Imagine the movie Water World, a planet with no land, and that is what it would be like if we didn't do anything about the rising of the world’s temperature, all the ice would be melted and there would be no land left and the quality of life would not be the greatest at all. I believe since the industrial revolution we have been creating a dangerous amount of greenhouse emissions, which has slowly been raising the earth's temperature. There are many factors to this rise in temperature, such as the burning of fossil fuels, landfills, the cattle industry, and deforestation. Which in turn has been causing more frequent extreme weather patterns, melting glaciers and more wildfires. There are multiple reasons why this is happening and it’s not too late to start reversing the effects. If the entire planet pulls together and starts using more efficient ways to create power, that won't destroy our planet.
So what exactly is global warming and climate change? Global Warming also referred to as climate change, is the century scale rise in the average temperature of the earth’s climate system and its related effects. (Wikipedia) This is being caused by what's known as the greenhouse effect. Which is C02 emissions being trapped in the stratosphere and keeping the radiant heat from the earth from escaping. (Sabrina and Paul)
With this happening, the oceans have been absorbing this extra heat and has been raising at an alarming rate. Since 1969 the oceans temperature has risen .302 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only has the oceans been warming up but so has the global temperature, it has risen 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. Most of this happening in the past 35 years, mainly due by increased human made emissions and carbon dioxide. (NASA)
Fig. 1. NOAA/ Global Climate change Indicators, Penn State, John Dutton, 2018
With the earth’s temperature rising there’s lots of evidence locked in glaciers, tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs and the layers of sedimentary rock. With core samples being taken from some of the coldest parts of the planet we can detect what co2 emissions were in the past, bye investigating air pockets trapped in ice. Sure, over the centuries there has been up and downs in emissions, due to things like volcanic eruptions, but there’s nothing like what we’re experiencing right now. Scientists are saying that this is happening ten times faster, than the warming from the ice age. (NASA)
With the oceans warming, it's having a lot of negative effects. We’re having more extreme weather patterns, because the evaporation of water is feeding storms and making them stronger and more powerful. Also climates are shifting and causing droughts and water shortages. If you think about it we’ve had some pretty bad hurricanes in the past few years that have taken out major cities. With the oceans warming, it's also making them more acidic because they are absorbing the C02 from the air. (Sabrina and Paul)
Globally were having record high temperatures, cosistantally. Heat waves are more frequent, vending to more wildfires destroying habitats, homes and farms. With the heat there is another major threat to our agriculture and that’s long droughts. It drying out the fields and were having horrible yields. On top of that, our air is getting polluted and it’s causing people to have more health issues such as worsening asthma and allergies. (Sabrina and Paul)
Then there's all the habitats that are in danger. In the arctic you have mammals losing their places to live and placing creatures such as polar bears on the endangered species list. Than from the oceans getting more acidic coral reefs are dying destroying habitats for a lot of sea life and destroying the whole ecosystem. The acidity is also keeping calcium levels down which is hurting shellfish which depends on it to grow their shells. Than not to forget, while were having these longer heat streaks it’s letting predatory bugs wipe out forests. (Sabrina and Paul)
There are people out there that says the whole climate change is a hoax and we’re all being duped. People like President Donald Trump who withdrew America from the Paris Agreement, and scientists like Tom Harris who says the “public has been brainwashed into believing the science is correct, even though there's 97% census saying otherwise.” (Harris) We have some of the biggest corporations, like ExxonMobil, who are in the gas industry. Who in public says there all for the Paris Agreement, but behind closed doors there spending millions against the facts. Their spending it on think tanks and advocacy groups that contest climate legislation and actually oppose the Paris Agreement. (Farand) Then there is Murray Energy and Peabody Energy Corp. that both slam the Paris Agreement and say it is bad for the economy, and power consumption. (Daily) There’s a theme going on here its oil companies that profit majorly from fossil fuels.
All hope isn’t lost there are things globally that are being done to help start reversing the effects of excessive greenhouse emissions. On a world scale 73 countries, accounting for 58.6 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions have entered an agreement, and this is called The Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement wants to keep the worlds temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial era. The Paris Agreement doesn’t legally bind these countries to emission caps, it only requires them to announce publicly what their goals are. To pursue their goals and report the progress they have achieved. These countries also have an emission taxes set into play. As President Obama said “If we follow through on the commitments the Paris Agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.” (Wayne)
Countries and corporations have been taking greenhouse emissions seriously and have been finding ways to lower man made emissions. We have hydro, solar and windmills creating green energy and the technology keeps getting better. We also have major car companies coming out with hybrid vehicles and others like Tesla which are making fully battery powered cars and batteries that can power a house that are reusing wasted power, to help combat the destruction of our beautiful planet we call home. If everyone does their part future generations will still have enjoyment of Earth.
Than we have the Environmental Protection Agency. Founded 1970 by President Richard Nixon, and continues to add new regulations to help protect our environment. There are laws that require timber companies to plant trees after they cut some down, and limit the amount they can cut in one area. Then there's the Clean Air Act which has regulations limiting emissions from businesses and vehicles. With the EPA helping with these issues we’re making a stand for our future.
On a personal and local scale there are many things that we can do to help lower our carbon footprint. On an individual scale we can take public transportation, ride a bike, and walk to destinations, instead of driving everywhere we need to go. If we do need to drive we can buy Hybrids or totally electric cars as our means of transportation. There’s also the option of having solar panels placed on the roofs of our houses to generate power naturally from our sun, or if you live in the countryside you can have windmills placed on your land. Also there is option for green energy from our power companies, which is another healthy option for planet. We as a people, owe it to our future generations to hand over a planet worth living on. We want them to live comfortably on a habitable planet, and not have to survive but to thrive. “Humanity faces many threats, but none greater than climate change. In damaging our climate we are becoming the architects of our own destruction. We have the tools, knowledge, and money to solve this crisis.” (Prince Charles)