A Changing Climate

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A Changing Climate

Nicole Bowlan, Editor

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Climate change is an increasing problem in the world we live in. Our environment is already experiencing impacts from climate change as a result of global warming, such as heat waves, extreme weather, and threats to life on earth.

The Earth’s climate has varied throughout history. This change, particularly apparent from from the mid to late 19th and 20th century to the present, is largely caused from the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

“Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate,” stated Nasa’s Science Communication Team, “Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks.”

Other evidence of climate change include a global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, a glacial retreat, decreased snow cover, sea level rise, and declining arctic sea ice. Extreme weather and ocean acidification also are compound evidence of the effects of climate change. Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is attributed to humans forcing the “greenhouse effect”.

“On Earth, human activities are changing the natural greenhouse. Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2),” stated NASA. “To a lesser extent, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities has increased concentrations of greenhouse gases.”

Climate change is estimated to continue to change over this century and centuries to come. Sea level is estimated to rise one to four feet by the year 2100. The Arctic Ocean, most associated with the Polar Bear, is expected to become ice free before mid-century.

“The global temperature increase brings disastrous consequences, endangering the survival of the Earth’s flora and fauna, including human beings,” stated ACCIONA, a leader in providing renewable energy products, adding that “climate change also increases the appearance of more violent weather phenomena, drought, fires, the death of animal and plant species, flooding from rivers and lakes, the creation of climate refugees and destruction of the food chain and economic resources, especially in developing countries.”

Climate change cannot be avoided. We can help mend effects and adapt to the consequences of climate change, though, which may slow down the long term effects. Taking action, even just in your personal life, can help make a difference.

“Reduce your personal contribution to global warming and set an example for others by using less gasoline, natural gas, oil, and electricity (especially electricity generated from coal-fired power plants) in your daily life,” stated the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Reduce the amount of gas you burn by choosing a fuel-efficient car or other transportation that uses less (or no) fossil fuel per person. Buy efficient appliances that use less electricity. Reduce everyday electrical use. Develop a plan to reduce daily electricity use around your home. Ask each member of your household to take responsibility for a different electricity-saving action.”

Climate change poses a true threat to life as we know it. Humanity should act now, before it’s too late. Be the change that our environment desperately needs.