The mission of Humanity Global is:
- To protect and sustainably manage natural ecosystems. To conserve their biodiversity, with emphasis on threatened habitats and endangered species;
- To develop partnerships with local individuals, communities, organizations and governments to engage support and commitment among the people who live in impacted areas;
- To raise awareness, in Nigeria and elsewhere, of the need for conservation, to improve understanding and generate support through education, information and fundraising.
Human activities have added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere
The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased significantly since the Industrial Revolution began. In the case of carbon dioxide, the average concentration measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has risen from 316 parts per million (ppm) in 1959 (the first full year of data available) to more than 411 ppm in 2019 [Figure B2]. The same rates of increase have since been recorded at numerous other stations worldwide. Since preindustrial times, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by over 40%, methane has increased by more than 150%, and nitrous oxide has increased by roughly 20%. More than half of the increase in CO2 has occurred since 1970. Increases in all three gases contribute to warming of Earth, with the increase in CO2 playing the largest role. See page B3 to learn about the sources of human emitted greenhouse gases. Learn about the sources of human emitted greenhouse gases.
CO2 variations during the past 1,000 years, obtained from analysis of air trapped in an ice core extracted from Antarctica (red squares), show a sharp rise in atmospheric CO2 starting in the late 19th century. Modern atmospheric measurements from Mauna Loa are superimposed in gray. Source: figure by Eric Wolff, data from Etheridge et al., 1996; MacFarling Meure et al., 2006; Scripps CO2 Program. (larger version)
Scientists have examined greenhouse gases in the context of the past. Analysis of air trapped inside ice that has been accumulating over time in Antarctica shows that the CO2 concentration began to increase significantly in the 19th century [Figure B3], after staying in the range of 260 to 280 ppm for the previous 10,000 years. Ice core records extending back 800,000 years show that during that time, CO2 concentrations remained within the range of 170 to 300 ppm throughout many “ice age” cycles – learn about the ice ages – and no concentration above 300 ppm is seen in ice core records until the past 200 years.
Measurements of the forms (isotopes) of carbon in the modern atmosphere show a clear fingerprint of the addition of “old” carbon (depleted in natural radioactive 14C) coming from the combustion of fossil fuels (as opposed to “newer” carbon coming from living systems). In addition, it is known that human activities (excluding land use changes) currently emit an estimated 10 billion tons of carbon each year, mostly by burning fossil fuels, which is more than enough to explain the observed increase in concentration. These and other lines of evidence point conclusively to the fact that the elevated CO2 concentration in our atmosphere is the result of human activities.
Many complex processes shape our climate
Based just on the physics of the amount of energy that CO2 absorbs and emits, a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration from pre-industrial levels (up to about 560 ppm) would by itself cause a global average temperature increase of about 1 °C (1.8 °F). In the overall climate system, however, things are more complex; warming leads to further effects (feedbacks) that either amplify or diminish the initial warming.
The most important feedbacks involve various forms of water. A warmer atmosphere generally contains more water vapour. Water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas, thus causing more warming; its short lifetime in the atmosphere keeps its increase largely in step with warming. Thus, water vapour is treated as an amplifier, and not a driver, of climate change. Higher temperatures in the polar regions melt sea ice and reduce seasonal snow cover, exposing a darker ocean and land surface that can absorb more heat, causing further warming. Another important but uncertain feedback concerns changes in clouds. Warming and increases in water vapour together may cause cloud cover to increase or decrease which can either amplify or dampen temperature change depending on the changes in the horizontal extent, altitude, and properties of clouds. The latest assessment of the science indicates that the overall net global effect of cloud changes is likely to be to amplify warming.
The amount and rate of warming expected for the 21st century depends on the total amount of greenhouse gases that humankind emits. Models project the temperature increase for a business-as-usual emissions scenario (in red) and aggressive emission reductions, falling close to zero 50 years from now (in blue). Black is the modelled estimate of past warming. Each solid line represents the average of different model runs using the same emissions scenario, and the shaded areas provide a measure of the spread (one standard deviation) between the temperature changes projected by the different models. All data are relative to a reference period (set to zero) of 1986-2005. Source: Based on IPCC AR5 (larger version)
How will climate change in the future?
