Signs of climate change:
The earth is getting warmer due to greenhouse gases (co2)
Droughts are becoming more severe.
Glaziers and ice sheets are melting increasing sea levels.
More intense storms leading to flooding.
The earth is 4 and 1/2 billion years old and has been self-regulated.
But now humans have thrown it out of it’s regulation cycle.
It’s happening faster then the scientists expected.
Recent extreme weather events this year:
120 degrees F. in the Pacific Northwest of North America (USA and Canada)
Extreme flooding in Germany.
Wildfires in Oregon destroyed 1000 acres in one hour.
A years worth of rain fell in China in three days.
Scientists thought these extremes would occur later this century.
We need to stop burning fossil fuels and cutting down the forests.
Reduce greenhouse gasses.
Future generations will have to cope with extreme weather and it’s consequences if we don’t do something fast.
By our constant polluting of the atmosphere, we humans are transforming the future of our planet NOW!
We are approaching more and more tipping points that destabilise the climate.
What is a tipping point?
These points occur when global heat increases temperatures beyond a critical point.
This leads to severe impacts which cause extreme weather and change the climate.
We also hear a lot about the Greenhouse Effect.
What is it?
A greenhouse lets heat in but very little escapes.
So it gets very warm in the greenhouse.
So what keeps the earth warm?
Certain gasses in the atmosphere absorb heat redaction and throw it down to the earth’s surface.
But the gases don’t let the heat escape into space.
These gasses produce the Greenhouse Effect.
Some of the gasses are carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour.
It’s like throwing a blanket over the earth
Fossil fuel burning increases carbon dioxide making the blanket thicker!
Is human influence on the climate clear?
We have been polluting the atmosphere for years,The heat from the Greenhouse Effect melts the ice so sea levels increase.
We have created big changes in our climate systems.
More heat waves, more flooding, and more droughts.
Some nations have committed to cut Co2 emissions.
This is not enough, you need global commitment especially from the two large polluters, China and the US.
So in summary:
We recently had some global extreme weather.
So will it alert the public and politicians?
I hope so.
It should be a wake up call for all of us.
I’m going to recycle more and plant a tree. This is NO joke!
Also published on Medium.