20 Stunning Infographics to Show How Climate Change Affects Ecosystems

According to one infographic in this list, many people believe that climate change is happening and that it is irreversible. The difference in opinion is in how climate change is occurring. On the other hand, another information graphic shows that fewer people are believing the climate change scenario despite evidence of glacier melt and an increase in dramatic weather patterns such as more rain and drought. A degree in environmental science may not affect what you believe, but evidence-based science is difficult to refute, especially when faced with over 20 graphic images that show how climate change is affecting ecosystems.

Getting to Climate Change

  1. Climate ChangeClimate Change: This special multimedia information graphic is staged in four steps: 1. Why it happens; 2. Predictions; 3. What are we doing? 4. Virtual tours. Basically, the increase in the concentration of gases responsible for climate change causes changes to rainfall patterns, increase in desertification, alteration of agricultural cycles, the melting of the poles and an increase in sea level flooding coastal areas.
  2. Common Climate Change ArgumentsCommon Climate Change Arguments: A very detailed information graphic that exhibits the difference between scientific consensus and skeptics. The graphic is difficult to read, so click on the graphic and click again to pull it up full size on your screen. In the end, scientists agree that man-made CO2 emissions are driving climate change this time, and that it is a global, not localized, event.
  3. Forget ChinaForget China, Who Are Really the World’s Worst Carbon Polluters? China emits the most total tons of carbon dioxide, because it also has the largest population. On a per capita basis, even rapidly developing nations like China and India have a long way to go to catch up with long industrialized nations like the United States and those in Western Europe.
  4. Green FuelsGreen Fuels And Mean Fuels An Infographic Look Into Co2 Emissions: This chart looks at how common fuels contribute to CO2 emissions and their impacts on our environment. Scroll down a little further for another infographic that addresses the cost of climate change in lives and financial losses, which comes to $222 billion in worldwide losses owing to man made and natural disasters.
  5. The Climate Change DebateThe Climate Change Debate: A different way to look at the difference between skeptics and science. While both sides agree that the earth is warming, they disagree on if it is caused by humans. Both sides believe that the warming is irreversible.
  6. The DebateThe Debate: This infographic shows that 97 percent of scientists believe in global warming, 28 percent of all media coverage agrees and only 26 percent of the public is convinced that global warming is happening. Note that the global warming, at least for media, is based upon man-made global warming. It’s unknown if the numbers might be different if media or individuals would agree that global warming is occurring if the man-made component was eliminated.
  7. AmericansWhat Americans Really Think About Climate Change: Surprisingly, Over the past four years, the number of Americans that say climate change isn’t occurring has increased significantly. The linked graphic, created for GOOD, shows the general American sentiment on this hot topic.

Climate Change Effects

  1. Amid Climate ChangeAmid Climate Change, Some Countries Luck Out: Created by DARA, a humanitarian research outfit, the 2010 Climate Vulnerability Monitor is a sprawling model that predicts, for every country in the world, the impacts of global warming in 2030. It’s meant to serve as a guide to areas in crucial need of aid, and in so-doing, highlights a stark tragedy: Those who emit the most will suffer least, meaning the world’s great powers have little incentive to address the problem.
  2. Climate Change Affects BiodiversityClimate Change Affects Biodiversity: This page contains several information graphics that define how rapid climate change affects various environments. When talking about the impacts of climate change, we mostly hear about changes to land and the planet’s surface or atmosphere. However, most of the warming is going into the oceans where a lot of ecosystem changes are also occurring. This article emphasizes that issue as well.
  3. Coral TriangleClimate change in the Coral Triangle [PDF]: Climate change has become a defining but highly unpredictable feature of the Coral Triangle, the world’s epicenter of marine diversity. This infographic uncovers key facts regarding climate change in this ecosystem.
  4. Consequences of Climate ChangeConsequences of Climate Change on the Oceans: This article includes several infographics and charts that explains the ocean rise and the effects this change can have on landmass worldwide. Over the past century, the volume of Mount Kilimanjaro’s glacial ice has decreased by about 80 percent.
  5. Ecosystems of the WorldEcosystems of the World: This colorful and easy-to-understand chart shows how ecosystems interact with each other and some of the issues that current environments face today. Ecosystems are dynamic interactions between plants, animals and microorganisms. Each element has its own niche, or role, to play.
  6. Effects of Climate ChangeEffects of Climate Change: The latest study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that most regions of the world will witness a variety of negative effects of global warming. Use the drop-down menu and click on the map to view the impacts.
  7. Environmental Impact of CarsEnvironmental Impact of Cars: Cars are one of the top top contributors to global warming pollution and other pollution in the world, and especially in the U.S. The projected CO2 emissions from cars at the U.S. rate by 2020 equals 13,764,000,000,000 pounds.
  8. GEO Data Portal PostersGEO Data Portal Posters: This page is filled with posters that tackle various topics such as resource efficiency to ecosystem management. These posters have been developed mainly on the basis of existing data from the GEO Data Portal. It’s more the result of a pilot study than a real project.
  9. MapMap reveals effects of climate change in your neighborhood: The Union of Concerned Scientists created the Climate Hot Map, which displays all the various already-occurring consequences a warming planet is having on their neck of the woods and beyond. One feature that makes the interactive map so useful is the ability to filter the data into discrete categories such as climate change’s impact on food, water supply or ecosystem.
  10. Glacier MeltMelting Arctic Ice Marks Possible Sea Change in Marine Ecosystems: Arctic sea ice reached an abnormal low in summer 2010. Declines like this have made it possible for a long-lost species of plankton to return to the North Atlantic. Declining Arctic sea ice reached a milestone in the summer of 1998 when the ice pulled back completely from the Arctic coasts of Alaska and Canada, opening up the Northwest passage through which the diatom may have passed.
  11. Tree BombingTree Bombing: Rather than an issue, the information graphic provides a solution — the use of a plane (one of the planet’s pollution problems) to plant trees through bombs that contain seedlings. Tree bombing may allow plantings of 1 billion saplings, or 3,000 square miles of trees in one year. This is one strange solution to offsetting CO2 emissions.
  12. Water WarsWater Wars: Probably one of the most popular information graphics on the status of drinking water worldwide. As worldwide populations surge, temperatures rise, climates change and diseases spread, clean water may become ever more essential, yet more rare.
  13. WineWine Weathers Climate Change: This is news that many people might like to hear. But, vineyards are surviving in different areas than traditionally grown. This infographic shows that around the globe, wine producing countries are confronting a hard truth — climate change is shifting viticulture zones farther north in the northern hemisphere and farther south in the southern hemisphere.
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