Climate change is an important environmental issue that is getting worsened every day around the world. There are reports on droughts, heatwaves, and the severity of approaching our climate tipping points.
In the late 1800s, scientists had predicted and known about the dangers of climate change, according to NASA. Scientists first noticed why the earth did not have more of a cooler climate. Eunice Foote, discovered that the earth’s atmosphere traps carbon dioxide and water vapor from leaving which leaves heat radiation. Tomake the change, John Tyndall suggested the greenhouse effect which makes slight changes in the atmosphere’s composition which can have climatic variations in the future.
In other words, “ The greenhouse effect is the way heat is trapped close to Earth's surface by “greenhouse gases.” These heat-trapping gases can be thought of as a blanket wrapped around Earth, keeping the planet toastier than it would be without them, says NASA.
In 1896, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius first announced his prediction about climate change due to the infamous greenhouse effect. This method serves a great purpose for our earth but can affect the earth’s surface temperature through the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide levels. Which ultimately leads to the long-term heating of the earth‘s atmosphere otherwise known as global warming.
Climate change is mirroring global warming through the long-term shifts in weather and temperature patterns. Currently, climate change is becoming the trending topic specifically in droughts and heatwaves across the globe.
Issued in South Texas there was a record-breaking heat spur as well as a water crisis and drought. Texas has a 78.8% of abnormally dry drought which leads to the increase of grass fires, cropping/planting is postponed and supplemental feeding for livestock begins, says drought.gov.
Other parts of the world, such as China, are experiencing their third driest summer and are dealing with their most severe drought. During this two-month summer temperatures and rainfall recorded their highest temperature causing this severe drought, while rainfall showed its lowest levels in 61 years. Xiao Chan, the vice-director of China’s national meteorological administration says that in August the national average temperature was 22.4C making it higher than the norm. Rainfall became recorded as the third lowest since 1961 falling at 23%, 82mm. As there is little to no rainfall China faced the heatwave that overcame the drought which caused forest fires, affecting agricultural production, water resources, and more.
Heat waves are not only affecting one distinct area but rather across the globe such as Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. As for the Summer of 2022 temperatures are recorded to have reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) breaking record, according to earthobservatory.nasa.gov.
Having said that, there has been a new development in our climate change and that is as a community we are reaching the earth’s climate tipping points.
Climate tipping points are defined as conditions that change in a part of the climate system and become self-perpetuating. This can ultimately lead to anything abrupt happening and can impact implications in humanity.
An assessment is done by international scientists David Armstrong McKay of Stockholm University in Sweden and the University of Exeter in the UK about the “core” of the tipping elements and seeing the impact that contributes to humans and its value on the earth’s system. This project concludes that we have already broken through several thresholds on earth, but that does not mean taking this matter lightly.
At the current 1.5 degrees Celsius, we are at the tipping points that are already causing Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, permafrost thawing has quickened in boreal and tropical coral reefs are dying off. Increasing our climate change to warmer temperatures can cause further and more destructive damage to our earth’s system and humanity. If there is no change to prevent even more damage then there can be the result of unpredictable treacherous occurrences.
According to The Grantham Institute, there are a few things we can do in our daily lives to avert climate change from getting worse.
Eat less meat and dairy
Cut back on flying
Leave the car at home
Reduce your energy use and bills
Respect and protect green spaces
Cut consumption and waste
For more information about these individual actions to help climate change check out The Grantham Institute’s home page.
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