Top 40 Impacts of Climate Change

In this post, I list 77 current and future impacts of climate change, along with references for some of the more unexpected items.  That list was compiled scouring the web along with suggestions and comments to a Twitter post I made.  In retrospect, many of these items are redundant or speculative. And so, I refined that list down to 40 distinct and near certain short-term consequences, which is what I present here.

Most of these consequences are already happening to some degree. Many of these are harbingers of the collapse of modern industrial civilization.  Some of these are foretelling of the sixth great extinction.  All of them are extraordinarily sad.

As I write this, politicians all over the world continue to side with the fossil fuel industry. Greenhouse gasses, including CO2 and methane, continue to spike. The weather just gets more deadly and more chaotic.  It’s hard to believe we have until 2050 (net-zero) or even 2030 to get on track.  Truth: we don’t.

All it’s going to take is one more El Nino super-heating event (like 2016), one more La Nina drought in the Southwest US and one more summer of hellacious record highs, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, crop failures and droughts.  That’s it — that’s all the buffer we have left to separate functioning modern civilization from becoming a hellscape, a condition that already exists in many third-world and less privileged countries.

I am not suggesting that this is a list of problems that will be “solved” by addressing climate change.  It’s too late for that. The events in this list will happen with ever increasing severity the deeper we get into the climate crisis.

There is so much suffering ahead.  Be kind, be generous, be of service.

Top 40 Impacts of Climate Change

1. Acid rain
2. Algae blooms
3. Ash & smoke
4. Bees dying & pollination loss
5. Climate refugees & migration
6. Coral bleaching
7. Crop failures
8. Deforestation
9. Desertification
10. Disease, pandemics (plants & animals)
11. Droughts
12. Drying up of lakes, rivers, wells, springs
13. Earth axis shift
14. Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes
15. Extreme cold
16. Financial/bank/stock collapse
17. Fires
18. Floods
19. Food & water riots
20. Hazardous & polluted air
21. Heat waves: frequency, power, duration
22. Hunger, famine & starvation
23. Infrastructure collapse
24. Melting Antarctic & Greenland land ice
25. Melting Arctic Sea ice / Blue Ocean Event
26. Melting glaciers (drinking water crisis)
27. Methane (Siberia & Clathrates from ESAS)
28. Nuclear plant meltdown
29. Ocean acidification
30. Ozone layer depletion
31. Permafrost thaw
32. Price instability & inflation
33. Reanimated bacteria/viruses
34. Sea level rise (e.g. Thwaites glacier)
35. Shutdown of AMOC, SMOC
36. Species extinction (100+/day)
37. Storms — more frequent, power, duration
38. Supply chain & transportation collapse
39. Unemployment & poverty
40. War & terrorism


Algae Blooms

Bees & Pollination Loss

Earth Axis Shift

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes

Extreme Cold

Nuclear Plant Meltdown

Ozone Layer Depletion

Price Instability and Inflation

Reanimated bacteria/viruses

Supply Chain Collapse

Thwaites Glacier


Eliot Jacobson, Ph.D.

Retired professor of mathematics and computer science, retired casino consultant, now a full time volunteer, husband and grandfather. Know-it-all doomer. Born in the year 316 ppm CO2.

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