We've all seen horrifying cinematic blockbusters where tornadoes tear through small towns, tsunamis that swallow whole cities, droughts that last centuries, and earth quakes so large that sections of California break off creating islands. This is how Hollywood depicts global warming, but is it really that far from the truth? Movies have the tendency to over dramatize certain events which can make it hard for society to believe. The fact of the matter is, is that all of these things are happening right before our eyes. There has been an increase of climate related natural disasters in recent years. These events are caused by global warming and they are affecting our world as we know it.
For years global warming has been a topic of interest among the key leaders that make crucial decisions for us every day. Some believe in the myriad of evidence that supports global warming, while others seem to completely disregard the facts. The global average temperature has risen about 0.8 degrees Celsius or 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, averaging around 0.15 degree Celsius per decade since the 1800's. This is mainly caused by pollution and the natural resources such as the increased population of our livestock which create methane that ultimately thins earth's ozone layers. Having a thin ozone will allow the suns deadly rays and heat enter our atmosphere, trapping it causing the temperatures to rise, this is referred to as the Greenhouse Effect. Rising temperatures can cause the ice caps to melt, leaving us with more heat waves and natural disasters, an imbalance in the ecosystem, flooding in some areas and droughts in others.
Global warming is a serious issue affecting the earth. A slight temperature change due to Global warming can affect everyone living on earth with such things as the polar ice caps and glaciers melting, causing global coastal flooding. According to "flooding has risen eight inches worldwide within the past 100 years." Eight inches doesn't seem like much but, it does not rise evenly. In Florida, the sea level has risen eight inches but, is expected to rise up to thirty-four inches in 2060. Some areas may rise a foot while other areas rise an inch. The flooding can cause underground movement which can create sinkholes. Rising sea levels can overcome barriers which can cause salt water to reach wells that cities use for drinking water. The melting of the ice caps can also cause the extinction of certain species. As the ice caps melt, animals such as the polar bears, are left without land. This is forcing them to migrate towards other areas in search of new land, taking them out of their natural habitat. There have also been instances of polar bears drowning due to the loss of ice in the artic. Their food sources are also being affected causing them to eat alternative foods such as goose eggs and small plants. As polar bears migrate, they have been mating with grizzly bears, creating polar bear and grizzly hybrids. Adelie Penguins are dying off as they feed on krill. Krill are small shrimp like crustacean the live on the underside of the ice sheets. As the ice sheet deplete, the krill are die off leaving the artic penguin to work harder to find food. Because more energy is being used to find food, the penguin is less successful in breeding and raising their young, forcing them to become extinct. These animals along with others such as, the Orange spotted filefish, the Quiver tree, and the North Atlantic Cod will all be extinct if the polar ice caps continue to melt at this frightening speed.
Global warming is the cause of extreme weather conditions. Tornados, hurricanes, flooding, and droughts are occurring more often. As temperatures continue to rise, these natural disasters will continue to get increasingly larger. Natural disasters in 2017 have taken hundreds of lives. Hurricane Maria was estimated to take a thousand lives. Hurricane Harvey was responsible for eighty-two deaths and the Tubbs Fire in California was killed twenty-two people. These natural disasters will also cause an increase in the economic system. Billions of dollars will be needed to rebuild hurricane damage. This will make it harder for societies to rebuild and to provide assistance. Millions of people have already lost loved one and homes. The US was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disasters. Costing the US an estimated 306 billion dollars' worth of damages. Wild fires and hurricanes were the biggest contributors to the outrageous dollar amount. Our leaders need to understand that if they don't start looking at the statistics and coming up with a solution to this, then our children or our children's children will have to live with the repercussions.
Some of the arguments against Global warming is that," humans cannot change the climate." Some people believe that humans are to insignificant to affect the earth climate. These people feel that they cannot create or contribute to something as massive and powerful as a F5 tornado or a category 5 hurricane. Other individuals say the extreme natural disasters aren't caused by the temperature increasing due to global warming. They feel that the droughts, heat waves, tornados, and hurricanes are all natural in all aspects.
Since global warming has brought so much destruction and devastation, what should our next move be? How can we effectively reduce the current outcome? We can first start off by eliminating our carbon dioxide emissions. Enforce curtain recycling laws by forcing homeowners and restaurants to recycle and reuse things such as plastics, medals, and papers. We can reduce the amount of red meat we eat. Chickens and pork produce less methane then our cattle and sheep. Last but not least, we can drive our vehicles less. Walking or biking is not only a healthier way to get to and from work but, it is also cheaper. We should do what we can to limit our resources on earth whether you start to eat less meat or begin to recycle.