I wanted to go into this in more detail. Climate Change is continually being talked about and is the biggest problem facing Governments around the world today that they must tackle. It is also the biggest threat to mankind and mustn’t be taken lightly.
The world is warming caused by a build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses in the atmosphere. The gases trap heat by forming a blanket around the Earth – like the glass of a greenhouse and as they build up, the planet’s temperature rises.
Greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels; coal, oil and gas and by cutting down forests. Greenhouse-gas levels have rocketed in the last 100 years.
The following are stark facts about climate change:
“Humans are warming the planet. It is now accepted that human activity has and continues to warm the earth and humans have been the dominant cause of global warming since industrialisation.
The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of April 2018, the concentration is 407 ppm. The amount of carbon dioxide is higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years.
The United States is the second largest contributor to CO2 in our atmosphere, although it is home to just 4.4 percent of the world’s population.
In 1910 Glacier National Park was home to more an estimated 150 glaciers. As of June 2017, that number is 26 and shrinking. This national park is expected to eventually lose all its glaciers.
Rain forest destruction contributes to climate change, as trees store carbon dioxide as they grow and clearing and burning forests releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The world’s coral reefs are in the midst of a global mass die off. In the last 30 years, the world has lost half of its coral reefs.
Global warming is leading to more extreme weather. Warming has already increased the occurrence of some types of extreme weather events and further temperature increases will see the frequency of heavy rainfall events and very hot days increase, with the severity increasing in proportion to warming. There will be more droughts and floods.
Sea levels are rising – they will continue to do so over coming decades and centuries as sea water expands as it gets warmer, as well as additions from glacier melt water and losses from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
Addressing carbon pollution brings significant additional benefits, such as reduced health impacts from air pollution, healthier lower meat diets, increased biodiversity from afforestation, and less water scarcity;
Business as usual will lead to 4 degrees of warming and extremely severe impacts – 4 degrees of warming would lead to very large releases of methane from melting permafrost, triggering still greater levels of warming, and the near-complete loss of the Greenland ice sheet.
Food production will be harmed. Climate change is expected to reduce crop productivity by as much as 2 per cent per decade. The risks to food production are not spread evenly, with tropical countries at greatest risk.
Severe threats to wildlife – 20-30 per cent of the plant and animal species assessed are at increasing risk of extinction as global mean temperatures exceed a warming of 2-3 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
The poorest in the world will suffer the most – people who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally or otherwise marginalised are often highly vulnerable to climate change. Africa is particularly vulnerable, even with high levels of adaptation. It will eventually affect the rich also.”
The facts on climate change make for morbid reading. Its facts won’t change, we must change our attitude to climate change.
Whilst we cannot reverse the damage already done through climate change, we can limit further damage. Again, Sir David Attenborough, a Broadcaster and Natural Historian, has been talking about climate change and its effects for over 20 years now, and still nothing is being done by Governments to address the issue.
We are already feeling the effects of climate change. Individually, there are things we can do to help combat climate change and must. Governments must lead by example and work together to help but the brakes on climate change before it’s too late for us and our planet. We’re killing our planet.
NASA Earth Observatory
NASA Global Climate Change