Scientists have made major advances in the observations, theory, and modelling of Earth’s climate system, and these advances have enabled them to project future climate change with increasing confidence. Nevertheless, several major issues make it impossible to give precise estimates of how global or regional temperature trends will evolve decade by decade into the future. Firstly, we cannot predict how much CO2 human activities will emit, as this depends on factors such as how the global economy develops and how society’s production and consumption of energy changes in the coming decades. Secondly, with current understanding of the complexities of how climate feedbacks operate, there is a range of possible outcomes, even for a particular scenario of CO2 emissions. Finally, over timescales of a decade or so, natural variability can modulate the effects of an underlying trend in temperature. Taken together, all model projections indicate that Earth will continue to warm considerably more over the next few decades to centuries. If there were no technological or policy changes to reduce emission trends from their current trajectory, then further globally-averaged warming of 2.6 to 4.8 °C (4.7 to 8.6 °F) in addition to that which has already occurred would be expected during the 21st century [Figure B5]. Projecting what those ranges will mean for the climate experienced at any particular location is a challenging scientific problem, but estimates are continuing to improve as regional and local-scale models advance.
Humanity Global Aims and Objectives
Humanity Global (HG) exists to push for the urgent and radical action we need to prevent the catastrophic destabilization of global climate.
The destabilization of global climate has become the very greatest threat to our planet and everyone on it – with the possible exception only of all-out war with modern weapons of mass-destruction. We do not know how much irreversible damage we have done already but we know that if we do not act now the effects will be many times more devastating still.
- Humanity Global exists to secure the action we need – at a local, national and, above all, international level – to minimize harmful climate change and the devastating impacts it will have. To that end Humanity Global seeks to raise awareness about the gravity and urgency of the threat from climate change and to influence those with the greatest power to take effective action to do so with the utmost speed and resolution. Where ignorance, short term greed and vested interests stand in the way of the action that is urgently needed, Humanity Global exists to fight against all of these things.
- In particular Humanity Global brings people together for street demonstrations, designed to get together the greatest number of people possible, and to create a mass movement to push for our goals.
- Humanity Global seeks a global solution to a global problem and aims to push for an international emissions reductions treaty that is both effective in preventing the catastrophic destabilization of global climate and equitable in the means of so doing. To be effective such a treaty needs to secure such reductions in the global total of greenhouse gas emissions as are deemed by the broad consensus of qualified scientific opinion to be necessary to prevent harmful climate change. Humanity Global aims to campaign against those with the greatest responsibility for preventing or delaying the progress we urgently need towards an international climate treaty.
- Humanity Global recognizes that the issue of the destabilization of global climate has enormous implications in terms of social justice and global inequality. The damage to the earth’s atmosphere has so far been done mainly by the rich nations but it is the poorest who will suffer the greatest and most immediately. Humanity Global recognizes that any solution to the problem must be as fair as possible, incorporating principles of social justice and not exacerbating global inequalities.
- Humanity Global aims to bring together as many people as possible who support our broad aims of pushing for urgent action on climate and reducing global emissions. Humanity Global does not therefore campaign on the important but more detailed questions of how best to achieve these emission reductions and recognizes that supporters will have different and deeply held views on these issues.
