Climate change is one of the favorite topics that occur in almost discussion from political debates to international competitions that have a theme focused on how to improve life on earth. It even became a popular small talk subject.
But, despite its popularity, well-argued call to action, valuable insights that esteemed scientists offer to the catastrophe that lies ahead, well-written articles with wide coverage around the world and mandatory climate change essays that any college student was tasked with, at least once, people seem to still not fully grasp how prompt all of us need to make a shift in the way we take care of our Earth.
What does climate change consist of?
Before making an introduction to the means at hand to avoid this and the specific assignment each has, in order to protect the earth, we should fully grasp the meaning of this concept.
The popular belief is that the notion appeared when factories were invented and polluted the atmosphere, making the temperatures begin rising, thus creating a general warming of the planet. This picture has some truth to it but is not quite accurate.
Climate changes have always been a part of earth’s history, and went both ways, from the warming of the planet to its abrupt cooling, as when the famous Ice Age happened. They have been determined by various factors, mostly natural, up until some hundred years ago, when human activities started grossly influencing the outcome. The concern has indeed begun and gradually increased since the Industrial Revolution, given that temperatures have risen from that time, with a worrisome 0.85 degrees Celsius.
Causes of climate alterations
We can identify some of the natural phenomena that affect global warming, and the most obvious examples are volcano eruptions and the melting of snow on large areas that are normally covered by it. So, the volcanoes release into the atmosphere, along with lava and ash, sulfur dioxide, which acts indirectly as one of the greenhouse gases, by keeping the heat from the solar radiation to be released out to space. The same happens when snow and ice melt and less energy is reflected into space.
But when it comes to determining which factors have the greatest effect, there is no competition between the natural ones and those inflicted by human activities. Although the greenhouse gases exist naturally in the atmosphere, human activities have determined the large increase of some, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and methane, being the most harmful. Burning fossil fuel, petroleum and gases generate the most carbon dioxide. Cutting off woods on a large scale, especially rainforests, contribute to the release of carbon dioxide back in the atmosphere accentuating the hothouse effect. Also, agriculture enhances the number of nitrous oxides in the air, through the use of nitrous based fertilizers. Farm animals release, as a result of their digestive system, quantities of methane gas which can become considerable if we’re talking about large farms.
The effects of global warming
Various scientific articles offer valuable well-researched insights on the devastating consequences, as well as projections of earth’s future. Some examples of the outcomes to be expected due to these changes:
- Melting of the icecap and glaciers that lead to the increase of the sea and ocean level, which can then turn into flooding of the coastal regions, as well as below the waterline regions.
- Extreme weather phenomena. For example, a change in the precipitations regimen, which manifest through torrential rainfalls, that produce flooding and a decrease in the quality of water.
- Health hazards, as the inconsistent weather, unusual to some regions, could be the reason for an increase in heath caused deaths
- Increase in social and economic costs. High levels of heath or intense rainfalls, present great disadvantages in fields such as agriculture, electricity production or tourism with a direct financial impact in the economy of underdeveloped countries.
- The survival of many animal or plant species is affected by climate change. Those that aren’t able to quickly adapt to these alterations of their living environment face a speedy extinction. Also, a massive migratory tendency can be observed as animals travel away from the arid regions. As well as plant species, which seem to intertwine on different altitudes, where they weren’t usually found.
No climate change essay can make people really see the urgency to act in a prompt manner, no matter how explicit it states the causes or the gruesome outcome they lead to. But this is still one of the priority topics of organizations around the globe that have understood the importance of preserving the conditions that can sustain life on Earth.
For example, the EU developed various on-going policies towards adaptation to climate changes, with quantifiable measures and very clearly stated assignments for each member, planned up until 2050. Their thesis statement is centered on anticipating and then preventing the damage that these modifications inflict upon the environment and human lives. Some of the measures that are going to be implemented include:
- More efficient use of water, especially in places where this resource has become insufficient.
- Reevaluating building codes in order to prevent the impact of extreme meteorological phenomena on living conditions.
- Creating more appropriate dikes to the increase of sea and ocean levels and developing alternate flood defenses.
- Making use of the advantages of developing and using species of plants that are resistant to drought and arid terrain.
- Industrial relegations oriented specifically towards gradually reducing greenhouse gases emission into the atmosphere.
Life on Earth is hard enough without wondering whether or not we’ll have living conditions the years to come. But, from a socially responsible point of view, if we want humanity to continue existing, we need to stop stating solely in theory what needs to be done and actually start making changes towards improving conditions that affect us all.