Climate Change, not just a bunch of hot air

It is often argued by those who deny the truth of climate change that scientific forecasts about the impact of global warming seem far too uncertain to spark action. But society needs to stop arguing with these scientists and start acting to try and end the decay sooner.

These arguments are dangerously false. Scientists’ warnings about future weather patterns are clearly not overreactions to the data they have gathered. In most cases, observed climate changes have turned out to be far more severe than researchers and scientists had originally predicted. Scientists’ views of the future are cautious evaluations that seem to underestimate not exaggerate.

Another, reason to ignore deniers’ claims about scientists’ “false alarms” is that the impact of climate change is already happening, glaciers are melting, sea level is rising and the Earth is suffering. This point is made clear by a NASA study that showed that Greenland lost 36 to 60 cubic miles of ice every year between 2000 and 2006. At only about one tenth the size of Antarctica, Greenland’s ice sheet contributes twice as much ice to sea levels. But this rise in sea level not only affects the areas around Greenland, scientists predict that by 2100 Louisiana, Texas, Florida and North Carolina will lose part of their coast. People do not care about something until it affects them directly, so will losing the Florida beaches most know and love finally make people realize the footprint they leave on the world?

A useful example for society is provided by Miami. The city is built on top of limestone and its foundation now absorbs water from the rising sea levels at an extremely alarming rate. Saltwater now bubbles up through pipes and taints Miami’s fresh water supplies.

The result of this continued inaction appears quite straightforward, climate change, a once far-off unimaginable threat, is now acting upon society and already brings alarming change to the planet, as the citizens of Miami now experience and in Greenland, whose glaciers are now disappearing. As Leonard Berry, director of the Florida Centre for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University says, “Climate change is not a future thing, it’s a ‘happening now’ thing.”

Global warming is one of the greatest threats to long term human survival. One’s future will depend on how society responds to rising the ever rising carbon dioxide levels. The greatest changes will not come from government decisions, statistics or graphs on global warming, but society’s choice on whether or not to spark change.

The future is increasingly at risk as more evidence emerges showing the never ending threats of climate change. July of 2015 was the hottest month in the lower 48 states since the government began keeping temperature records in 1895, and a draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms, once again, that human activity is warming the planet.

If humans keep up this trend the planet is going to keep getting worse, it is called the snowball effect for a reason. Society has already seen the effects of their emissions. In China, because their carbon emissions are so high, citizens have started to wear masks to purify the air they are breathing in. In the 2014 Beijing race, runners had to wear gas masks to cope with the amount of smog in China’s atmosphere. Is this the world we want to live in? One where people have to wear masks to breathe.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are higher today than at any time than at anytime in at least the past 650,000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations reached about 35 percent higher than before the industrial revolution. Humans have caused this increase in carbon levels by burning fossil fuels. Every time one drives one’s car, one burns oil, a fossil fuel. Carbon dioxide production is directly linked to people, one does not need a scientist to tell one that, but for some reason, society still finds a way to deny the facts.

If bad air is not enough to sway society, how about lack of drinking water? As sea level rises the amount of drinking water left for humans decreases. In the arctic region, one of the largest ice caps melted causing a freshwater lake to then mix with the sea. When this catastrophe happened, most of the plant and animal life in that freshwater ecosystem died from the salt water, but all of that possible drinking water was lost as well. Places, such as California already struggle with lack of drinking water and at the rate the world is at, this could become an abundant issue.

Although some may think that global climate change is nature just taking its course, the stats clearly prove that this tragedy was originally caused by humans and keeps getting worse because of humans. Scientists and researchers know what they are talking about.

Unless humans start realizing the effect they have on the planet, nothing will change. Instead of denying the facts, people need to start to accept them and try to do something to save what is left. Based on what humans have done to the planet so far, there will not be a significant positive change until after 2100, so the longer humans keep this up, the more years the planet and people will suffer. Carbon emissions steadily grow, ice caps keep melting and sea level is rising. What will be the breaking point for humans?

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