A 1-minute video that was a little too hot for me to watch. Yet I did. Can you handle it?

Around 40 seconds in, the goosebumps start.

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2014 — the HOTTEST YEAR YET.

Well, SO WHAT?

Here are five not-so-great things we need to get ready for in a warming world:

1. DROUGHT

This won't be news to you, but it's DRY in the west. California has had some rain, but the big dry ain't over yet. And look at the huge areas of the southwest in a "severe" or "extreme" drought.


This means higher fruit and vegetable prices for you and me, no matter where we live. The cost of the drought to California was recently pegged at $2.2 billion, with 17,100 jobs lost statewide.

2. FIRE

7 million to 9 million acres burn each year in the United States (globally it's like 865 million acres). The cost of wildfires every year? $125 billion. But climate change could add as much as $60 billion to the bill by 2050. Ouch.

3. STORMS

Storms with very heavy rainfall have increased a lot since 1958.

Both big storms...

and small ones.

And, of course, a lot of rain in a very short time — especially on land that has been in drought — can bring...

4. FLOODING

Like this:

and this:


Flooding will be worse along the coasts because of sea level rise. About 2.6% of the global population (about 177 million people) will be living in a place at risk of regular flooding. Across the globe, that means about 1 person in 40 live in places likely to be exposed to such flooding by the end of the century.

5. POWER OUTAGES

Bad weather can really mess with the power grid. Check out the increase in major blackouts since 2000:

This is just part of what climate change looks like. Are we all ready? You can explore more at "States of Change," where Climate Central has compiled stories, research, and data about what climate change looks like when it hits the ground.

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Unilever and the United Nations


Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

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As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

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I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

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The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

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