Impact of Global Warming and Climate Change

Climate change and global warming has a tremendous impact on our lives and will also continue to affect our planet in the future. Global warming and climate change has been affecting our planet for millions of years but right now it is at its peak. This worldwide issue that we face, can help to be stopped if we make a change. A change in the way we use products, a change to be more eco-friendly and to change our lifestyle for the better of our Earth.

With scientists saying that we have approximately 12 years left to save our planet, we must take immediate action and do our part.

What is Climate Change and What is Causing It?

Climate change is a term that is used to refer to the change of the climate and weather patterns which are presumed to last many years. It is the result of humans helping to increase the rate at which the temperature rises (global warming).

Global warming causes the climate to change.Climate change is the consequence of the things we do- such as burning fossil fuels and releasing gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gasses into the air. Carbon dioxide is produced by human activities and one of the most common gases that are released into the atmosphere. It is responsible for 64% of (man-made) global warming. Greenhouse gasses are possibly the biggest threat to our planet as they absorb reflected solar energy, this then the Earth’s atmosphere to heat up.

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These are gases that contribute to trapping the sun’s heat in the Earth’s lower atmosphere by absorbing infrared radiation. Although they help keep the planet’s temperature stable and warm, Greenhouse gases also harm the planet itself. Deforestation reduces nature’s ability to remove greenhouse gases from the air by 15%. It causes major dangers to animals, their habitats and also to humans as there can be severe weather altercations around the world. The release of greenhouse gasses is the most common cause but alongside this, deforestation, dumping waste in landfill and agriculture are also other factors that are causing climate change. From rising sea levels to extreme drought, humans and animals are highly affected by this. However, there are things we can do to stop this from happening.

How is Global Warming Affecting the Planet?

Global warming is the gradual increase in the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. Global warming is causing extensive issues all around the world. There is a lot of scientific evidence that proves that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. From ice caps melting to coral bleaching, this has had a massive effect on every inch of our planet. Ecosystems such as the ocean, the polar region and rainforest (along with many others) are all drastically impacted by global warming. While some animals are thriving due to climate change, others are left fighting for their lives. There are three ways animals can respond to climate change. Firstly, they can move to a different location with their original climate. Secondly, they can either stay there and adapt to their changing climate. However, lastly, the species may go extinct. With no way to survive in this new environment, the species may decrease in numbers over time until they reach the point of extinction. Just like animals and plants, people will have to adapt to climate change. A new report suggests that if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, rising temperatures (and lack of humidity) by global warming could expose hundreds of millions of people worldwide to potentially deadly heat stress by 2060. We could also be exposed to very toxic gases along with these temperatures rising. It is said that because of the rising temperatures, permafrost all around the world can melt. The permafrost has softened up the ground and also caused land erosion. Melting permafrost has even caused houses to sink. Aldo this permafrost holds carbon from the ice age and when the permafrost melts it will release that into the atmosphere. It’s top “active layer” deepens and the soil breaks up, allowing water to easily flow through it, releasing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and washing away stored carbon from long-dead plants and animals.This can lead to a deadly outcome as there might possibly be highly toxic chemicals and gases beijing released from the permafrost.

The Polar Region

This unique ecosystem is located in the north and south of our planet, it is commonly known as The North Pole (which is called the Arctic) and South Pole (the Antarctic). It is home to more than 20,000 species of plants, animals, and microorganisms, many of which can only be found in these places. The polar region has a very harsh climate and every month in a polar climate has an average temperature of less than 10 degrees Celsius. However, during the years temperatures start to rise gradually. We know that temperatures are rising – around the Arctic Peninsula they have risen 2.5 degrees in 50 years. Arctic and Antarctic temperatures rise faster than anywhere else in the world.This may not seem a lot but it actually makes a huge difference. The planet’s glaciers continue to melt away at a rapid level. Melting ice caps also help with rising sea levels. There is around 24,060,000 cubic kilometers of water that glaciers store and because they are melting, this will add a lot more water to the ocean and the levels will rise drastically. We are losing up to 390 billion tons of ice and snow per year, a new study suggests. Common polar animals such as the orca, walrus and polar bear (among many others) are in great danger and in the risk of becoming extinct. Polar bears are massively affected by ice melting because there isn’t as much space for them to live in and it becomes extremely hard for them to hunt for food. For them to hunt for their prey, they use ice in which they can make a hole and either swim under the ice or wait for the prey to come to the surface so they can then attack. With vast numbers of ice and glaciers melting away, it has become very difficult for them to survive on these terms.

The Ocean

The ocean is one of the world’s most fascinating and key ecosystems. It covers more than 70 percent of the surface of our planet. It is one of the most interesting and magnificent ecosystems there are out there. According to the National Ocean Service, we have only explored and charted 5% of our oceans. This is a very mysterious phenomenon in our world. Unfortunately, it is being threatened by pollution from people on land and from natural causes and a lot of marine life is dying. Littering into a river is very toxic for the animals because it can harm them or eventually the litter will flow down the river until it reaches the sea. It can flow into the ocean and harm aquatic animals too. With plastic being the main source of this issue, there are many charities helping out with this problem. Animals can get tangled up in nets, stuck in plastic bags or bottles, have small litter get stuck in their gills or nostrils and even be choked. Along with pollution, the temperature of waters increasing is also a major issue. Coral bleaching is the effect that Global Warming has on the ocean. Australian scientists have revealed the full extent of the coral bleaching that is unfolding on the Great Barrier Reef. They say that around 93% of the reef has been affected and it has covered 911 individual reefs along the 2,300km structure. With these immense numbers, we must do something to save these reefs. Alongside this, the sea level rises 6-8 inches (15-20 centimetres) every year. Some scientists believe that our civilization could experience three feet of sea level rise in the next 50 years. This will erase cities with a low sea level and submerge them underwater. With this occurrence, humans are at risk too.

