Consequences of Warming main content.

Consequences of Warming

Part of David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth.

What causes climate and climate change section of the Hall of Planet Earth. The large screen shows hurricanes. AMNH/D. Finnin

Human activity has added about 2,040 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere since 1750. In response, the planet is warming. 

Change is already visible. Severe droughts, storms and heat waves are becoming more common. Global sea level is rising as the ocean warms and ice sheets melt, leading to more coastal floods. Climate is changing and we are seeing the consequences.

How Do Impacts Progress?

Some consequences of climate change are visible now, and more are developing over time and as warming increases. Without major CO2 reductions, rising temperatures may trigger severe impacts. What could this mean over the next 100 years?