U.N. Climate Change Conference 2014

Today representatives of more than 190 nations began talks as the U.N. Climate Change Conference opened in Lima , Peru.

The ultimate goal of the talks is to restrict the rise of global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to the pre-industrial (1861-1890) average. However, scientists have reportedly said that the goal is now unrealistic, as average global temperatures have already risen 0.8 degree Celsius and could rise by another 3 degrees in coming years.

Avaneesh Pandey, “Global Warming: U.N. Climate Summit to Begin in Peru Amid Dire Predictions by Scientists,” International Business Times

Peru is one of the countries hardest hit by climate change:

  • 70% of the world tropical glaciers are in Peru. They have lost more than 20% of their mass in just 30 years.
  • Andean cloud forests have been losing plants and animals to extinction at alarming rates.
  • Although some industrial farms flourish in the warmer weather, subsistence farming suffers.

According to geographer Jeffrey Bury of UC Santa Cruz, “The people with the least intensive climate lifestyles are suffering the most.”

To learn more about why, check out this NASA video “A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2.”

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