The Rainforest and Grasslands

Rainforests are being cut down at a rapid rate and we are losing around 150 acres of rainforest every minute. This adds up to 78 million acres destroyed every year. Rainforests produce 20-30% percent of the world’s oxygen and the Amazon rainforest produces at most 12%. With 17% of the Amazon rainforest destroyed in the last 50 years, this doesn’t only cause a threat to animals but to humans as well. Many animals are dying and losing their habitat due to deforestation. With many rare species of animals (that can only be found in the rainforest) living in the rainforest, it is likely that they have become endangered and they might soon become extinct. With trees absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis; if they are cut down there will be higher amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Plants create oxygen and absorb greenhouse gases. The destruction of trees can encourage global warming. Cutting trees can result in the loss of habitat for animals living there, which can harm ecosystems. The changing of temperatures can alter which organisms can survive too. Great apes of Southeast Asia, perhaps the most endangered ape species, are at risk of extinction due to deforestation caused by climate change with nearly 75% of forest cover at risk of deforestation. The National Geographic says that 70% of land animals and plants live in forests and many will die if deforestation continues and destroys their home.

Areas such as grasslands and forests are also at risk of being burnt and cut down. Due to rising atmospheric temperatures, grasslands are catching fire. These bushfires can spread rapidly and spread over vast kilometers of land in a short period of time. In Australia this has been a recurring problem. On New Years day of 2020, bushfires had started and in four weeks time (by the morning of 28th of January), around 6,360 acres of land had been burnt. The Australian grasslands had been covered in a blanket of fire and destruction. On the 7th of January 2020, it was reported that more than 1 billion animals had died because of these vicious Australian wildfires. Not all of these wildfires were caused by global warming but it definitely helps them spread. Global warming worsens wildfires by drying vegetation and soil, creating more fuel for fires to spread further and faster. In some areas like southeastern Australia, changed atmospheric patterns may also be creating stronger and/or more frequent high pressure systems, resulting in less rainfall and making them both dryer conditions and longer fire seasons. The fires then worsen the situation of climate change because the fire releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

How Can We Help Stop Global Warming and Climate Change?

There are many ways that we can learn to be resourceful with the things we use. Doing things such as recycling, using solar panels and avoiding driving more often can actually have a huge impact. It all comes down to how we can spread awareness of the things we can do to help stop Climate Change. Recycling is a common way of doing this. By cutting down on materials such as plastic and switching to more eco-friendly products, we have reduced the amount of materials being burned which leads to Carbon Dioxide being produced. Buying products with minimal packaging will help to reduce waste. Things such as plastic bottles can be easily put into the recycling and it will end up being converted into a new bottle. It is simple things like this that can impact the world massively. Some waste can even harm animals so recycling is good to keep the area clean. Using energy efficient products can also have a major effect. A few examples of things you could do in your home would be: instead of using electricity use solar panels, have an electric car or get home insulation to stop using too much air conditioning and heating. Electric cars are now very efficient and many more people are using these instead of normal cars. If you can’t avoid using petrol or diesel powered vehicles, you could actually use the bus instead so that there will be less cars on the road. Buses can hold up to many people and it is better than everyone using their own car because it produces a lot of pollution. Home insulation is very effective too as in the summer it keeps your house cool and in the winter it keeps it warm. On the other hand, there are even more simple tasks that can help too, like using metal straws, paper plates and long lasting water bottles. Little things like this end up having a huge affect. Plastic waste is very harmful to the environment too as it can really hurt animals so using metal or products that can be used for longer will really benefit the environment. With many animals at risk in the ocean and on land by things such as plastic bottles and bags, this will be really helpful to save them and keep their habitat safe and clean.If everyone could do one eco-friendly thing for the rest of their lives, this would have a very positive impact on the Earth. It doesn’t matter how big of a change you make, at least it is helping to save our planet. Even children can get involved to change the way we are living and treating the Earth.

Opinions

There are many conspiracies and opinions that global warming and climate change is all a lie. Some people claim that climate change is fake because they believe there is no actual evidence to support this. While there is actual evidence that climate change occurred because of human interference such as pollution, there are other studies against these claims however. Others think it is not as big of a deal as others make it seem to be. They believe it is a minor issue and that it is being over exaggerated. Donald Trump himself said “I don’t believe it,” when referring to global warming. His allegations seem to be very prejudiced and it does seem as though he doesn’t believe in this worldwide problem. He has a big influence on people in his country so his claims can affect the opinion of many others. Many people don’t believe in climate change due to the fact they see that the people who preach about this issue, are actually living the type of lifestyle that can harm the planet. This makes them think that the people are just hypocritical and that they don’t really care. Many people have their opinions but people who choose to ignore these facts about how global warming is affecting our planet, can not help improve this way of living if they don’t believe in it. We must do all we can to save our planet before it is too late.

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Impact of Global Warming and Climate Change. (2021, Mar 05). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/impact-of-global-warming-and-climate-change-essay

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