We’ve all probably heard of the term Climate Change in today’s modern era, which is a common concern. In this article, you will find all you need to know about climate change. Also, you will learn about the present state of climate change, including whether climate change is getting better or worse.
You must have known that human activities are causing global temperatures to rise constantly. Due to this, climate change has now put every aspect of human life in danger. Then, if things keep going the way they are, humanity and nature will face catastrophic heat, with severe droughts, rising sea levels, and mass extinctions.
Now let’s understand the concept of climate change first before going further. Starting with the basics: what is the climate? And what does it mean by climate change?
Climate change generally occurs when fossil fuels are burned. It releases greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2). The heat from the sun is trapped by these gases, causing the planet’s temperature to rise.
According to studies, the planet is currently 1.2° C hotter than it was in the 19th century, with CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere up by 50%.
The facts stated above demonstrate that climate change is worsening regularly. There is no doubt that humans are not prepared to stop activities that have a negative impact on the environment. Human beings are selfish creatures who strive to ruin our planet for the sake of profit and comfortable life.
However, humans must keep in mind that if things continue in this manner, everyone will suffer terrible consequences.
The very next question that comes to our mind is: What are the indicators that reflect the worsening condition of climate? Let’s read further to know more about it.
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Indicators Of Climate Change
Here are five essential changes in our climate system that experts have seen, which indicates its worsening.
1. Increase In Air Temperatures Over Land
Weather forecasts on earth reveal that average air temperatures are rising, increasing the regularity and severity of droughts and heatwaves. Droughts can cause devastating wildfires, failed crops, and insufficient water supplies, all of which are already wreaking havoc worldwide.
2. Disappearance Of Glaciers
One of the most visible signs of climate change is the melting of glaciers. Glacier mass remains balanced in a world without climate change, meaning that the ice that evaporates in the summer is fully restored by snowfall in the winter. On the other hand, the glacier loses bulk when more ice melts than is restored.
3. Rise In Sea Levels
For the past several decades, sea levels have been rising. And, as glaciers melt quicker and water temperatures rise, the oceans start to expand. The rate has only accelerated in recent years. As sea levels rise, storms worsen, and more intense flooding happens, you can predict how many millions of people are at risk. Furthermore, saline water intrusion into freshwater aquifers, many of which support human communities and natural ecosystems, poses a hazard to marine and human life.
4. Disappearance Of Snow
Snow is significant because it regulates how much energy the earth collects from the sun. Snow and ice that are light in color reflect this energy into space, helping to keep the planet cool. As the snow and ice melt, dark land and water take their place, both of which absorb energy.
5. Increase In Humidity
In extreme heat, higher humidity implies more water vapor in the air, making it stickier. Water vapor adds to the earth’s natural greenhouse effect and is a critical aspect of the water cycle. As the amount of water vapor in the air rises, air conditioners must work much more challenging to keep us cool. As a result, there will be greater energy use, contributing to increased climate change.
You may now understand how climate change is measured. Looking at the things described above, it is evident that our entire world is in danger. But why are all the things mentioned above happening? In other words, what is causing climate change? Continue reading to find out the factors.
Causes: Factors Leading To Climate Change
One of the leading causes of climate change is the Greenhouse effect. According to various studies, the greenhouse effect is constantly increasing. It occurs when the atmosphere traps heat from earth toward space (which is happening due to human expansion). The mentioned gases facilitate the greenhouse effect:
Human actions on earth are altering the natural greenhouse. The use of fossil fuels has raised the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the last century. This occurs due to the coal or oil burning process, producing carbon dioxide by combining carbon with oxygen in the air.
In more simple words, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities has raised greenhouse gas concentrations.
Here’s the impact of human activities on our environment.
Role Of Human Activity
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 active research experts from all over the world, convened under the supervision of the United Nations, stated in its Fifth Assessment Report that human activities have increased the temperature of our planet by more than 95% over the last 50 years.
In the last 151 years, the industrial activities that make up our modern way of life have raised the level of carbon dioxide in the air from 280 parts per million to about 417 parts per million.
Greenhouse gases produced by humans, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, are likely to contribute to global warming.
The preceding figures confirm how human activity contributes to climate change. The concern now is whether or not we can halt climate change!
Can We Stop Climate Change?
The good news is that: YES, we can stop climate change and save our world. You’re probably wondering how?
Well, alternatives to fossil fuels are now authentic, technically possible, and economical. To keep global warming at 1.5 ° C, we must transition from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and reduce carbon pollution to zero. This transformation will not immediately halt climate change. But switching from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy will benefit people, communities, and businesses worldwide.
Aside from that, we must all begin taking the appropriate steps to reduce our activities that harm the environment. By doing so, humanity may reclaim their planet and enjoy living on it once more.
Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.