When people claim that climate change isn’t a real thing, it makes me wonder if they know what climate change is. As NASA so eloquently puts it, climate change is when there is a change in an area’s weather. That can mean an area’s rainfall might differ from the norm, or their temperature might change from what is the expected average. It is incredibly important to note that climate change isn’t just about one area but the whole entire world. This makes it an international issue, not just an American issue like some are led to believe.
What you need to know:
- Global temperature is rising. The average temperature for land and oceans in 2016 were 1.69° Fahrenheit above the twenty-first century average. This may not sound that bad, but consider this. All 16 years of the twenty-first century rank among the 17 warmest years on record. This was the third year in a row, and the fifth time since 2000, that a new temperature record has been set. If something doesn’t sound wrong to you, re-read those facts. Cold places in the world are warming up, and hot places are cooling down. Need more evidence? Snow is melting quicker, glaciers are retreating, ice sheets are shrinking everywhere including the Arctic.
- Human beings are contributing to this. Scientists have confirmed evidence that humans are putting too much carbon in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the main heat-constraining gas that is responsible for a major portion of global warming, and people are fueling this gas with using coal, oil, or gas and cutting and burning forests. Now the Arctic is facing the consequences of this, bypassing the dangerous threshold of atmospheric concentration of 440 parts per million. It is a well-known fact that human actions increase carbon atmospheric concentrations, but now it has reached a dangerous high.
- The ocean is rebelling. Sea levels are rising increasingly, with the global waters rising 8 inches in the past century. The ocean’s levels of acidity has escalated to 30% since the 18th century, and 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide are being assimilated annually. Because of the aforementioned carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere, the ocean is also taking in this excess gas.
- Extreme weather is occurring. Heat waves, droughts, floods, hurricanes, and heavy downpours are becoming the new normal, when they are anything but. It is even predicted that these storms are still going to increase by 20%, even if we try to curb our carbon emissions.
I could compile numerous articles on the evidence that proves the existence of climate change. I could tell you to look outside, to read the news. Some nations are working to better themselves, trying to be more eco-friendly, while other nations ignore this threat and trudge forward. The world as we know it is ending and becoming something awfully maltreated and weak. The only thing we can do is accept that this is happening and begin thinking about greener and wiser steps for our future. It isn’t a one country problem, because everyone’s lives will change.