Our review of 10,660 observations from 2,230 localities in 137 countries shows that increases in temperature and changes in seasonality and rainfall patterns are widespread (≈70% of localities across 122 countries). Observations of increased temperature show patterns consistent with simulated trends in surface air temperature taken from the ensemble average of CMIP5 models, for the period 1955–2005. Secondary impacts of climatic changes on both wild and domesticated plants and animals are extensive and threaten the food security of subsistence-oriented communities. Collectively, our results suggest that climate change is having profound disruptive effects at local levels and that local observations can make an important contribution to understanding the pervasiveness of climate change on ecosystems and societies.
Global warming is already disrupting societies.
The stories, compiled by scientists from Canada’s Simon Fraser University, span over 137 countries and come from more than 1,000 previously published studies of subsistence-oriented communities, mainly indigenous ones, who rely on the land or sea for food by way of farming, fishing, foraging, or hunting. In the meta-study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, a whopping 70 percent of the people interviewed had observed changes in seasons, temperature, or amount of rain.
And there’s more: The “secondary impacts” of climatic changes, including lower crop yields and changing animal migration routes, threaten food security for many of these communities. The researchers found that, in this way, climate change is already “having profound disruptive effects at local levels.”
What’s more, the study notes, local communities aren’t just noticing these climate changes — they’re already adapting to them. The analysis includes communities who have altered their hunting, farming, or gathering seasons, their migration routes, and even their ancestral cultural practices.
The United States also now has it's climate refugees, people being forced away from their ancestral home due to rising seas. $48 million has been set aside for Isle de Jean Charles.
[It] is the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community struggling with the impacts of climate change. The divisions the effort has exposed and the logistical and moral dilemmas it has presented point up in microcosm the massive problems the world could face in the coming decades as it confronts a new category of displaced people who have become known as climate refugees.
“We’re going to lose all our heritage, all our culture,” lamented Chief Albert Naquin of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, the tribe to which most Isle de Jean Charles residents belong. “It’s all going to be history.”All of this is happening now, and it is just the beginning.