October 12, 2021 – New findings indicate that the effects of climate change are extending across the globe and reaching the vast majority of people on Earth in the form of coastal flooding, wildfires and other climate-related events.
Using a special computer program to analyze a large amount of data on climate change, researchers reported that about 85% of people felt its effects, according to theThe results are published Monday in Nature Climate Change.
To reach this conclusion, the scientists fed published summaries of more than 100,000 studies on climate change into a computer trained to identify key information. The computer mapped this information to a global network of data about local temperature and precipitation changes associated with human activity.
The maps show where these changes in precipitation and temperature – both measures of climate change – are likely to be associated with climate-related outcomes such as droughts, floods, fires, and even human health.
The results indicate that 80% of the Earth’s land, excluding Antarctica, is experiencing climate change due to human activity – at least in part. Almost all shifts in temperature tend toward warming, although precipitation changes are mixed, with increases in some areas and decreases in others.
The researchers found that, compared to low-income countries, high-income countries had twice the amount of strong evidence of a human factor in climate change. However, one possible explanation for why the roughly 20% of the land mass where human-caused forcings appeared to be weaker — such as in West Africa and some parts of Asia — is that these regions have been less scrutinized by scientists, according to the study authors. She said.