Climate change and our bleak future

Climate change is a very important issue facing the world; with concerns about the topic only getting higher as yet we fail to improve our actions. Climate change describes long term changes to the Earth's temperature and weather patterns. Since the 1800’s humans have been the main push for climate change, this being due to the burning of fossil fuels; examples being coal, oil and natural gases. The burning of this fuel emits greenhouse gases, which traps the sun's heat into the atmosphere causing the earth to progressively get warmer.

Issues Contributing to climate change.

There are many issues which contribute towards climate change, all of which being our fault; this including the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are one of the main pollutants to our atmosphere with every stage of its use causing serious environmental damage; through its extraction, transportation and use.

Over 80% of the carbon dioxide emitted by people is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, on average this being around 35 billion tonnes a year; and in 2018 it was discovered that 89% of global emissions were caused by fossil fuels and its industry. If we want to make a change in the current direction of the Earth's wellbeing we will have to make a push for the use of more greener and sustainable energy sources.

Deforestation also contributes to climate change, according to figures from 2018 from the IP panel on climate change, it contributes 10% of the Carbon Dioxide emissions caused by human activity. Without tree’s to suck up Carbon Dioxide to then produce oxygen it also causes more of the emissions to be stuck in the atmosphere rather than being absorbed, and so further damage to our planet.

It is estimated that around 129 million hectares of forest have been lost between the years 1990 and 2015; and although the rate of this has decreased we still need to force a change and replant our forests if we are wanting to repair the earth before it is too late.

Effects of climate change on the planet

The effects of climate change include hotter temperatures, something in which we are already seeing the effects of now; with the earth's temperature rising 0.08C each decade since 1880, in addition to 2020 being the second warmest year on record according to NOAA’s temperature data. If there isn't a change in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released there will be further rises in temperatures with projected temperatures reading an increase of 10 degrees if there is no change.

Due to hotter temperatures this also leads to oceans to rise; the ocean has risen 8-9 inches since 1880; and in 220 a new global sea level was set at 91.3mm; this being 3.6 inches above the last highest recorded sea level in 1993. With higher sea levels this means that flooding is a lot more frequent; with nuisance flooding being 300%-900% more frequent than it was 50 years ago in the US. In addition to the warmer temperatures expanding the ocean, the heat also causes glaciers and Antarctica sheets to melt, causing a further influx of water into the ocean, further causing sea levels to rise.

Climate change is also responsible for more extreme weathers; this being extreme heat, drought, extreme rainfall as well as tropical storms and hurricanes have all been on the rise with evidence pointing to climate change as the reason. Extreme weather can be very costly in addition to taking many lives and implementing many injuries on its victims.

In the North Atlantic Basin the average number of storms hit about 11 annually; with six of these becoming hurricanes between 1966 and 2009; however more recent figures show that tropical storms per year hit around 15, with the average of hurricanes now being 7 annually. The increase is due to the rising sea temperatures; which again links back to global warming. In the US, recent history highlights the growing cost of having to deal with these extreme weather patterns; with four of the ten costliest hurricanes occurring in 2017 and 2018 alone; with hurricane Katrina in 2005 remaining to be the most expensive hurricane in the country at a record of costing $168 billion dollars.

Strive for a change

If the rate of which carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases doesn't decrease we will be left in a situation where the damage to the environment is irreversible and so we will have to live in a polluted Earth. It is important that we fight for a change and when possible try and cut down on our own carbon footprint; this to ensure a cleaner and more sustainable future for us in addition to future generations.

There are many ways in which which we as individuals can help, perhaps trying to switch to a non-waste lifestyle, eating vegetarian or vegan in addition to signing petitions helping the environment in addition to electing greener orientated leaders to help. You can make a start by doing as little as catching the bus instead of driving or switching meat heavy meals to vege meals.