The imminent effects of global warming and the resulting climate change can be seen not only across the world, but also in each individual country. Whether you believe in climate change or not, New Zealand is not excluded from these environmental changes. And if you think citizens can fix it before it’s too late, you may be devastatingly mistaken.

Current Climate Change

In 2017, the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and Statistics NZ released an official report stating that the damage already done may be irreversible. The “Our Climate Change and Atmosphere” report shows that there has been a significant decrease in glaciers’ ice since 1977 and a rise of 8cm in sea levels since 1916. The original findings that one-fifth of the soils in monitored sites have been getting drier in 2017, have been amended in 2018 and are actually one-quarter of the soils.

The Effects of Emissions

Along with these increases, there has been an increase of 24 percent in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 and an increase of 78 percent in emissions resulting from road transportation during the same time period. The results of these accumulated emissions and other global warming influences will have not only environmental effects, but also social and health and safety effects.

Potential And Existing Risks

The changes in the climate have caused drastic changes in air pollution and the spreading of diseases. It also poses risks to the country’s food security and livelihoods in agriculture, and can have negative effects on mental health. Besides these factors, areas experiencing climate change are at risk to heat waves, potential floodings and other not-so-natural disasters.

Although most of the damage may already be done, this should not discourage you from working to reduce your negative contributions. By being aware of these very realistic issues, you become part of the movement the world needs to make a difference.