New research reveals regions that will be hit hardest by climate change.
One of the main problems of climate change is that any local pollution has far-reaching consequences, said former chief scientist Dr. Kyle Van Houtan. When we burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, the impact is often exported to remote areas.
The study confirms that while people living near oil refineries, drilling and manufacturing facilities experience local health and environmental impacts, emissions from a relatively small area are increasing temperatures in communities and ecosystems around the world.
The study shows the emissions of the four main fuel-generating agents, which account for 92% of all greenhouse gas emissions, from 1970 to 2018:
- carbon dioxide (CO2),
- methane (CH4),
- nitrous oxide (N2O),
- black carbon (sometimes called PM2.5).
The authors compared the sources of these emissions with global temperature forecasts for the entire surface of the planet.
They confirmed that although the sources of climate change emissions are dotted, the impacts are broader. It is noteworthy that 90% of all greenhouse gas emissions are generated by human activities on 8% of the Earth’s surface area, but by the end of the 21st century, more than half of the Earth’s land mass will experience strong warming.
The study also identified economic imbalances associated with climate change. Researchers have shown how more developed and industrially active regions such as Western Europe, northeastern North America and the Gulf States emit significant amounts of heat-trapping emissions, but will experience relatively less climate impact.
The countries in Africa and Central Asia that emit the least of these emissions will experience the greatest impacts from the burning of fossil fuels.