Read these 5 things about the climate crisis
More succinctly, these stories reflect that Earth has warmed nearly 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, a threshold scientists have suggested is when the worst impacts of climate change will begin to occur.
They reflect that there are already disastrous effects from climate change. The world is not curbing emissions fast enough to change the trend.
New analysis from the nonpartisan Rhodium Group shows the US is (still) headed in the wrong direction on greenhouse gas emissions, which were around 6% higher in 2021 than 2020.
And the stories reflect the political reality in Washington that bolder action is hard to come by. Democrats could potentially go around Republicans to enact President Joe Biden's climate change agenda, but they might have to sacrifice the social spending on things like universal pre-K.
Biden's plan is to use tax dollars to incentivize companies to reduce emissions, since it's clear they aren't going to make the necessary cuts without government help. The Democrats have earmarked $555 billion for the effort.
The US spent $750 billion in five years on climate disasters. One CNN graphic by CNN's John Keefe and Priya Krishnakumar maps the costliest climate disasters in the US over the past year -- 20 cost $1 billion or more. The disasters occurred across the country and range from Hurricane Ida, which cost $75 billion in 2021, to winter weather, wildfires and flooding.
"2021 was, in essence, watching the climate projections of the past come true," Rachel Licker, a senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNN's Rachel Ramirez.
Not all weather related to climate change will be warm. CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray writes about the cold in the Northeast this week: "It's the kind of cold capable of delivering frostbite in minutes, turn boiling water into frozen mist in a nanosecond, and even cold enough to freeze your eyelashes."
CNN has a team of journalists covering the climate crisis full time, and they have published five separate stories in recent days that represent the past, present and future of the crisis. They reflect that there are already disastrous effects from climate change.
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