Global Climate Change

By: Marliese Baer

What Is The Greenhouse Effect?

The Greenhouse effect is the trapping of the sun´s rays and warmth in Earth´s atmosphere. When the sun emits its rays, they travel to earth but get trapped by the harmful chemicals released into our atmosphere such as sulfur, nitrogen and CFC´s just to name a few. These chemicals trap the sun´s rays and slowly warm the earth.

What Are The Causes of Climate Change?

There are many causes of Climate Change, however the main causes according to NASA, are the Greenhouse Effect and human activities/actions. The Greenhouse effect is when certain gases in earth's atmosphere trap heat from escaping, which results in harmful chemicals from the earth and chemicals from the sun rays start to warm the earth's temperature. Human activities/actions contribute to Global Climate Change by burning coal/fossil fuels. This emits nitrogen and sulfur, two harmful chemicals, (among others) into the earth's atmosphere. To understand the causes of Global Climate Change, I will need to understand what the Greenhouse Effect is and what human actions/activities are contributing to it. Only then, will I honestly understand the main causes of Climate Change.

What Is The Evidence?

There is a lot of evidence that proves Global Climate Change is real and happening. And it is more than just warming temperatures, although that is a part of it. Sea levels are rising. The global sea level rose around 17 centimeters in the last century, however in the last decade, it has rose nearly double that of the last century. This is due to the whole world warming up, which is melting all of the ice sheets and warming the oceans. Because of these drastic changes, extreme events are taking place; such as extremely strong hurricanes and earthquakes to name a few. All of these things are being observed and contribute to the conclusion that Global Climate Change is real.

What Are The Consequences?

The scientific community has already identified many consequences of Global Climate Change. There are many noticeable effects on the environment and on the climate. Ice on lakes and rivers are melting earlier in the season, glaciers are shrinking, there is a loss of sea ice, global sea levels are rising and plants are blooming sooner to name a few. These are some of the effects that scientists predicted would result from climate change. America is and will continue to be greatly impacted by climate change. The Northeast is impacted by large heat waves that will continue to get bigger and more frequent. Sea levels rising will create challenges for this region that will continue to grow. The Northwest is influenced by climate change in many ways, including rising sea levels, an increase in wildfire and an increase in tree diseases to name a couple. This is causing a widespread of tree species to die off. These are only two of the many regions of America impacted by climate change.

What Can Be Done?

There are many things governments, companies and us as individuals can do to help stop or slow down climate change. Cars are human’s main source of travel, however cars also contribute greatly to climate change. About 384.74 million gallons of gasoline are used to fuel our cars every day, and that is just in the US. All of this gas is burned and contributes to the Greenhouse Effect. If more people walked, rode bikes, carpooled or took other means of public transportation, this number could be reduced significantly. Electricity, as light or heat, is also a large thing helping climate change. Almost everybody uses electricity every day, and if people were to even do a simple thing, such as to turn off the light when you leave a room, change a lightbulb or to use a wood stove instead of a heating system at times, electricity consumption would reduce greatly and help to decrease Global Climate Change. People often throw away recyclables or things people could reuse. Instead of throwing them in the trash, we could recycle or reuse them which can help minimize climate change. People can also help to reduce their carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions manufactured to directly or indirectly assist human activities or actions, usually expressed in a lot of CO2. You can change your carbon footprint by doing some, if not all, of the actions stated above. All of these things are activities humans do that contribute to the emissions that encourage climate change, along with the ways people can help stop these things from happening.