Climate change means drastic and long-term effects like rising sea levels and the increased likelihood of extreme weather events. But across the world, we are already witnessing the consequences of a warming world.
In the U.S., climate change means that allergies are getting worse as pollen counts increase, and some of your favorite foods -- from apples to oysters to coffee and wine -- are also in jeopardy. Warmer winters in northern latitudes also mean worsening conditions for outdoor sports like hockey, dog sled racing and skiing. There is also increased pressure on an already fragile water supply.
Dramatic change is already evident in the Arctic. After record sea ice melt in 2012, NOAA research shows that the Arctic will see ice-free summers by 2050, if not within the next decade or two. It has been suggested that "what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic," and melting there may contribute to more extreme weather at moderate latitudes.
Scientists are nearly unanimous in their findings that climate change is both real and manmade. Research has shown that current human activities, like the burning of fossil fuels, are inevitably going to cause atmospheric warming and sea level rise for at least another 1,000 years.
Learn about some of the most evident effects of climate change in the slideshow below.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place