The documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, airing weekly from April 13 to June 9 on Showtime, examines how climate change is affecting and will affect people all over the world.
Here’s a list of resources for viewers interested in learning more about the impacts of climate change, what individuals can do to help, and which policies can make a big difference.
What are the Impacts of Climate Change?
The Earth is warming and will continue to do so if we keep releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This warming brings an increased risk of more frequent and intense heat waves, higher sea levels, and more severe droughts, wildfires, and downpours. To learn more:
- Drought. Global warming will increase the risk of drought in some regions. Also, warmer temperatures can increase water demand and evaporation, stressing water supplies. Learn about the links between climate change and drought.
- Heat waves. As the Earth warms, more areas will be at risk for extreme heat waves. Learn more about the link between climate change and extreme heat, the other risks heat waves can spawn, and what’s being done to adapt.
- Tropical storms and hurricanes. A warmer world will help fuel the development of some of the strongest hurricanes. To learn about the links between tropical storms/hurricanes and climate change see our brief on Hurricane Sandy.
- Arctic melting. Warming has increased Arctic temperatures at about twice the global rate, and Arctic sea ice cover has been shrinking much faster than scientists anticipated. Our Arctic Security report explores how this can set the stage for international disputes.
- Wildfires. The number of large wildfires and the length of the wildfire season have been increasing in recent decades. Find out how climate change will worsen wildfire conditions.
- Heavy Precipitation. Heavy downpours and other extreme precipitation are becoming more common and are producing more rain or snow. Learn more about the link between heavy precipitation and climate change.
What can you do to help?
C2ES’s Make an Impact program works with companies and schools to help individuals learn how they can save energy at work, school, and home. Learn some of the steps you can take to make an impact:
- Save electricity at home. Whether you own your home or rent, there are many ways you can reduce your impact on the planet – and your electricity bills. Learn how you can Make an Impact at home.
- Be a smarter commuter. Emissions from transportation sources represent about a third of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Even small changes can help reduce our collective impact. Learn how you can Make an Impact on the move.
- Use less water. Sustainable gardening techniques can not only produce thriving yards, but can also reduce your water bills, maintenance time, and keep yard waste out of landfills where it produces potent greenhouse gas emissions. Learn how you can Make an Impact in the yard.
- Be a smarter shopper. Our choices as consumers affect our environment. From buying local produce to using energy-saving light bulbs, each of us has the power to make a difference. Learn how you can Make an Impact at the store.
- Live sustainably. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your home helps conserve energy and reduces pollution and greenhouse gases generated throughout a product's life cycle. Learn how you can Make an Impact at the curb.
- Work sustainably. Commercial and industrial facilities account for nearly half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. For many companies, reducing emissions helps both the environment and the bottom line. Learn how you can Make an Impact at work.
What would make a huge difference?
Sensible policies can spur demand for clean energy and technologies and encourage reducing carbon emissions cost-effectively. Learn more about some of the options: