- On September 7, 2017
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Climate change is an often discussed topic that worries many in today’s world.
According to the Oxford dictionary, it is defined as “a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.” Most of the scientists focused on climate change agree that the main cause of it is the human expansion of the greenhouse effect – warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping: Water vapor, Carbon dioxide, Methane and Nitrous oxide are the ones to be known as making the most of impact.
Human activities are mainly changing the natural greenhouse. Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities has increased concentrations of greenhouse gases (NASA, 2017).
Yet, a number of people are still not sure of how do we know it is happening, what are the facts around it, what are the effects and most importantly how we can help to change it.
How do we know it is happening?
Today’s technology such as Earth-orbiting satellites and other technologies enable scientist to see how the Earth’s climate is changing through the tons of data that is being collected everyday. It is the one revealing the signals of a change that is of utmost importance to us and the future of our planet. Initially, the heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was evidenced in the 19th century. With the increase of those gases, the Earth’s response is to warm up. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, oceans, corals and rocks and it all proves that the current pace of warming is ten times faster than the average rate ages ago which was before fossil fuels were absolutely commercial. Thus, the existence of climate change can be easily proved (NASA, 2017).
What are the facts around climate change?
- Carbon dioxide increased – 406.69 parts per million – Carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest in 650,000 years
- Global Temperature increased with 1.7F since 1880 – Sixteen of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001
- Arctic ice minimum has decreased 13.3% per decade – In 2012, Arctic summer sea ice shrank to the lowest extent on record
- Land Ice decreased with 286.0 gigatonnes per year – Satelite data show that Earth’s polar ice sheets are losing mass
- Sea Level increased with 3.4 milimeters per year – Global average sea level has risen nearly 7″ (178mm) over the past 100 years (NASA, 2017)
What are the effects of climate change?
- Global Temperature Rise – The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century. This demonstrates a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-related emissions.
- Warming Oceans – The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
- Shrinking Ice Sheets – The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
- Glacial Retreat – Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies.
- Decreased Snow Cover – Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.
- Sea Level Rise – Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century
- Declining Arctic Sea Ice – Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades.
- Extreme Events – The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950.
- Ocean acidification – The acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans (NASA, 2017)
How we can help to change that?
This can be done at all levels: national, governmental, business and individual and we should all start acting on climate change before it is too late. Change in the mindset is needed and we can see it evident at some levels. For example, a number of 175 countries up to date are committed to stronger climate action. Furthermore, an increasing number of individuals as well as businesses are getting involved hoping to make an impact.
However, for the biggest change to happen, we should all become active fighters and join the actions against climate change. This means becoming green in our personal as well as professional lives!
Do you want to get involved and fight climate change? Start today by filling out our Free Assessment Form!
Author: Kristina Hodulova