The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. For hundreds of thousands of years, our planet has waxed and waned in regard to climate. But, never in the planet’s recorded history, have we reached the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere that is being recorded today. 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? 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 cause 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. There are many naysayers about climate change and global warming, but let’s take a look at the facts and science behind climate change.
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 a 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 a third since the Industrial Revolution began.
- The amount of carbon dioxide is higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years.
- The 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 this 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 caused by humans are caused by deforestation, which exceeds emissions from all of the cars and trucks on the planet.
- 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 droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Reduce your consumption. The less we buy the less emissions are being pumped into the atmosphere during manufacturing and transporting.
- Reduce your energy consumption. Unplug electronics when not in use, switch to energy efficient appliances, and changing your light bulbs are just a few ways to reduce your consumption.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- 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 eat less meat. Methane from cows is a large percentage of methane in the atmosphere.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Vote for change. We choose who represents us. Make sure you are active in your local government and federal government policies on Climate Change. 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 and truth about our planet.