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Causes and Effects of Climate Change and Human Actions that Need to Be Stopped

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According to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) October 2018 report, global temperatures are already above 1[degree] C (33.8F) and if action is not taken it will rise to 1.5C (34.7F) or even 2.0C (35.6F). While some do not believe in climate change such as President Trump who tweeted ‘What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!’. Research shows that climate change is real and it is contributing to rising sea-levels, blazing wildfires, and surging hurricanes but it is not too late to stop or slow climate change.

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The causes and  effects of climate change are already happening in places such as California. In California, wildfires are becoming a more and more common occurrence due to droughts becoming hotter, and lasting longer. As recently as November 2018, hundreds of thousands of acres were consumed by raging fires. They destroyed thousands of homes, plenty of vegetation, and killed over 85 people.

Extreme wildfire events are not only taking place in California, although they are less common in other parts of the world they are becoming increasingly popular. Research indicates an increase in the average number of days during extreme wildfires from twenty to fifty percent in dry climates. In the United States alone, wildfires scorched ten million acres in 2015 and cost over U.S. two billion. Not only are people affected but this heavily but the ecosystem also takes an enormous hit. Lakes and rivers are disappearing putting fish in danger and forest are being destroyed which are homes for a variety of animals.

Not all CO2 is polluted into the sky, some of it manages to be absorbed by the ocean. The ocean has absorbed around 26% of the CO2 since 1850. This type of pollution affects calcifying marine life which is now having difficulty forming shells and skeletons leading to the negative effects on the ecosystem. Climate change is also significantly decreasing the world’s water supply. Much more water is evaporating from earth’s soil, in turn making the soil absorb more rainfall and not letting water reach other locations like rivers.

Yet another effect of climate change is the earth’s polar ice caps are thinning and raising the sea-level. This leads to coastlines being greatly altered and even submerging large pieces of lands. Salt water may begin flowing into freshwater areas. This also causes an increased rate of coastal erosion and warmer water all around the globe.

Hurricanes only form over warm water which acts a sort of fuel to it. As cool air slides under warm water, clouds begin to form. Because the ocean is becoming much warmer, hurricanes are becoming much more powerful. There is even consideration for raising the hurricane scale to include a sixth. Hurricanes may soon also appear further north and in unusual places such as Europe. This is putting more cities, people, and environments in danger.

It is still not too late to stop or slow climate change. Many companies are putting forth great effort to help stop climate change. For example, “Hershey’s” signed with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in order to launch a new environmental policy. They hope to improve the well being of the cocoa farmers and the region’s resistance to climate change. Another company “Mars” has set plans in hope for 100% recyclable pulp and paper packaging by 2025, and carbon neutral by 2040. They have already increased their increased recycled content by 17% and converted 89% of their materials to recyclable resources.

The use of fossil fuels needs to be stopped since they release many greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. They are alternative energy sources that are renewable like wind power, solar power, and hydropower. Wind power harvests energy that will help reduce carbon emissions and create permanent jobs at the same time. Solar power is very similar in a sense that it is renewable, however, it instead uses the power of the sun to create electricity. Lastly, there is hydropower which are dams built in rivers to create movement that generates power.

Finally, there are human actions that need to be stopped. Deforestation is a major one since forest absorbs about a quarter of carbon that is released into the atmosphere. Without forests there would be more than three trillion tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere, that’s more than the amount that could be released from all of the world’s oil, gas, and coal reserves. Transportation causes the most pollution out of anything however that can still be changed by switching to electric cars, producing more efficient buses, and create more bike-friendly routes. 

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