Climate Change

Introduction

Our Earth is heating up, and there is no reason for any individual to deny that is happening. Unfortunately, there are some out there who believe that it is a hoax or a myth. And with President-elect’s cabinet full of billionaires who refuse to believe the science of global warming or climate change, it is more urgent than ever for the people of the U.S to take action and for other countries to take charge.

Evidence of Climate Change [1]

  • Sea level rise: 
    • Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century.
  • Global temperature rise
    • 15 of the last 16 years have been the hottest years on record (since 2001)
    • The year 2015 was the first where global average temperatures were 1 degree celsius or more above the 1880-1899 average.
  • Warming of the oceans
    • The top 700 m of ocean have warmed 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
  • Shrinking ice sheets
    • Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005

These are only some indicators. Read more at Evidence of Climate Change. [Source 1]

Causes of Climate Change 

Greenhouse effect – warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.

  • Certain gases in the atmosphere prevent heat from escaping.
    • Water vapor.
    • Carbon dioxide – released through breathing and volcano eruptions (natural processes) but also through human activities such as deforestation, land use changes and burning fossil fuels.
    • Methane: released through decomposition of wastes in landfills, agriculture, and especially rice cultivation, as well as ruminant digestion and manure management associated with domestic livestock.
  • Role of human activity: More than 95% probability (revealed by scientists) that human activities over the past 50 years have contributed to climate change.

Read more in detail about the causes of climate change.

Effects from climate change

  • Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.
  • More intense heat waves
  • Net damage costs are likely to be significant and increase over time

Read more in detail about the effects of climate change.

These are very serious effects on our environment. There must be some way humans can help save their Earth from this dangerous phenomena.

Solutions of Climate Change 

  • Mitigation and Adaptation
    • Mitigation involves reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
      • Reduce the sources of these gases
      • Enhancing the sinks that accumulate and store these gases (oceans, forests, soil.
    • Adaptation involves adjusting to actual or expected future climate.
      • reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level encroachment, more intense extreme weather events or food insecurity).
  • Government Policies to help regulate companies and the emissions they release. 

What is the issue?

Donald Trump and some of his cabinet picks, along with many Republicans in Congress, refuse to take the issue of climate change seriously.

What is currently happening politically and socially?

UPDATE: The EPA has been frozen under President Trump. There is a media blackout from the department and they are also currently forbidden from acting out contracts. A sign of things to come?

UPDATE: Donald Trump expected to push forward with Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines with executive actions. So not only is he disregarding what millions of people want (they are against the pipeline), but despite numerous scientists urging him to move away from fossil fuels and from coal, Donald Trump is insisting on bringing back jobs for these industries even though there is much to be gained from investing in renewable energy.

Conclusion

Most world leaders have accepted climate change as a fact, except for the soon-to-be leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world. U.S support is necessary for more resources to be devoted to fighting this, yet Trump denies this as a hoax. A huge step to fighting climate change would be convincing the President-elect of the importance and significance of climate change.

UPDATE: Donald Trump has shown too much disregard for science and for facts. When 97% of scientists agree that climate change is being exacerbated by human activities, he is blatantly disrespecting the urgent need for change.

 

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