Global Climate Change
by Mia Barron
What is causing Global Climate Change?
Global Climate Change is the result of too many greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide and methane) being released into the atmosphere. The emissions from cars and factories form a blanket over the planet and traps the infrared energy radiating from the sun. This causes an increase in the earth's temperature.
What is needed to know to understand these causes?
In order to understand these causes, people need to know that these gasses are emitted from their vehicles. People also need to know that while some greenhouse gasses are needed in the atmosphere, there cannot be too many, or the planet's temperature will increase too much.
What is the evidence that Global Climate Change is real?
Evidence of Global Climate Change is very noticeable. The amount of ice and glaciers remaining on the planet is drastically decreasing. 134 billion metric tons of ice melts every year, with 400 billion tons of total glacier loss since 1994. In the Arctic, the area of ice decreases by 13.4% per decade. Between 2002 and 2006, Greenland has lost around 150-250 cubic kilometers of ice. Because the amount of ice melting is so massive, the sea level has increased significantly. Since 1870 the sea level has increased by 8 inches, and the rising rate has doubled in the last decade. It is now increasing at a rate of about 3.41 millimeters per year. In addition, the planet's temperature has steadily increased since 1884, with 2015 ranking as the warmest year yet.
What does the scientific community identify as consequences of Global Climate Change?
The scientific community identifies the expected increase in sea level as one of the consequences of Global Climate Change. It is predicted to increase by 1-4 feet by 2100. In addition to the rising sea level expectancy, river and lake ice are anticipated to break up earlier, along with larger heat waves.
How will different regions of America and the world be impacted?
The climate change across the world and America depends on the region. In the Northeast, there are expected heat waves, downpours, and rising sea levels. In the Northwest, streamflow timing changes, rising sea levels, erosion, and inundation are anticipated. The Northwest have also seen a decrease in trees due to wildfires, insects, and tree disease. The Southeast has been predicted to be affected by rising sea levels, extreme heat, and decreased water. Extreme heat, downpours, and flooding are expected to hit the Midwest, and the Southwest is anticipating an increase in heat, drought, insects, and wildfire, as well as decreasing water, flooding, and erosion. The polar ice caps are losing a significant amount of ice, with a decrease of about 134 billion metric tons per year.
What can be done about it?
In order to prevent Global Climate Change, people need to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. For example, walk or bike to a destination if possible. As well as cutting down on emissions, it is necessary to enhance carbon storage areas to decrease the amount in the atmosphere and to switch to renewable energy, such as nuclear energy.