If you look around us in today’s society, we tend to notice a lot of concerns regarding environmental issues. In the last year the world has witnessed either first hand or through
the screens of their televisions California’s wildfire’s, severe flooding in Asia, heatwave’s throughout Europe, melting of the ice caps, and extensive earthquakes from New Mexico to Yellowstone National Park. Whether we choose to believe the facts or not, global warming and its effects are severely altering the life of the planet and we have all been witnessing it happen in front of us every day.
To begin with let’s discuss the actual supporting data that in fact confirms that global warming is indeed occurring. Thanks to NASA we are able to access information about such issues as any time. As NASA reports, carbon dioxide levels are at the highest they have ever been in over 650,000 years. Global Temperature has raised from -0.19°C in 1880 to 0.
99°C by 2016, in only 136 years it raised closely to the catastrophic unsafe level for planet function. September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 12.8 percent per decade (climate.nasa.gov). The graph discussed on the website shows the average monthly Arctic sea ice reached its lowest average at only about 3.40 percent in 2010. Each of these aspects all coincide to help earth preform proper life function to operate efficiently. Even if these numbers may not make sense to you, they all are extreme results due to global warming.
Before we discuss that thoroughly, let’s take a look at what contributes to the increasing levels of global warming.
There are two major factors that contribute to global warming, natural causes and human related causes. Natural climate drivers include the energy from the sun; aerosols from periodic volcanic eruptions, dust, and salt spray …. or tiny organisms in the ocean surface that take up carbon dioxide; and variation in snow and ice cover that change how much the Earth’s surface reflects the sun’s energy back into space, known as albedo (ucsusa.org). Human related “drivers” include burning of fossil fuels like oil coal and gas like for example in cars. Cutting down and burning forests is also another human related cause to global warming. All of these particles man made or naturally created all have a correlation that ties into destroying the planet. An although we may think using cars and burning fossil fuels is a necessity, is it actually worth risking the stake of human existence? The consequences of our actions are by far more extreme than you actually believe.
As a result of all the effects of global warming many aspects of life as we know it today will no longer exists. As a result of the melting ice caps the sea levels are raising more and more every year. “By 2100, it’s estimated our oceans will be one to four feet higher, threatening coastal systems and low-lying areas, including entire island nations and the world’s largest cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Miami as well as Mumbai, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro” (nrdc.org). More severe weather will begin to occur more frequently. Events such as heat waves and droughts in areas temperature is increasing poses as a threat because it affects drinking water and potential wildfires. If you look at in another way, things such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and such pose also as a threat because it causes flooding, potential illness spread quicker, and mold infection can lead to unhealthy air intake. As the planet undergoes changes so will the ocean and the land. As these changes take way life on land and in the ocean are at serious danger for extinction. Although some species will “make it” not everyone is expected to.
One body of organization that interest me most is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They were established by the United Nations to provide the world with a clear in-depth understanding of climate change and its possible environmental effects. One of many of their jobs is to run and simulate test based upon recurring patterns in order to simulate possible trajectory environmental outcomes. Based on everything that is going on in today’s society with our environment they have projected many things for our future. Almost every permafrost region, or area with a surface temperature of below zero, and its snow coverage is going to decrease. Sea ice is anticipated to shrink in both Antarctic and Artic regions in all scenarios and in some scenarios disappears entirely. Spikes in temperature are very like along with heavy participation. Hurricanes and typhoons will occur more likely and will become more forceful with greater wind speeds. The most important that caught my eye though was high levels of carbon dioxide will omit into the air making it hard to tell if earth will even be able to
stabilize its atmosphere for existence of life.
After reading a small amount about this you must seem worried am I wrong? Well thankfully so is a lot of the rest of the world. Our government is making many actions to prevent us from reaching the 2°C temperature we are all so worried about. “The Paris Agreement of 2015 calls for a reduction in emissions worldwide enough to keep global warming under the dangerous threshold of 2°C” (ucsusa.org). We can obtain this achievement if we do a couple of things. First, we must increase the use of renewable energy and create a new energy system that is much cleaner. Increase vehicle fuel effectiveness, stop deforestation, place limits on carbon emission and prepare for possible outcomes.
All in all, global warming is here, and it is very much so happening. NASA’s records about increasing carbon dioxide levels, and the raise of global temperature, artic sea is shrinkage and even the raise of the sea level all prove it. Natural and human related emission like volcanic eruptions and burning of fossil fuels contribute to the rise of global warming. Severe consequences of global warming include extinction of some animals, disappearance land, spike in heat index and more severe weather conditions with an increase on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The predictions of the General Climate Model Simulation and the IPCC Report shows even more closely how true these expected conditions are. Hopefully by eliminating deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels will be able to contain the global temperature. Until then, please be aware of what is going on around you and how might you be able to make a change for future generations to come.