“The warnings about climate change have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequence.” –Al Gore
Global Warming is possibly the scariest thing to be happening to our earth, and people are oblivious to it. The evidence is there to prove it, carbon emission levels are higher than ever, due to pollution all over the world. The atmosphere is now thicker, due to Carbon emissions, trapping the suns heat on earth. Massive ice-caps are melting, making the sea levels rise. Carbon dioxide is killing marine life, affecting the whole eco-system and also making the ocean acidic. In 1990 the Kyoto Protocol was made for countries to follow to stop global warming, To fix this massive problem, we need to work together and find eco-friendly solutions that will reduce carbon dioxide levels.
What is climate change?
Climate change usually refers to an increase or decrease in temperature. It normally happens naturally, and people believe what is happening now is part of a cycle, but the statistics show that we are contributing to the acceleration of temperature increases. Climate change not only affects the temperature, but it can cause the change in frequency or harshness of natural disasters. Climate change now is said to be caused by human activity and the demands of the ever increasing population.
In 2012 the highest ever carbon emission levels were recorded worldwide. If that is not a big enough indicator that we aren’t doing something right, then I don’t know what will be, maybe the end of humanity. 91 per cent of carbon emissions come from fossil fuels and cement. The other 9 per cent comes from land use change. 50 per cent of it goes into the atmosphere, 26 per cent into the land and the other 24 per cent in the oceans. Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 50-200 years. In 2011 34.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide was emitted into the atmosphere. These emissions were 54 per cent higher than in 1990, the year the Kyoto Protocol was made. Coal is one of the biggest factors in carbon emissions. It is used especially because it is cheap. Most of the emissions come from coal. Climate scientists say we have only years, not decades, to fix this problem before we can’t fix it.
Because the world’s atmosphere is thicker due to greenhouse gases (water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and chlorofluorocarbons), the earth is being turned into an oven. The sun’s rays enter the earth’s atmosphere, but most of the heat can’t escape. This is called the greenhouse effect. This is naturally occurring and if this didn’t happen, there would be no life on earth. The problem is that most of the heat can’t escape because the amount of greenhouse gases is higher than normal. Some of the sun’s rays that are reflected back off the earth’s surface into the atmosphere where it is re-radiated, causing the temperature to rise.
Massive indicators that we are going through climate change are that lakes are drying up, the glaciers and polar ice are melting, and melting snow cover in the northern hemisphere. The biggest problem of them all is the melting polar ice and glaciers. The water that is coming from this melting has caused the sea to rise 3cm every year, for the past few years. Antarctica’s amount of ice makes up 90 per cent of the world’s total, and if was to melt, the sea would rise 61 metres, it is very unlikely that the ice will melt at all here, with the average temperature in Antarctica being -37 degrees Celsius. That temperature could change, but it would take a long time. If all of Greenland melted, the sea would rise 7 metres. It is more likely to happen in Greenland because it is closer to the equator, making the temperatures higher, and the mass of ice more susceptible to melting. The world’s maps would have to be re-drawn.
The carbon emissions aren’t only affecting