What is Climate change?
To understand what climate change is, I’ll use the term ‘Global Warming’. Global Warming has been a topic of much controversy in the last ten to twenty years. Debates between religious and scientific communities argue over if Global Warming is real and if humans are directly involved in the current warming of the planet.
|Image Credit Juan Matus/JuanMatus.com|
A fair share of Republicans believe Global Warming is a hoax and that the planet is only going through another climate shift that has happened numerous times before. Scientists believe, in the last 70 years, the warming of the planet is directly influenced by human activity.
To start, the warming of the planet is caused by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels have been higher than ever recorded. In 1950, the CO2 level ran over 300. Ever since, the level has continued to rise and shows no signs of slowing down.
So, what does this mean for you? How will the rise in CO2 levels change your life?
You need to understand that regardless of what you believe, the planet is warming. Whenever the climate changes, life on Earth has to adapt or perish. In the last Ice Age, several species died off because of the shift in temperatures. Our ability to adapt will depend on how well we survive.
Take in consideration the compelling evidence of Global Warming. Global sea levels have risen at alarming rates because of rapidly depleting ice sheets in the north and south. The Earth’s temperature has risen since the 1880s and continues to increase each year. We’ve seen more record breaking heat than ever before.
With the planet warming, oceans absorb more heat. In result, we see extreme weather events that destroy many coastal cities and beyond. In the United States, we’ve seen an increase in tornado and hurricane activity.
|Image Credit Katy Wheatley/USTornados.com|
April 25-28, 2011 was the largest continuous tornado outbreak in U.S. history. 362 tornadoes touched down in the 3 days, 7 hours, 18-minute event, killing 324 people across six states in southern and eastern United States. On April 27, 317 people died, making the day the most tornado-related fatalities in the U.S. in one day since 1925.
An increase in CO2 doesn’t just affect the weather and temperature of the planet. Big cities have started noticing air quality levels dropping with air pollution becoming so toxic that health officials warn against extended exposure outside.
Several of China’s big cities have broken the air quality index. Beijing has continuously had days with air quality levels so bad that exposure could be hazardous to the health of citizens. In Beijing, many citizens wear masks and protective gear when outside. Chengdu and Shenyang also have horrible air pollution and force their citizens to wear protective masks to protect themselves against the toxic air.
The Industrial Revolution brought great advancement to the world. The creation of cars and technology all started with the brilliant minds of the Industrial Revolution. Products became more assessable and life became easier. The chances for advancement created many jobs. For some time people were living the high life.
Yet, the Industrial Revolution wasn’t all good. Several problems today started with the creations designed in the Industrial Revolution. Since the revolution, we’ve used two-thirds of all the world’s natural resources.
Coal and oil are disappearing faster than first thought. Predictions have stated that if we continue to use natural resources at the pace we are, all natural resources will be gone within the next few decades.
The extreme amount of coal and oil we use adds to the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. We will need to change this before the change is forced on us. Within the next 50 years, almost all the ice sheets will be gone and sea levels will rise destroying cities like New York and Washington D.C. and states like Florida and whole countries like Bangladesh.
So, how will climate change affect you?
The answer is very simple. Imagine our world without oil and coal. Will you be able to live without your car, electricity, and technology? Even if you don’t believe in Global Warming, the planet’s temperature is rising. Scientists can predict when certain things will occur, but now we need to figure out a way to evolve before the changes happen.
The question isn’t how it will affect you but when it will affect you. The millions of people living on the east coast of the U.S. will have to move. Increasing heat will force many to cooler climates. Plants and animals will need to learn to adapt or be wiped out. Our diets could change as some food sources disappear and our health may suddenly worsen. Air pollution will still be an issue unless we start working towards a cleaner future with clean and renewable energy. Someday, clean and renewable energy may be the only thing available.
How will this climate shift affect you and your family? What solutions do you have for some of the issues?
It’s never too late to start changing your ways. To start today may mean a world of a difference for tomorrow.
"Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?" Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. Ed. Holly Shaftel. NASA, 21 July 2016. Web.
Hayes, John L. The Historic Tornadoes of April 2011. N.p.: Weather Service, n.d. NOAA. Dec. 2011. Web.
Tatlow, Didi Kirsten. "China Air Quality Study Has Good News and Bad News."The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Mar. 2016. Web.
Furturism. "How Long Do We Have Until We Exhaust All Of Our Resources?"Futurism How Long Do We Have Until We Exhaust All Of Our Resources Comments. Futurism, 24 July 2014. Web.