Earth’s global average surface temperature has risen, as shown in this plot of combined land and ocean measurements from 1850 to 2019 derived from three independent analyses of the available data sets. The top panel shows annual average values from the three analyses, and the bottom panel shows decadal average values, including the uncertainty range (grey bars) for the maroon (HadCRUT4) dataset. The temperature changes are relative to the global average surface temperature, averaged from 1961−1990. Source: Based on IPCC AR5, data from the HadCRUT4 dataset (black), NOAA Climate.gov; data from UK Met Office Hadley Centre (maroon), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies (red), and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Centers for Environmental Information (orange). (larger version)
The ocean moderates climate change. The ocean is a huge heat reservoir, but it is difficult to heat its full depth because warm water tends to stay near the surface. The rate at which heat is transferred to the deep ocean is therefore slow; it varies from year to year and from decade to decade, and it helps to determine the pace of warming at the surface. Observations of the sub-surface ocean are limited prior to about 1970, but since then, warming of the upper 700 m (2,300 feet) is readily apparent, and deeper warming is also clearly observed since about 1990.
Surface temperatures and rainfall in most regions vary greatly from the global average because of geographical location, in particular latitude and continental position. Both the average values of temperature, rainfall, and their extremes (which generally have the largest impacts on natural systems and human infrastructure), are also strongly affected by local patterns of winds.
Estimating the effects of feedback processes, the pace of the warming, and regional climate change requires the use of mathematical models of the atmosphere, ocean, land, and ice (the cryosphere) built upon established laws of physics and the latest understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes affecting climate, and run on powerful computers. Models vary in their projections of how much additional warming to expect (depending on the type of model and on assumptions used in simulating certain climate processes, particularly cloud formation and ocean mixing), but all such models agree that the overall net effect of feedbacks is to amplify warming.
A Path to Positive on Climate Change
Vision, Principles and Commitment
Vision: Together, we can put America on a path to a positive future that will protect our families and communities, create prosperity and strengthen our nation’s security. We can build this future if we choose clean energy and use it efficiently. minimize carbon pollution and prepare for climate risks.
We are compelled to act because carbon pollution is warming our planet and profoundly impacting America and the world. The cost of increasing droughts. floods. wildfires, extreme weather and rising sea levels can be measured in lost lives higher food prices, poorer health and hundreds of billions of dollars in disaster relief. Human activity contributes to these threats and humans can solve this challenge
We have a moral obligation to take action today on climate change and build a sustainable future for our children. American leadership can help the world meet these challenges with innovative solutions. We must help restore the atmosphere and oceans, prepare for climate risks, and put our nation on a path to a positive future.
Principles: Together. we can create solutions rooted in shared American values that effectively address climate risks. These solutions must:
Create a positive energy future: Climate change solutions should promote abundant. dean energy, avoid costly carbon pollution from dirty fuels, and provide choice in affordable energy. Solutions should help Americans save money by making our homes, buildings and transportation more energy efficient.
Improve people’s health: Solutions must dear the air. improve land and water quality and provide healthy food choices to nurture people’s bodies and spirits. These solutions must combat the devastating heath impacts of climate change, reduce injury and illness and extend people’s lives.
Build shared, sustainable prosperity: Climate solutions should create good American jobs and a sustainable economy that supports better lives and livelihoods today and for generations to come.
The Basics of Climate Change
Climate change: evidence and causes
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, absorb heat energy and emit it in all directions (including downwards), keeping Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere warm. Adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere enhances the effect, making Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere even warmer. Image based on a figure from US EPA. ( larger version)
Greenhouse gases affect Earth’s energy balance and climate
The Sun serves as the primary energy source for Earth’s climate. Some of the incoming sunlight is reflected directly back into space, especially by bright surfaces such as ice and clouds, and the rest is absorbed by the surface and the atmosphere. Much of this absorbed solar energy is re-emitted as heat (longwave or infrared radiation). The atmosphere in turn absorbs and re-radiates heat, some of which escapes to space. Any disturbance to this balance of incoming and outgoing energy will affect the climate. For example, small changes in the output of energy from the Sun will affect this balance directly.
If all heat energy emitted from the surface passed through the atmosphere directly into space, Earth’s average surface temperature would be tens of degrees colder than today. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, act to make the surface much warmer than this because they absorb and emit heat energy in all directions (including downwards), keeping Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere warm [Figure B1]. Without this greenhouse effect, life as we know it could not have evolved on our planet. Adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere makes it even more effective at preventing heat from escaping into space. When the energy leaving is less than the energy entering, Earth warms until a new balance is established.
