The term “global warming” has been used extensively by both politicians and scientists alike across the globe. Often used as a way to divide the American people, global warming is a planet wide issue that should be bringing the citizens of the world together. While many people in the United States like to argue over whether global warming is “real”, many others are unsure of what the term really means.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council article “Global Warming 101” by Amanda MacMillan and Jeff Turrentine, (https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101) the annual temperature has increased by around two degrees Fahrenheit globally since the industrial revolution. The article also stated that official and accurate recordkeeping of the annual global temperature began in the year 1880, and it was recorded that the average annual temperature increased by 0.07 degrees Celsius every ten years. However, since the year 1981, that number has since doubled. The annual global temperature has risen by 0.18 degrees Celsius every ten years since the year 1981. It was discovered that nine of the ten warmest years since accurate records of global temperatures began being recorded in 1880 have been since the year 2005.
It is no secret that a direct result of global warming is climate change. According to the United Nations (https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change), limiting global warming can greatly decrease the effects of climate change on our environment. Human activity (including the use of fossil fuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions) have greatly increased the global temperature as these activities trap the heat on the earths surface like a blanket. This causes climate change, which is essentially a change in the weather patterns of the planet as a result of global warming. “The consequences of climate change now include, among others, intense droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms and declining biodiversity” reads the United Nations link.
Graph courtesy of the EPA (https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-global-greenhouse-gas-emissions)
The effects of global warming on climate go much farther then natural disasters and changes in weather patterns however. According to the United Nations (https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/science/causes-effects-climate-change) climate change also creates a lack of food, loss of species, more health risks, as well as poverty and displacement throughout the planet. While many people believe that global warming is not an immediate problem, the direct effects on weather as well as life on Earth show that global warming is already affecting our livelihood.
An example of the many weather phenomena caused by climate change.
Global warming has had a large impact on our planet, especially our climate. Now that the global warming is starting to become our reality and no longer a problem for our “grandchildren”, the question remains: what can we do to combat the effects of global warming on our climate? Stopping the rapid spread of deforestation would be a big step in the right direction in reducing the amount of carbon in the air. According to the Nature Conservancy, plants consume a lot of the carbon in the air that cause global warming. “What we do between now and 2030 will determine whether we can slow warming enough to avoid climate change’s worst impacts. We must drastically cut emissions and remove some carbon from the atmosphere. Fortunately, plants naturally absorb and store carbon. By protecting natural habitats and carefully managing farmland and forests, we can store billions of tons of this “living carbon” according to the official Natural Conservancy website. (https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/tackle-climate-change/) They go into detail in their YouTube video titled “A Natural Solution to Climate Change”.
The development of electric vehicles, the planting of more trees and carbon absorbing plants, and the initiative of the governments of some of the planets biggest world powers would all contribute to stopping the spread of global warming before it is too late.
Graphic highlighting ways to stop the spread of global warming, courtesy of the phys.org article “State-of-the-art climate model shows how we can solve crisis”.
Global warming is a very serious and real issue. Our planet is slowly dying, and it is a direct result of the actions committed by the very life forms that live on Earth. Scientific evidence and studies have proven time and time again that we are already experiencing global warming, and we as humans need to act fast before we reach the point of irreversible damage. The planet is crying out to us for help. It is up to us to decide if we want to listen to it or not.
April 07, 2021 Amanda MacMillan Jeff Turrentine. “Global Warming 101.” NRDC, 18 Oct. 2022, https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101.
“Causes and Effects of Climate Change.” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/science/causes-effects-climate-change.
Change for Climate, BASF SE, https://www.basf.com/us/en/who-we-are/change-for-climate.html?at_medium=display&at_campaign=COM_BAW_US_EN_Climate-Protection_QEI_Google-Generic-Phrase-2022&at_creation=Search_Google_EN_Text-Ad_Generic-Climate-Protection&at_channel=Google&at_format=Text-Ad&at_variant=Climate-Protection_1000x100_EN-Climate-Protection&gclid=CjwKCAiApvebBhAvEiwAe7mHSB7aJkhqMjFTvw80M8ZjsenzylhlMHiUpZTTGqYMlSoOe4ITwqBtxRoCZ7QQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds.
“Climate Change Impacts.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, https://www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/climate/climate-change-impacts.
“Climate Change Indicators: Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Apr. 2021, https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-global-greenhouse-gas-emissions.
“Climate Justice and Accountability.” EarthRights International, 9 June 2021, https://earthrights.org/what-we-do/climate-justice/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAg_KbBhDLARIsANx7wAzzOvhayqgNRI0y-_6-KQ60c2uoaMMCuwej2RnRiJ_StT1WCYEpn9YaAvBrEALw_wcB.
Natureconservancy, director. A Natural Solution to Climate Change. YouTube, The Nature Conservancy, 23 Sept. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4eE9Fqu1yE. Accessed 23 Nov. 2022.
“Our Priorities: Tackle Climate Change.” The Nature Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/tackle-climate-change/.
“Overview: Weather, Global Warming and Climate Change.” NASA, NASA, 26 Sept. 2022, https://climate.nasa.gov/global-warming-vs-climate-change/.
University of Technology, Sydney. “State-of-the-Art Climate Model Shows How We Can Solve Crisis.” Phys.org, Phys.org, 21 Jan. 2019, https://phys.org/news/2019-01-state-of-the-art-climate-crisis.html.
“What Is Climate Change?” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change.