Did you know that the average surface temperature has risen 1.7 degrees since the 1880? Or, that it is primarily caused by human activity? The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history – but never in the planet’s recorded history, have we reached the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere that is being recorded today. Let’s learn more about the impacts of climate change.
The Earth Crisis:
Life on Earth depends on energy from the sun. Almost 50% of the light that enters the planets atmosphere gets absorbed in the Earth’s surface – where it is radiated upward in the form of heat. 90% of that heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases and radiated back toward the surface of the planet. Certain gases in the atmosphere prevent heat from escaping, causing an increase in temperature. Many of these gases, like CO2 and Methane, are human related and have increased exponentially in the last 100 years. Whether or not you believe in climate change, it is important to acknowledge the facts behind our ever-changing climate.
Climate Change Facts:
- A group of 1,300 independent scientific – experts from countries all over the world under the auspices of the United Nations – concluded there’s more than 95% probability that human activities over the past 50 years have warmed our planet.
- Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations by more than one-third since the Industrial Revolution began.
- The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than anytime in the last 800,000 years.
- Industrial activities have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to over 408 parts per million in the last 150 years.
- The oceans have absorbed much of the increased heat – with the top 2,300 feet of ocean showing warming of more than 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
- Warming oceans are causing most of the Antartic’s ice shelf loss.
- 11% of all global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity – is caused by deforestation – which exceeds emissions from all cars and trucks on the planet combined.
- The US is the second largest contributor to CO2 in our atmosphere – though it is home to just 4.4% of the world’s population.
- Average sea level is expected to rise 1 to 6 feet before the end of this century.
- 11% of the world’s population is currently vulnerable to climate change. Impacts such as drought, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise are likely to increase.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Reduce your consumption. The less you consume, the more you can make a positive impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emission.
- Reduce your energy consumption. Unplugging electronics when not in use, switching to energy efficient appliances and changing your light bulbs – are just a few ways you can reduce your energy consumption.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Strive to reduce your gas emissions. Carpool, ride your bike, or take public transportation – are all great ways to reduce your GHG emissions.
- Eat for the planet. Overconsumption of food causes food waste and an increase in GHG emissions. Buy organic when possible, grow a garden and work towards consuming less animal protein.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Vote for change. The American people choose who will represent us as a nation and who will help protect our planet. Choose wisely as – together we can create change.
- Go to http://healtheplanet.com to learn more ways to heal the planet.
- Education is the key. Are you a skeptic of climate change. Well if so, I challenge you to be an educated skeptic. Go to https://static.berkeleyearth.org/pdf/skeptics-guide-to-climate-change.pdf to learn more about the facts about the health of our planet.