6 Irrefutable Facts About Climate Change
Start writing a post

6 Irrefutable Facts About Climate Change

Why we should be concerned about a changing climate.

6 Irrefutable Facts About Climate Change

Currently, 2016 looks to be the hottest year on record. This is not surprising, as 2015 now holds the record, with 2014 coming in second. Now why should we care about this warming trend? Well, 97% of climate scientists agree that the Earth is warming, and a majority of these scientists believe that this warming is caused by human actions. It is time to stop denying human involvement in these foreboding climate trends and to understand the facts and implications of our actions.

1. Greenhouse gases are heating our atmosphere

The greenhouse effect is one of the most important components of our changing climate. Our consumption and burning of fossil fuels are causing a warming effect. When we burn fossil fuels in factories, in our cars and through countless other activities, heat is trapped in the atmosphere and warms the planet. Carbon dioxide, a particularly pernicious greenhouse gas, undeniably increases temperature when its concentration increases. This is not an opinion, but rather a scientific fact. Increasing the concentration of these gases yields more absorption of heat. Unless we do something to decrease our dependence on these gases, the planet will continue to warm.

2. Extreme weather events are increasing

Precipitation is also an important component of climate. Therefore, as our climate changes, the amount of precipitation changes as well. Some areas of the planet are experiencing heavy rains, and therefore floods, while other areas are experiencing droughts. California, for example, has been under a drought since 2011. Some areas of the state are classified as severely dry. This has severe ecological and human consequences, as habitats grow more inhospitable and water becomes more of a limiting resource for humans. Climate scientists predict that these weather extremes will get worse.

3. Animals and plants cannot adapt fast enough to the changing climate

One sentiment that skeptics often hold is that animals and plants will be able to quickly adapt to their changing environments. This is simply not the case because adaptations occur over long time scales. Our climate is changing too fast for proper adaptations to occur. This inevitably means an extinction crisis. And while a certain low rate of extinctions is normal,

For example, the South American Golden Toad went extinct in 1999 because of changing climate in its native range. We view polar bears as a symbol of our changing climate. They are another example of a species affected by changing climate, because as their icy habitats melt, they cannot adapt fast enough to occupy viable habitats.

4. Earth's climate cycles over long time scales, but this cannot account for recent short-term trends

Our planet experiences glacial and interglacial cycles that last roughly 100,000 years. These cycles account for natural warming periods. However, since the Industrial Revolution, Carbon Dioxide concentrations (and thus temperature) have increased dramatically beyond a rate that can be explained by natural cycles.

5. We cannot blame volcanoes and the sun for overall warming trends

Sunshine and volcanic activity are often cited as two natural reasons for a changing climate. Additionally, deniers of human-caused climate change tend to blame these two phenomenon for our climate trend. However, scientific evidence negates this assumption. Energy from the sun is actually decreasing, which should cause temperatures to decrease. So as temperature increases, power from the sun is decreasing, implying that there are other factors causing the warming trend. Additionally, volcanoes expel a negligible amount of Carbon Dioxide when compared to the amount produced by human activities.

6. Our climate crisis is also causing a humanitarian crisis

The UN has now defined a class of refugees known as, "climate refugees." These are people displaced from their native lands because of climate disasters, as described in the documentary, "Climate Refugees." As sea levels rise, droughts and temperatures increase in some areas, and rains increase in other areas, more people will become displaced. This humanitarian crisis cannot be ignored.

What can we take away from all of this? Yes, many of the changes we see in our climate are the result of natural processes. However, these processes have been accelerated far beyond their normal rate. It is time to take accountability for our involvement in the changing climate so we can pursue solutions. We cannot afford to argue about whether or not climate change is real.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less
A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Boyfriend's Christmas Wishlist: 23 Best Gift Ideas for Her

Here are the gifts I would like to ask my boyfriend for to make this season unforgettable.

Young woman opening a Christmas gift

Recently, an article on Total Sorority Move called 23 Things My Boyfriend Better Not Get Me For Christmas, was going around on social media. I hope the author of this was kidding or using digital sarcasm, but I am still repulsed and shocked by the lack of appreciation throughout this article. I would like to represent the girlfriends out there who disagree with her standpoint -- the girlfriends who would be more than happy to receive any of these gifts from their boyfriends.

Keep Reading...Show less
Two teenage girls smiling

The 2000s were a time that many young adults today can look back on, joyfully reminisce and somewhat cringe at the trends and the fads that we all used to love and adore. Here's a list of things from the golden 2000s that will have one feeling nostalgic about all of those times.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments