Imagine your great great great great grandchildren living in a world that does not have the luxury of seeing polar bears or penguins. Unfortunately it is a possibility that was caused by us humans. Scientist have recently been discussing the topics of global warming and climate change with more urgency. Global warming and climate change need a solution to be found immediately. More people need to be informed and understand that their actions are causing the earth to transform in front of their eyes. There is no doubt that a great deal of research still needs to be done but from what scientist know now it is clear that both global warming and climate change have become a major issue. Human have significantly contributed to global warming and climate change through the release of carbon dioxide causing many problems. The Earth’s temperature is rising, the sea levels are rising, the number of certain species are decreasing, and
precipitation has increased around the world. These are only just a few consequences, if we don’t act now the end result could be much more worse. Yet some still believe that climate change was
not caused by humans.
Well, what exactly are global warming and climate change? Global warming simply
refers to the rapidly rising temperature of the earth. Climate change refers to both the warming of the earth and the consequences that come along with it. Climate change unlike global warming however, is usually seen as a human-caused issue. Although they have somewhat different definitions, both seem to be caused by the same element, greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gases are “gaseous compounds” that have the ability to absorb and retain heat in the atmosphere (livescience.com) . In recent years the amount of greenhouse gases being released have
drastically increased causing the earth’s temperature to increase rapidly and consequently affecting many ecological environments.
Climate change has been around for thousands of years but the climate change we are facing now is different. According to Susan Soloman, an atmospheric chemist with a PhD in chemistry, if all carbon emissions came to an end in this instant, changes in the climate would be irreversible. Because of the time it takes for carbon to decompose the temperature would remain the same. The temperature of the earth has increased about 1.1 to 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit in just the last century (nationalgeographic.com). About a dozen of those years were recorded as the
hottest in a human history. The industrial revolution has had a great impact on the amount of greenhouse gases released, especially carbon dioxide. According to research from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the start of the industrial revolution was responsible for the increase of carbon dioxide. Humans now release about forty percent more carbon dioxide now than the amount released prior to the Industrial Revolution. Before the Industrial Revolution nature, more specifically volcanoes, were the source that released the most carbon dioxide. Now,
the US Geological survey indicates that humans release 135 times more carbon dioxide than the volcanoes (epa.gov).This increase in the release of the gas has already shown how the environment could be altered and possibly destroyed. A number of things have already began to change.
For example, the level of the sea has already risen and ocean is becoming more acidic. The level of the sea rises simply because the water is getting warmer causing it to expand. The acidity of the ocean increases due to the reaction between the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the salt water. This reaction can have devastating consequences to the marine life and to the people that rely on the sea animals as their main source of food. In addition, the life in the earth’s poles are being affected as well. Since the temperature rise began, the glaciers have been melting. The melting of glaciers is a great loss for the animals that inhabit them. As stated by Bill Fraser, a penguin researcher for 30 years, the number of penguins breeding has decreased in the last thirty years from 32,000 to 11,000. An incredibly short time in which a great number of species have been lost. Furthermore, the overall amount of rain around the world has increased signifying that climate change has slowly changed the weather pattern. It has been predicted that by the end of the century sea levels could rise up seven to twenty-three inches, hurricanes will be more severe, floods and droughts will become more common. To make matters even worse, if the Quelccaya ice cap, the largest glacier in Peru, continues to melt at the same rate it is now,
fresh water will not be available for the people who use the cap as their main and only source for water. It is redundant to say that it is vital to begin caring and looking after our home.
Scientist have worked hard over the years to prove that the the recent increase in the earth’s temperature is because of humans. In a perfect scenario they would have the ability to have run an experiment on a “second earth” but since it is impossible a formula that is able to say whether or not humans are responsible for climate change was invented. Detection and attribution is the process in which a statistical model is used to relate simulated and observed variations in climate (Gillett 22). The model is composed of coefficients that represent a greenhouse gas. Essentially if the statistic model shows that a regression coefficient is greater
than zero, then we can infer that the gas has an impact.
Chief scientist, Kevin Arrigo, at Stanford University says that the ecosystem in the Arctic is changing faster than any other ocean which is why NASA plans on researching how life is changing because of climate change. The United States has tried to improve the well-being of our planet but recently our president has withdrawn from the Paris agreement.China, however, has agreed on reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by sixty to sixty-five percent by the year 2030.
They have also invested money into the research on clean energy. They have actively been trying to find a way in order to help care for the environment. Even though many still argue that climate change is not real.
Some scientist like those apart of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
believe that climate change is due to natural causes. They argue that the we should focus more on the research that claim that the sun is the main reason for climate change. ICSC believes that carbon dioxide is essential for photosynthesis and life on earth so therefore it is not a pollutant (Climate Science). They also believe that the devices used to measure previous temperature was altered and is not trustworthy. However, only three percent of scientist don’t believe in climate change because there is a tremendous amount of research that proves otherwise.
Even though some don’t believe in global warming and climate change, there is enough evidence to prove that it is in fact real and altering our planet. The main cause of climate change is humans and their increase release of carbon dioxide since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The effects can be seen clearly with the rising temperature of the earth, the acidification and expansion of the ocean and the lost of habitats of those species in the poles. Therefore, if we don’t take action immediately our great great great great grandchildren will not have the privilege of seeing polar bears and penguins.
Lallanilla, Marc. Live Science. 10 Feb 2015.
www.livescience.com/37821-greenhouse-gases.html. 03 July 2017.
Solomon, Susan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. No. 6, 16 Dec 2008,
www.pnas.org/content/106/6/1704.full. 03 July 2017.
US Environmental Protection Agency. EPA, 2016.
www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases. 03 July 2017.
US Environmental Protection Agency. EPA, 2016.
19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/climate-change-science/causes-climate-change. 03 July