Climate Change: Be Aware
by Ashley Samulka
Seven years and twenty-seven days are what humanity has until “Doomsday”. The Climate Clock that is displayed around the world indicates the time in which we have to achieve zero emissions before there is irreversible damage to our planet. Climate change includes global warming that is caused by greenhouse gases emitted by humans which result in weather pattern shifts. Some people believe strongly in climate change or global warming but, some remain skeptical that it even exists. There is scientific evidence that it is real but, some people believe that the Earth has gone through this before and will continue to do so therefore, it is nothing new to be feared.
Earth’s climate has changed throughout history as we can see by looking at the ice age and the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs etc. However, within the last 650,000 years, there have been around seven climate cycles. Evidence from tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and the layers in sedimentary rocks show that the current warming is happening ten times faster than it should and human activity is increasing it by approximately 250 times. This warming of our planet is significant because most of it (~95%) has happened within the 20th century.
Some ways that scientists can prove climate change is real is through global temperatures, ocean warming, ice sheets, and glaciers. Since the 19th century, Earth’s temperature has risen an average of two degrees due to carbon dioxide emissions. This temperature increase can be shown within the record warm days we have been having the past several years. Most people chalk up the weather change to their state being bipolar in weather but, in reality, the cause is much graver. Along with the surface temperature rise, we can also see the temperature of our oceans increasing by 0.6 since 1969 because our oceans hold up to 90% of the extra energy produced. Because of this, the Arctic Sea has declined, the ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic have decreased in mass size and the glaciers have also been retreating.
News media has produced many segments on climate change and how the melting of ice sheets and glacier retreat is affecting the animals and organisms that live there. Before long this damage will reach the mainlands and human populations. Currently, many leaders all over the world have not taken this seriously or took action to help stop it. No matter how serious scientists express themselves some people are not willing to change. When people are not directly affected, they are less willing to change. However, by the time everyone realizes just how bad it is, it will be too late to stop it.