We hear and see the words “global warming” all the time, in media outlets, social media and the like. It isn’t uncommon to see pundits on political channels passionately advocating for its cause. The other side of the aisle is equally passionate about its non-existence. So why are so many people up in arms about this topic? Well, scientists have been trying to warn others of its severity for decades. But those cries seem to be falling on deaf ear among most politicians and even citizens. Getting the facts will help to make an educated analysis on what your next steps will be to making the planet a safer place.
What It It?
Human invention and consumption has contributed to the expansion of global warming. There are many modern machines that keep us ahead of the technological game, but it comes with a high environmental cost. These “greenhouse gases” that are being transmitted into the atmosphere are causing some major ground level changes. “Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are dying, and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace” (National Geographic). Global warming is the end result but doesn’t describe the process at which we get to that point. To understand global warming, you have to first understand the greenhouse effect. The name is reminiscent of what a greenhouse is used for, to trap heat. That is basically what the atmosphere is doing, which is in turn, warming the earth. Once greenhouse gas molecules are let into the atmosphere, they are stationary. They are basically stuck there instead of going into space. The molecules that are left in the atmosphere trap the heat that has been reflected back causing the rise in the atmospheric temperature. “Through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities that have emitted large amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly over the past few decades, humans are now enhancing the greenhouse effect and warming Earth significantly” (National Geographic). It’s natural for the Earth to get slightly warmer over the years, but the rate at which this is happening have many scientists warning of its dangers. What normally happens over thousands of years has now been dwindled down to decades based on the amount of carbon dioxide that is being put into the atmosphere. This isn’t giving humans or wildlife time to adapt to the changes.
What Can We Do?
As a result, “this means more intense major storms, more rain followed by longer and drier droughts – a challenge for growing crops” (National Geographic). Sea levels are rising significantly, and making their way inland while glaciers are melting. Our livelihood depends on growing food and also animals and plants in the wild, so global warming will have a huge impact on whether we can survive on Earth. Beginning the transition to a more sustainable way of living will undoubtedly slow down the global warming process. Small changes such as: Reusing shopping bags, brining your own water bottle, making your own beauty products, riding a bike when possible, grow your own garden. One of the main goals is to focus on not wasting and finding ways to use things for the duration of their life span, whatever that may be. Obviously solar power is a better option, but it can get a little expensive so seek other affordable ways. As solar panels get more popular and engineers are finding cheaper ways to build them, the price is steadily going down. But until then, making incremental changes in the way you live will be a benefit to our planet.
This topic has been talked about for decades so it’s about time for us to make the change that our environment deserves. Slowing down green house gases entering into the atmosphere is the main goal to stopping the impact of global warming. We have to make sure the future of our planet isn’t a fatal one.