Climate change and Global Warming
For years scientists have supported that climate change and global warming is in fact real and is happening to our planet right now, one of the worst parts is that humans are the ones responsible this time. In simple words, climate change throws the natural system of our planet out of balance, and this can have devastating effects.
Changes in climate patterns were first observed in the 20th century and have been attributed to increasing levels of greenhouse gases (specifically carbon dioxide, CO2), that are produced from human actions such as the burning of fossil fuels.
When CO2 is released into the earths atmosphere it hangs around creating a “blanket”, which entraps the sunlight entering. With the energy of the sun not being able to escape, the earth gets warmer and warmer, in turn affecting the climate system.
There is plenty of evidence around us to show the affects of climate change, the main one being the rise of the average global temperature, which has risen by about 0.9 degrees Celsius since the 19th century. Most of this increase occurred in the past 35 years, with 2016 being the warmest year on record. The temperature increase can also be noticed in the ocean, where a lot of the heat is absorbed. Alongside this, the extreme weather is also a result of climate change and this gets worse every year.
The increase in temperature has also affected the two poles of our planet, with the ice melting at an alarming rate. It has also caused all glaciers around the world to retreat, and scientists have observed a decrease in spring snow fall in the Northern Hemisphere over the past five decades. There has also been a decline in the extent and thickness of the Arctic sea ice over the past decades.
As the ice is melting, another major problem arises, which is the rise in sea level. The global sea level rose by about 8 inches in the last century; however, it is now nearly double that of the last century and is rising every year. Our seas are also affected by the carbon dioxide that gets trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and absorbed by the ocean. This causes ocean acidification, and the surface water acidity has increased by 30%.