Greenhouse gases emitted by human activities alter Earth’s energy balance and thus its climate. Humans also affect climate by changing the nature of the land surfaces (for example by clearing forests for farming) and through the emission of pollutants that affect the amount and type of particles in the atmosphere.
Scientists have determined that, when all human and natural factors are considered, Earth’s climate balance has been altered towards warming, with the biggest contributor being increases in CO2.
Measurements of atmospheric CO2 since 1958 from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii (black) and from the South Pole (red) show a steady annual increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. The measurements are made at remote places like these because they are not greatly influenced by local processes, so therefore they are representative of the background atmosphere. The small up-and-down saw-tooth pattern reflects seasonal changes in the release and uptake of CO2 by plants. Source: Scripps CO2 Program (larger version)
Many other impacts associated with the warming trend have become evident in recent years. Arctic summer sea ice cover has shrunk dramatically. The heat content of the ocean has increased. Global average sea level has risen by approximately 16 cm (6 inches) since 1901, due both to the expansion of warmer ocean water and to the addition of melt waters from glaciers and ice sheets on land. Warming and precipitation changes are altering the geographical ranges of many plant and animal species and the timing of their life cycles. In addition to the effects on climate, some of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere is being taken up by the ocean, changing its chemical composition (causing ocean acidification).
Human activities are changing the climate
Rigorous analysis of all data and lines of evidence shows that most of the observed global warming over the past 50 years or so cannot be explained by natural causes and instead requires a significant role for the influence of human activities.
In order to discern the human influence on climate, scientists must consider many natural variations that affect temperature, precipitation, and other aspects of climate from local to global scale, on timescales from days to decades and longer. One natural variation is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), an irregular alternation between warming and cooling (lasting about two to seven years) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that causes significant year-to-year regional and global shifts in temperature and rainfall patterns. Volcanic eruptions also alter climate, in part increasing the amount of small (aerosol) particles in the stratosphere that reflect or absorb sunlight, leading to a short-term surface cooling lasting typically about two to three years. Over hundreds of thousands of years, slow, recurring variations in Earth’s orbit around the Sun, which alter the distribution of solar energy received by Earth, have been enough to trigger the ice age cycles of the past 800,000 years.
Fingerprinting is a powerful way of studying the causes of climate change. Different influences on climate lead to different patterns seen in climate records. This becomes obvious when scientists probe beyond changes in the average temperature of the planet and look more closely at geographical and temporal patterns of climate change. For example, an increase in the Sun’s energy output will lead to a very different pattern of temperature change (across Earth’s surface and vertically in the atmosphere) compared to that induced by an increase in CO2 concentration. Observed atmospheric temperature changes show a fingerprint much closer to that of a long-term CO2 increase than to that of a fluctuating Sun alone. Scientists routinely test whether purely natural changes in the Sun, volcanic activity, or internal climate variability could plausibly explain the patterns of change they have observed in many different aspects of the climate system. These analyses have shown that the observed climate changes of the past several decades cannot be explained just by natural factors.
Prepare for harmful impacts: As we reverse the climate crisis, restore our natural environment and build a better future, we must protect our families. our communities and our livelihoods today from the harmful impacts we are already experiencing from climate change,
Engage Everyone; All of us must have a say in decisions that affect our lives. Special efforts should be made to include vulnerable communities in crafting solutions and setting policy, Commitment: Together; we will lead by example on a path to a positive future and share our goals, plans and progress within our organizations, communities and the Moment Us. network.
Engagement – We will build awareness and support for climate solutions by inspiring and empowering our organizations and communities with actionable information, powerful engagement tools and best practice resources.
Impact – We will maximize energy efficiency, use more ‘clean, renewable energy. eliminate polluting fossil fuels and take other actions that help restore a healthy atmosphere.