Our Planet Is Heating Up — And Rapidly So!
Global warming is happening. You only have to watch the news…..
Glaciers melting, sea levels rising, forests drying, and wildlife is scrambling around just to survive.
It’s becoming clear that humans have caused most of global warming by releasing greenhouse gases as we consume energy to power our frantic, modern lives. And this is why we are turning to cleaner energy like what solar energy can provide.
Aren’t temperature changes natural?
The average global temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide (one of the major greenhouse gases) have fluctuated on a cycle of hundreds of thousands of years as the Earth’s position relative to the sun has varied. As a result, ice ages have come and gone.
However, for thousands of years now, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) to the atmosphere have been balanced out by GHGs that are naturally absorbed.
Therefore, GHG concentrations and temperature have been fairly stable. This stability has allowed life on earth to develop within a consistent climate.
Occasionally, other factors briefly influence global warming. Volcanic eruptions, for example, emit particles that temporarily cool the Earth’s surface. But these have no lasting effect beyond a few years.
But since the industrial revolution, humans have managed to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than a third. Yes, that’s right, a third! This is the main cause of global warming.
Usually, changes this large take thousands of years, but are now happening over the course of decades resulting in global warming.
Why is this a problem?
Well, the increase in greenhouse gases is a problem because it is changing the climate faster than some living things may be able to adapt. Darwin anyone?
Historically, Earth’s climate has regularly moved back and forth between todays temperatures and ones cold enough that large sheets of ice covered swathes of North America and Europe.
But these swings happen slowly, over hundreds of thousands of years. The difference between average global temperatures today and during those ice ages is only about 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit).
Now, with greenhouse gases rising, Earth’s last ice sheets – such as Greenland and Antarctica – are starting to melt too. This could result in raised sea levels.
A result of temperature rises, is dramatic and unexpected changes to the climate hence global warming.
In addition to sea levels rising, weather can become more extreme.
This means more intense major storms – just watch the news – longer droughts, changes in the habitat of plants and animals, and loss of water supplies that have historically come from glaciers. So as you can see, the effects of global warming are wide and varied.
Scientists are already seeing some of these changes occurring more quickly than they had expected. The global warming statistics are alarming.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eleven of the twelve hottest years since thermometer readings became available occurred between 1995 and 2006.
Global Warming Facts
• Average temperatures around the world have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) since 1880, much of this in recent times due to global warming, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
• Global warming facts suggest that the rate of climate change is increasing. The 20th century’s last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850 because of global warming.
• One of the more worrying global warming facts is that the Arctic ice is disappearing at an alarming rate. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.
• Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana’s Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers. It had 150 back in 1910.
• An increase in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to studies on global warming facts by some experts.
• According to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004, average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average.
Global warming is happening!
It seems the only debate in the science community about climate change is about how much and how fast warming will continue as a result of heat-trapping emissions.
Scientists have given a clear warning about global warming, and we have more than enough facts — about causes and fixes — to implement solutions right away.
Are we as developed countries doing enough to prevent global warming?
Wind turbines and solar energy are just 2 things we as individuals should be looking at.
We can all do ‘our bit’ to help prevent global warming. Especially by installing a solar power system. And there are really simple things you can do around the house to show how global warming can be prevented.
There is no way I can go into all this here. If you want more information then I’d recommend a great site Global Greenhouse Warming for more in-depth information.
Climate Change Scientific Journal
There is no doubt that scientific evidence effects climate change governmental policies around the world.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which in 2005 the White House called “the gold standard of objective scientific assessment,” issued a joint statement with 10 other National Academies of Science saying “the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.”
Have a look at this article on global warming .
If you live in the US, there is a great website called BeGreenNow .
BeGreen Carbon Offsets is a division of Green Mountain Energy Company, the longest serving green power provider in the U.S.
BeGreen provides education about the serious effects of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and offers businesses and consumers simple and effective ways to reduce their carbonfootprint through the purchase of renewable energy, forest sequestration and other project-based offsets.
Another great site with information on all things concerning forests and their general well being is the Forestry Update.