As you may already know, climate change is one of the biggest problems we, as a planet are facing right now and scientists believe that 2020 is our last chance to turn things around. It is a natural process but, especially since the 1800s, the start of the industrial revolution, humans have accelerated the system. Before humans involved, the main factors of climate change were the eruption of volcanoes, shifts in the orbit of the earth and the movement of tectonic plates (earthquakes).
What causes climate change?
Now climate change is mostly caused by the burning of fossil fuels. This includes crude oil, coal and gas that are essentially made from the remains of dead organisms which were formed over millions of years. When we burn them, carbon dioxide or CO2 it is released into the air. It contributes to greenhouse gas emissions which form a layer around the earth that lets heat in but not out like a blanket.
Another greenhouse gas is chlorofluorocarbons or CFC for short. They create holes in the ozone layer which is a protective layer around the earth that dilutes the amount of sunlight coming in so that’s why areas like Australia are hotter than other places. CFC’s are mostly found in things like sprays or aerosols. There are some also other gases like methane, carbon dioxide and water vapour.
Effects climate change is having on our planet.
One thing global warming does is create a rise in sea levels. This happens because, due to greenhouse gases warming the planet, icebergs are melting creating more water. It also means that temperatures are rising especially in the last 100 years. Other effects it has are:
Another thing it does is destroy wildlife. When deforestation occurs many animals already lose their habitats and shocking new figures reveal that since the 1970’s the number of animals has plummeted by 68%. The intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) warns that a temperature rise of about 1.5°C will put 20-30% of species at risk of extinction adding to the many that already are. And it also affects sea life. Scientists have estimated that by 2050 the plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the fish in it. By sticking with our current life-styles we are leading our Earth, our wildlife and our future to its doom.
Planet over profit ; (Involvement of politics)
There is still controversy about the facts. While some world leaders believe in it, others deny climate change and say it is a hoax, it’s a natural process that’s been going on for centuries. But still, the IPCC has verified that climate change DOES exist and is triggered mostly by greenhouse gases and the use of aerosols. Some countries, especially first world countries worry about their economies more than the environment so they give out more emissions but they don’t have to face the consequences- third world countries do. Many countries signed the Paris agreement which meant that all world leaders had to make sure the Earth’s temperature never rises above 2°C. However, many countries are backing out of the agreement now and focusing on their economies. Also, some scientists believe that temperatures will rise by 1.4°-5.8°C in the next 100 years but others believe it is rising slower than that.
What we can do to stop it
There are many things we, as a species, can do to abate this terrifying process. You may be wondering what one person can do but together little things add up to make a lot.
If we do all these things, we will become virtually sustainable.
The climate crisis has already been solved. We have the facts and solutions. All we have to do now is wake up and change”