Climate Change: The Facts
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Climate Change: The Facts

The facts about climate change in one place.

28
Climate Change: The Facts
World Bank

Unfortunately, climate change is still debated in America. Different news sources provide different statistics, and the media often interprets scientific data in a way that benefits their own political goals. It is hard to know exactly what climate change does, how we know it is happening, and what could happen if we do nothing about it. My goal here is to simply lay out the scientific facts in an easy way — to get them all into one place. I urge any of you reading this to pass on these facts to your friends and family, as climate change is a problem that needs to be addressed now.

The Science Behind Climate Change

The Earth is heating rapidly. Why? Greenhouse gasses, such as carbon and methane, get trapped in the atmosphere. In turn, these gasses prevent sunlight from reflecting back into space. This traps sunlight in the atmosphere, heating up the Earth's surface.

How We Know Humans Are Causing Climate Change

Yes, the Earth has always gone through climate cycles. However, we are in the fastest warming period in recorded history. Need proof? Well, check out this graph:


As you can see, the concentration of carbon dioxide, global temperature, and sea level are all directly related. As CO2 concentrations rise, so does temperature at roughly the same rate. CO2, as well as other greenhouse gasses, are currently increasing at a much faster rate than ever before. Because of the rapid increase in greenhouse gasses, temperature is also increasing more rapidly than ever before. And guess what? Humans are the main source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions have fluctuated throughout history, but human activity has caused them to increase at a rate more than the Earth can handle. Humans are doing this in several ways. Deforestation is an example of a huge problem. Trees take in carbon dioxide, trapping it before it can rise to the atmosphere. We are currently cutting down trees at an incredibly high rate, resulting in more carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere. Coal plants are the largest contributor of CO2. Unfortunately, coal is currently the cheapest form of energy. As long as this is the case, the coal industry is likely to grow rather than shrink. This means even more CO2 emissions. Farming also plays a large role. Believe it or not, cow farts are the largest contributor of methane. Methane is much more potent than carbon dioxide, as less of it does more damage. The rapid increase in beef demands have cause farmers to need more cows, resulting in more methane emissions. There are several other ways human activity is contributing to climate change, but I will not get into those now.

Why Climate Change Is Bad

Climate change is a problem. First of all, the heating of the Earth is causing large ice sheets to melt. This will result in the rising of sea levels, which will eventually put cities such as New Orleans under water. The oceans are also trapping more CO2, making them more acidic and dangerous for wildlife. Rain will be less common. However, when it does rain, it will come down in much heavier amounts. Hotter air evaporates and traps more moisture, so there will be more rain to fall when it does rain. Climate change also effects the farming industry, shortening the farming season for the majority of the world. While areas in the polar regions will actually have longer seasons, the middle of the world will have much shorter ones. This means less food for a growing population. Again, there are many other problems that climate change causes. Look them up if you are interested.

What You Can Do

Unfortunately, one person changing their habits will not reverse the effects of climate change. However, there are some things you can do to help. First of all, recycle or compost whenever possible. While not perfect solutions, they are better than throwing everything way. Composting is an organic way of recycling. Natural processes decompose the matter. This is much cleaner than sending compostable materials to the landfill to burn them. Only turn on the lights when you need to. Unplug your cords from the outlets when you are not using them. Take shorter showers. Using less energy mean using less coal. And, most importantly, spread the word about climate change to everybody you know. If everybody does not do their part, we could be headed down a dangerous path.

Human-caused climate change is a fact. I hope seeing all of the science behind it in one place helped, and I hope you research what you can do further.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Five Types Of People In Fall

From yummy pumpkin spice lattes to scary movies, fall has it all and then some.

236
Destination Logan County Illinois

Oh fall, the most marvelous time of year...right? Every approaches fall differently, some pumpkin spice-tastically and some not so enthusiastically. We can't all be Autumn lovers, so here are five types of people in fall. Grab a cup of hot coca, sit back, and enjoy.

Keep Reading... Show less
https://unsplash.com/photos/XdbUsFkAwqA

If you're like me, by this time of year you're over summer. The beach, the sunshine, and the heat were all great, but now we're itching for blanket scarves, football, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! As the new season approaches, your relationship can benefit from some old traditional dates and some new fresh ideas! Here are a couple great date ideas for you and your boo to try out this fall.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Social Media Or Soul Media

To the generation that cares way too much about affirmation.

3314
Emma Smith
  • This semester I am taking the ever so famous class, Writing 101. Walking into it, I had heard the horror stories about each major assignment. I have to admit, it’s not a class that I am fond of. But, major assignment #2 got me thinking, we had to create a research question based off of a topic that we are interested in.

Two weeks prior, I watched a very interesting documentary on Netflix. Miss Representation was recommended to me by one of my friends and I have to say the topic is absolutely mind blowing. Social Media and Female Body Image. How Social Media makes girls see this unnatural perfection of ‘beauty’ that really doesn’t exist. But female body image isn’t the only thing affected by social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Sex And The Church

A letter to fellow believers.

4462
Amanda Hayes
  • I know many of you just read that title and thought it was scandalous to see something so “risque” in the same setting as something holy. Well guess what – sex is part of that. Everyone seems to think they are separate, which makes since because most people treat them as though they are complete polar opposites. Shall we think this through?

Who created the Church body? God. Who created the body? Also God. If we know God to be the creator of all things, we cannot leave sex out of that equation. God created sex, people! Praise Him! Like all great things, the world has twisted and perverted it. The world has stained it so badly that even many church congregations see it only as stained and keep quiet about that part of God’s word. Many people know that God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), but a lot of people overlook the entirety of Song of Solomon. The entire book is dedicated to telling of the love and sex between man and wife. God blessed us with the gift of intimacy, one to be shared between husband and wife. Church if we teach of sex as the blessing that it is, more people will start treating it as such. If we stop viewing sex as this unspeakable act, the temptation would be lessened. With the fall of man, humans naturally desire things they should not have. So if more people speak of it with gladness and praise, and do not hide it in the darkness as if it were vile, fewer people would be drawn to it for the wrong reasons. More people would appreciate it for what it is: a gift from God.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tumblr

Chick-fil-A, I love you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments