even reducing the rates of increases, now please explore the REAL fossil fuel reductions that must be made to save our future. (If you don't believe we are telling you the facts about our dismal failure in reducing global warming over the last 35 years, click here to view a short video by climate Professor Kevin Anderson in a recent presentation to the Oxford University Climate Society.)
b. Because global warming has become out of control for at least the next 30-50 years it is necessary to talk about several unthinkable of the worst consequences that will most likely occur during this 30-50-year window of out-of-control global warming.
You will need a little background to fully understand how bad it's going to get and what we will not be able to stop unless we make the following immediate, radical, and painful cuts to our global fossil fuel use.
The absolute minimum total fossil fuel reductions that must occur to prevent the likelihood of going extinct within the next few decades are:
1. All industrially developed nations must reduce their total fossil fuel use by 75% by 2025 and then continue reducing fossil fuel use to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. Net carbon zero emissions in this solution means that no additional fossil fuel emissions are going into the atmosphere that is not also simultaneously being removed from the atmosphere by natural means. (Only about 20 countries produce 70% or more of the world's carbon emissions.)
Think of developed nations like most members of the G 20 group; Argentina, Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and India. (See technical note 1 near the end of this page for why China and India had to be included in the list of developed countries.)
2. All developing nations must maintain their total fossil fuel emission levels as they are at the beginning of 2019 and not allow them to go any higher. Then by 2045, all developing nations must also be at net-zero carbon emissions. This allowance for developing nations to stay at the level they are now and gradually reduce down to net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 is part of an essential justice and equity equation. The developed nations created their wealth by producing the far greatest majority of all carbon emissions in the atmosphere today, thus causing almost all of our current climate change emergency. (See technical note 2 near the end of this page for more about justice and equity allowances.)
Here are your annual personal, business, and national fossil fuel reduction targets
The above total targets break down to every person, every business, and every government in the developed world each year, reducing their total fossil fuel use by about 25% or more per year over the next six years. This will allow us to reach the most critical first 75% reduction target. Once we have reached that target successfully, we must then further reduce fossil fuel use at least another 10% per year over the next 10 years and before 2035.
If you are in a developing nation, you cannot increase your annual fossil fuel use at all. You also will need to begin reducing your fossil fuel use on the average by around 5-7 % per year for the next 26 years to hit your critical net zero emissions target by 2045.
What is essential to know is that these shockingly large amounts of required fossil fuel reductions and their soon arriving deadlines are absolutely critical immediately because our past and current reduction strategies have resulted in l use.
Yes, we have been continually deceived about global warming reduction progress as well as the REAL fossil fuel reduction targets we should have started making each year beginning over 35 years ago.
If you are in a developed country, here are some very important questions to ask yourself:
How are you doing on reducing your total personal fossil fuel use this year by 25%?
How is the business that you are working at doing in reducing its total annual fossil fuel use this year by 25%?
How is your nation doing in reducing its total annual fossil fuel use by its 25% target for this year?
It is critical to keep in mind that hitting the first six-year target is tantamount for avoiding the likelihood of entering the extinction process. Consequently, the greatest emphasis must be made to successfully reach this first target level.
Please also keep in mind that for every year any individual, business or nation does not hit their targets, it causes their individual, business, and national reduction targets for the following years to be increased accordingly. (For all the other information and qualifications on these REAL and honest fossil fuel reduction targets, click here.)
c. Now for the rest of the background information that you will need to access your future risk and threat levels.
Carbon is the current key greenhouse gas in raising the average global temperature. The carbon level in the atmosphere measured in parts per million (ppm) comes significantly from our burning of fossil fuels. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, most of this atmospheric carbon has been caused by fossil fuel burning. (If you do not understand how fossil fuel emissions of carbon into the atmosphere creates global warming, please click here for a set of simple illustrations and then continue reading.)
Because of the known effects of greenhouse gases like carbon, an increasing carbon ppm level in our atmosphere is one of the best, if not the best predictor of future global warming temperature increases. On average, over the last 60 years, for every additional 25 PPM of carbon that goes into the atmosphere, our average global temperature goes up .5 degrees Fahrenheit or about .25 degrees C.
Understanding the coming major consequence trigger levels for our atmospheric carbon levels described below is how the people and nations of the world will manage their future safety and security. The following will help you understand these major atmospheric carbon consequence trigger levels coming up.
As of May 2018, we have 411 parts per million (ppm) of carbon in our atmosphere. On average, over the last 6 decades, we are adding about an increase of 3 + new carbon ppm in the atmosphere each year.
If you look at the trendline on the graph below, you can clearly see we are in serious trouble! In spite of everything you are hearing about all we are doing to reduce global warming over the past 30+ years, from the graph below you can clearly see that global warming from increased atmospheric carbon is not only continuing to get worse, but it is also getting worse at an even faster rate.
There are minor monthly variations in carbon ppm levels from year to year, as well as cyclical weather variations due to things like El Nino or La Nina. In spite of such normal carbon ppm variations, the clearly dominant trend shown above for the last 70 years is carbon ppm rising faster and faster.
At just these current carbon levels, the stability of the bellwether West Antarctic ice sheet has already been breached and this ice loss is now irreversible. (The West Antarctic ice sheet is an excellent example of another critical global warming tipping point the world has hurdled past far faster than anyone had predicted or foreseen.)
At the current carbon level and as it rises we will continue crossing more of the 11 critical global warming tipping points within the climate’s many systems and subsystems, but now at an even faster rate. Once we cross the carbon 500 ppm level, as soon as 2042-2067 or earlier, ALL ice and ALL glaciers on Earth will go into complete meltdown!
Crossing the carbon 500 ppm threshold has, in fact, happened repeatedly in Earth's geological history. When this has occurred, the sea level inevitably rose to the 70 meters (230 feet) range. At our current annual carbon ppm emission rates, we will reach this catastrophic carbon 500 ppm range.
If we cross that final battle line bypassing the atmospheric carbon level of 500 parts per million (ppm), our average global temperature will soar to 4°C (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit). At 4°C, a large portion of humanity will die of starvation (or of increased heat's other related consequences) and, governments and society will collapse in many areas of the world.
Even though it will take many centuries for the seas to rise 230 feet, there will still be sea level rise spurts within those centuries where sea-level rise 10 feet or more in just a few decades as it has also done repeatedly in Earth's past.
Take a moment to visualize the seas eventually rising 230 feet and what this will mean to the generations that follow us. Take a moment to visualize massive crop failures around the world because of the increased heat and the consequent mass suffering of slow starvation if we pass the carbon 500 ppm level.
Unfortunately, this is not even the worst-case problem we will soon be facing on the slippery steep slope of carbon 500 ppm. If we cross the carbon 500 ppm battle line, it is also highly probable we will quickly reach a carbon 600 ppm level within another 25-30 years.
This new carbon 600 ppm level will raise the average global temperature to 5°C (9 degrees Fahrenheit) and bring about additional massive methane clathrate releases from ocean coastal shelves and permafrost. Because methane is 86 times more potent than carbon as a greenhouse gas, this will once again rapidly spike average global temperatures and bring about the extinction of most of humanity and the end of civilization as we know it. Several past mass extinction events possibly linked in this way to ocean coastal shelves suddenly releasing methane clathrate are the Permian-Triassic extinction event and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. (Please click here to watch a short video that brilliantly explains the extinction process once we start releasing methane clathrate from our coastal shelves. New research shows we actually begin this release process once we reach 5°C and by 6°C it is in full bloom.)
When we reach carbon 500 ppm in about another 20 years or carbon 600 ppm about 25 to 30 years after that as soon as 2077-2097 or earlier, we will greatly accelerate the process of crossing more global warming tipping points. This will further spike the average global temperature. As we reach the carbon 500 ppm and carbon 600 ppm levels, we will also cross into the later and most dangerous phases of the Climageddon Scenario (described in the new Climageddon book.) with all of its related unconscionable consequences.
Take a moment and think about the reality that at carbon 600 ppm as soon as 2077-2097 or earlier, we trigger the final processes that will bring about the extinction of 70 to 90% of humanity if not more. At this carbon level, civilization will also collapse and the unlucky survivors will enter into an ecological and climate hell and social dark age that will make the survivors wish they were dead.
As if the above was not bad enough, there are several additional factors that need to be considered in the nightmare global warming Climageddon Scenario we are now all facing:
1. At the minimum, the relative time frame for removing (sequestering) the carbon particles we are currently adding to our atmosphere is centuries to thousands of years. This means that long, long after we stop polluting our atmosphere with fossil fuels, the two carbon 500 and 600 ppm consequence levels discussed above and many of the other 20 most deadly consequences of those actions and global warming will last for many, many generations, and both we and future generations will suffer dearly for our failures to address and resolve this emergency now.
2. Because of the laws of physics concerning adding additional atmospheric greenhouse gases like carbon, global temperature will continue to rise as we continue adding more carbon and other greenhouses gas particles into the atmosphere from our fossil fuel use. Adding the additional three or more carbon ppm per year as we are doing now is based only on the current population. It does not include any additional amounts for the added carbon ppm amounts to compensate for the additional fossil fuel energy use of the human population soaring from 7 billion today to 14 billion people by around 2050 or, that many more people from the developing world will by 2050 move into the middle class demanding the same high carbon fossil fuel use comforts of the developed world! When you add all of the additional carbon that will be burned from these two factors to our current average annual increase of three carbon ppm per year at our current population level, the future looks considerably worse and predicted consequences will arrive even sooner.
3. The steady rise of methane in the atmosphere from new releases of methane from increased fracking, melting permafrost, and leaking natural gas lines. Methane is about 86 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon to increase global warming. There is also a concerted effort by the fracking industry to keep the ominous growing total methane release amounts hidden from the public. When you add in the effects of methane for raising our temperature along with the effects of carbon, we are probably already well above our current carbon 411 ppm.
