Global Warming is a buzzword right now. The experts finally agree: it is happening. But, what does that really mean, and how will it affect our lives?
A Closer Look At Global Warming.
Global Warming is just what its name implies: a warming of the earth’s atmosphere. But, it’s more than warmer weather. The earth’s climate regulates everything worldwide: the oceans, the storms, the temperatures, the rain forests, even the deserts.
Right now the earth’s climate is rising unnaturally, thanks to the over-consumption of oil, gas and coal। The pollution made from burning these fossil fuels has left incredibly large amounts of carbon dioxide trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. This build-up of “greenhouse gasses” has thrown off the way nature is designed to control and regulate global temperatures. As the amount of these gasses increase, so do the earth’s temperatures.
What’s A Few Degrees Matter?
It may not seem like a big deal, but as temperatures rise (even by a degree or two), all over the world, places like Antarctica and the North Sea begin to experience melting of their ice caps and glaciers. As this polar ice melts, tides will slowly rise worldwide; eventually flooding places like London, Bangkok and New Orleans permanently. Places people now live and work will be lost to the seas forever.
But, that’s not all. Some of the world’s best farmland is located in many of the low-lying lands in danger of this global flooding. As the seas rise, these fertile soils will be swallowed by ocean water. In many places throughout the world, people will lose their only source of growing food.
Another important industry that will be at risk is the world’s fishing industry. As ocean waters rise, fish will leave areas where the people depend on them for earning a living, looking for colder waters. Many breeds will die when unable to adapt to the temperature changes.
In addition to food shortages, higher world temperatures will also cause an increase in many diseases only before seen in third-world nations in mass. Diseases such as malaria and TB may become commonplace in even the most industrialized countries as higher temperatures accelerate the breeding of the bacteria that causes these diseases.
It’s More Than Warmer Temperatures.
The dangers of a warming climate continue to accelerate as the temperature rises. Not just about warmer temperatures, global warming greatly affects weather patterns all over the world. As temperatures rise (even as little as one degree), storms become more violent and more unpredictable. Hurricanes have already begun to hit land with more force than years past. The trend will only worsen. The size of the world’s desserts will increase as land becomes drier. In places where it does rain, the storms will be heavier, and flooding commonplace. When a cold snap hits in the winter, it will be more severe, with larger snowfalls, than before.
All of this sounds bad and getting worse, but what can we do, right now, to lesson the effects global warming is having on our earth, and out lives. Here are a few things everyone can do right now that will help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released (and trapped), into our atmosphere every day:
- Drive Sparingly. Walk when possible. Take public transportation, or car pool.
- Conserve energy. Turn the lights, computers, appliances and TV’s off when not in use. Buy only energy efficient appliances. Buy and use manual appliances, tools and toys whenever possible.
- Recycle everything. That doesn’t mean just your paper and plastic. Donate used clothes, and other working household items to someone else to use instead of purchasing a new one to cut down on dangerous gasses released from landfills.
- Plant a tree. It helps cut down the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, and supplies the earth wit new stores of oxygen.