A one-degree change in the global temperature refers to an average surface temperature of the entire Earth, not just a one-degree-warmer local temperature. Associated with this average increase are longer, hotter summers, and shorter, milder winters, effectively expanding the range and life cycle of many harmful invasive species like the bark beetle that is ravaging the forests of Utah. It is also associated with warming ocean temperatures that are already bleaching coral. Slightly warmer temperatures also make a big difference in the spread of disease, as bacteria and viruses can flourish and vector animals like rodents, birds, and insects can spread to more territory and survive longer without winter frosts to kill them off. And this is just the beginning! One degree can go a long, long way.
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