A positive vaccination to all the bad news
Overcoming the climate change emergency will force us to grow in maturity as one human global society
How we collectively face the adaptive challenge of the escalating climate change emergency may become humanity's greatest evolutionary teacher to date, producing unforeseen benefits, as well as severe consequences. It's not the disasters of global warming that are beneficial, of course.
What’s positive is the potential innovation, cooperation, and community building we will have to develop in order to overcome these unfolding disasters. This will when achieved, directly expand our evolutionary maturity as a global society. Please also see this the most read page on our website, The Surprise Benefits of Global Warming.
The essential positive perspective on the above disruptive global warming and climate change news
Despite the many types of challenging global warming consequences and past fossil fuel reduction mistakes that we now face, we can still learn from their feedback, and we can adapt and evolve to make life as good and as happy as is possible. No matter how severe the coming global warming consequences might become, if we wisely play the remaining cards that we have been dealt with, we can still achieve the best remaining possible outcomes.
We can yet make a significant difference to reduce global fossil fuel use to stabilize and save the future of humanity by executing a comprehensive reduction and survival plan like the Job One for Humanity global warming action plan.
We can still maintain the perseverance needed to succeed in this monumental task by regularly reviewing the many benefits which will occur as we work successfully on this project together. Although we are now in what could be called a Great Global Collapse process triggered by accelerating global warming, this collapse process will eventually offer equal to (or even greater than) long-term benefits in the form of a potential Great Rebirth beyond the coming suffering and loss.
First on this page (that has been read almost 2 million times,) and then this other critical global warming benefit page, you will find the many often hidden surprise benefits of the global warming challenge. You also will find a framework and the possibilities for what could be called a post-collapse Great Rebirth, no matter how bad the collapse process gets.
We can persevere through this time of emergency. We just need to remember that our greatest challenges are also the seeds of our greatest opportunities.
We are engaged in nothing less than the most critical and meaningful evolutionary opportunity, challenge, and adventure in human history! It is our last opportunity to slow down the mass human extinction threat by getting close to these 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets. Only reaching these targets will fully remove the total extinction threat. In reaching these targets, we also significantly improve many of the world's other 12 major challenges. (Click here to discover why total human extinction is not realistic or probable and the worst humanity will experience is near-total extinction (50 to 90+% of humanity going extinct.)
Get started today on the Job One for Humanity global warming reduction and survival plan. Help save and salvage as much of humanity and our beautiful civilization as is possible.
Global warming started out as an environmental problem. It has now evolved into the world’s largest, continually escalating economic and security problem.
Our air pollution caused by fossil fuel burning has been linked to autism, learning disabilities, and developmental problems in the brains and lungs of babies and children.
The continuously rising costs of escalating global warming act like a gaping hole in the bottom of a bathtub, draining our resources. By 2100 we may be spending one-third of our whole global GDP—about $100 trillion a year—just to cope with global warming disasters.
Most of the consequences of global warming are interconnected and interdependent. Understanding the relationships of these consequences and how their processes affect each other as well as how they affect the overall climate, and human and biological systems are essential to understanding the nearly unimaginable destructiveness inherent within the now unfolding Climageddon Scenario.
The escalating consequences of global warming are grossly unfair to millennials and today’s younger generations in particular. If escalating global warming continues as it is now, they are robbed of any legitimate economic or survival optimism concerning the future.
Our situation has many similarities to the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum extinction event—a massive methane release that occurred 55 million years ago and killed roughly 70% of all life on the planet. We could face a similar event once we reach a 5° Celsius (9° Fahrenheit) temperature increase.
Once temperatures surpass a 6° Celsius (10.8° Fahrenheit) increase, the ocean phytoplankton responsible for producing 50-80% of the atmosphere’s breathable air will halt oxygen production and we will run out of breathable air.
Knowing the global warming consequences and how they are unfolding will serve as critical warning signs about the future quality of your life and future.
- As people become more fearful of escalating climate change consequences, they will become more conservative, aggressive, and competitive for what they perceive to be a scarcity of remaining resources.
Feeling Sad, Angry, or Anxious About Global Warming? Here is what to do.
Click this link and start feeling better.
More Critical Information
If you are interested in understanding the climate science and analysis procedures we used to present the above information, click here for a technical explanation of our climate research process.
Click here to read about the primary and secondary climate change consequences which covers, far far more of the climate consequences that are covered on the page above.
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Learn how to prepare your family and business for the rapidly escalating consequences of global warming.
What can you do? See the Positive Actions to Slow and Lessen Global Warming
All of the preceding, and far more information about the escalating warming emergency can be found in the Climageddon book. Get your copy now! Your book purchase helps support the social benefit mission of Job One for Humanity to end global warming.
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(This page is derived substantially from the 2016 book, Climageddon, The Global Warming Emergency and How to Survive It. It has been updated with new climate research since 2016 as applicable. Climageddon is Available on Amazon.)