Global Warming. It affects us all.
But what is Global Warming? With Global Warming they mean the rise of the average temperature in the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans.
Most scientists are almost certain that its caused by the greenhouse effect:
When we burn fossil fuels or wood we emit greenhouse gases such as carbon (CO2). Think of those greenhouse gases as a blanket for infrared radiation. The infrared rays from the sun hit the Earth’s surface warm it up and are reflected back into the space. (It’s almost like in a microwave 😉 ) But some of those rays collide with our greenhouse gas blanket and get reflected towards the surface again, hit the surface, bounce back and meet the blanket again. This goes on and on while heating our planet up.
The effects are different from region to region, e.g. expansion of subtropical deserts, extreme weather events (like droughts, heat waves and heavy rainfall that threaten our food security by destroying crop fields) or the retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice which causes the rising of the sea level. In a few decades people from the Netherlands might need to migrate.
Of course is the extinction of species an major effect too. Due to the loss of their habitat or breaking of the food chain(e.g. no seals –> polarbears go extinct) we could loose many species that make our planet unique.
Because of the ocean acidification the flora and fauna of our seas are in danger as well.
30-40% of our planets carbon is taken up by our oceans what leads to a decrease in the pH level.
Some of the carbon reacts with the water and forms carbonic acid and some molecules of those react with watermolecules which results in bicarbonate ions and hydronium ions what increases the oceans acidity.
Even this topic has some skeptics. They say that “climate changend before” or that “it’s freaking cold” in winter and that “record snowfalls disprove global warming”. Or the blame the urban heat island effect (weather stations are surrounded by urban areas which are always warmer than the countryside) or think of it as a hoax.
Dr. Roy Spencer even said: “I think that most of the warming we’ve seen could well be natural.” (Mr. Spencer in a TV show)
Some even say that the temperature didn’t rose for 17 years. Sure…tell that an farmer who lost all his crop due to the massive drought of 2012!
Well, there may have been periods that have been warmer but the problem is the sudden rise of the temperature because most animals and plants can’t adapt that fast. Or do you expect polarbears to transform into grizzlys all of sudden? Life’s not a TV show!
And the record snowfalls?
A rising temperature leads to increased evaporation and precipitation what causes increased snowfall in winter.
I could go on and on and disprove every single argument of our beloved skeptics but that would take a bazillion years.
At least our governments care about Mother nature.
They hold meetings on regular basis and discuss what needs to be done.
Some governments encourage renewable resources like solar power and the development of new “green” technologies.
An example is the Kyoto Protocol which is basicly emission trading and emitting only a certain amount of greenhouse gases
But it’s not only about what the government can do. It’s abot what WE can do.
Here are 9 things you can do to make this world a healthier one:
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
2. Use less Heat and Air Conditioning
3. Change your Light bulb
4. Drive less —> use your bike or just walk
5. By energy-efficient products
6. Use less hot water
7. Use the “OFF” switch
8. Plant a tree 🙂
9. Encourage others —> draw attention to the problem
In my opinion Global Warming is a worldwide threat that needs our attention. We shouldn’t think: “Doesn’t concern me!” and just ignore it. Do something. Every tiny effort helps.
Even if they don’t talk that much about it in the news lately doesn’t mean we can relax. “Be the change you want to see” like a friend of mine said so well-fitting.