The Dramatic Effects of Climate Change This Summer

August 20, 2018 | Brent Trenga, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP | Kingspan Insulated Panels

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2018 may become the hottest year on record. This may not be a shock to those who recall these last three years have also held record high temperatures; but to us, the most concerning part is that not enough change has been implemented to reverse this trend.
 
This impact of climate change continues to grow at an alarming rate. According to data from NASA and NOAA, 17 out the 18 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. As the temperature increases, so do instances of extreme weather across the world.  
 
In California, firefighters have been struggling to control the largest fire in the state’s history. Along the East Coast, rains are swamping multiple areas as tornadoes sweep over the terrain. A study in the journal PLOS Medicine projects a fivefold rise in mortality from extreme heat in the United States by 2080.
 
The effects of climate change can be seen globally too. A two-week heat wave in Japan this summer killed at least eighty people and hospitalized twenty-two thousand. In Europe, nuclear power plants have had to shut down because the river water responsible for cooling the reactors was too warm. Harvests of staple grains like wheat and corn are expected to dip this year in countries from Sweden to El Salvador.
 
There is no denying the science that shows global temperatures are rising, oceans are warming, polar ice caps are shrinking, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. The effects of global warming have been slow in the past, but they are now accelerating at enormous speeds. Climate change is real, and we must not sit back and accept it – we must take active steps to counter it.
 
This evidence comes at a time when the United States is relaxing on many climate-related regulations and policies. The most notable of these is the country withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.  
 
This is why Kingspan is committed to operating a sustainable business that delivers sustainable products and solutions. We are on track to become a Net Zero Energy Company by 2020 through saving more energy, generating more renewable energy and buying more renewable energy.
 
Fortunately, there are other companies like ours deeply committed to making changes needed to reshape our world. Kingspan has proudly joined ILFI, Arup, HOK, Perkins + Will, Integral Group, Skanska, Salesforce, NRDC and several others to become part of Paris Solutions. As global giants join movements like this and the RE100, the ripple effect can only help encourage others to increase their own sustainability efforts.
 
Events like extreme weather, data from scientists and even firsthand evidence remind us that the climate is changing. If we don’t take a stand now, the consequences will only hurt the Earth and future generations.   

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability.