With the phrase “green” in recent years growing far beyond its original designation as merely a color and crossing over into a byword for anything and everything having to do with environmental activism and saving the Earth, global warming – the century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system and its related, often negative effects – has become a hot button topic in the media. But how serious of an issue is global warming – or climate change as it is also referred to – to the environment and the planet that we all inhabit? Some contend that this phenomenon is a hoax concocted by left-wing activists, but global warming is indeed a very real thing, and it’s something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later for the sake of our children and our children’s children.
Climate change – blamed mostly on the emission of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere over the years – has, and potentially will, continue to affect people and the environment in a variety of different ways; it can range from minor and potentially beneficial aspects, such as a longer growing season for farm crops, to devastating and destructive aspects, such as an increase in the frequency and strength of violent weather patterns, including hurricanes, tornados, and heat waves.
Global temperatures have been on the rise and are anticipated to continue doing so, according to scientists representing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); within the next 100 years, they have stated, it’s possible and quite likely that global temperatures will increase anywhere from 2.5 to 10 degrees, which will have far-ranging effects on entire ecosystems and all as all manner of plant and animal life across the planet.
Throughout the years, leading environmental experts have tried to get the word out about the effects of global warming, and they seem to be in agreement on the one area most affected by it thus far- the Arctic Circle, according to Mashable, who notes that it is being hit harder than any other area on Earth thus far.
“The Arctic is warming at the fastest rate of any region on the planet, about twice as quickly as the globe’s average rate of warming, scientists recently reported,” they said. “Not only that, but the effects of this warming are increasingly visible well beyond the region’s iconic sea ice and polar bears, according to the 2014 Arctic Report Card, which was released earlier this month by an international team of scientists.”
Environmental blog Yellow Pages Goes Green (YPGG) has published an article detailing the results of numerous major environmental studies as they relate to climate change; the facts uncovered as a result of these studies – with pollution being blamed as one of the chief causes of global warming – lay bare the deep concern that many scientists have as it relates to the slow decline the Earth is set to endure should this issue continue to go unchecked by the world’s populace.
“In 2013, the world spewed more carbon pollution into the atmosphere than at any time ever before. The leading polluters were China, India and the United States, increasing their emissions by 4.2 percent, 5.1 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively,” they said. “While China is known to be the world’s worst carbon polluter, the United States had actually reduced its carbon emissions in four of the five years immediately preceding the study, but increased its use of coal in 2013 due to the recovering economy.”
Indeed, in a ranking of countries that are alleged to be at the forefront of generating the pollution that is poisoning our Earth and contributing wholeheartedly to the rise of climate change, one thing binds them together; all are amongst the world’s top industrialized nations and many of which are woefully behind the times in terms of addressing the environmental standards – especially when the unabated mass use of gas and oil is concerned – under which they conduct a great deal of their manufacturing processes.
“Scientists studying 16 incidents of what they termed “wild weather” last year have determined that over half of them are connected to global warming caused by man’s unabated use of fossil fuels,” they said. “Heat waves that occurred in Australia, China, Europe, Japan and Korea bore the fingerprints of made-made climate change, as did extreme amounts of rain in parts of India and the United States, and severe drought conditions in New Zealand and in California.”
While world leaders bicker over the reality of global warming, what can the little person – like you and I -do to combat this dangerous malady? Lessening our reliance on gas and oil are probably the most effective ways; walking, biking, carpooling, and utilizing alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles can all contribute to a healthier atmosphere and climate system for us all. In addition, your power at the ballot box is another way the little man and woman can contribute to the planet as a whole; make sure you vote for political candidates who support green and renewable policies, such as recycling and clean solar power.
Together, we can make a difference!