5 Causes Of Climate Change ( And What You Can Do To Make A Difference)
As humans observe rising sea levels, sweltering temperatures, and visible changes for wildlife populations, it is evident that the hotly debated existence of global warming, or climate change is indeed impacting our world.
Some of the changes caused by climate change may not be quick to dissipate either.
When it comes to an understanding of the causes of climate changes, some significant elements are triggering catastrophic events. If humans are unwilling to change behaviors that are leading causes of climate change, then the result may be irreversible and beyond repair.
Due to climate change, the planet is currently experiencing some of the following problems.
According to sources like National Geographic, the levels of greenhouse gasses within our atmosphere have increased to the highest level ever in the past 650,000 years. The world is heating up very quickly, which is destabilizing wildlife communities, lending itself to severe weather patterns, and causing die-offs.
Thankfully, some concerned scientists have developed methods of measuring the intensity of climate change and its impact on the air, land, water, and food supply. And there still may be time for all of us to step up and do what we can to make a difference.
How Climate Change Is Measured
To measure climate change, scientists and researchers primarily look at rising temperatures and the sea levels.
As the polar ice caps steadily decline and melt, and glaciers give way to the oceans, scientists estimate and observe the resulting impact.
In addition to observing and calculating changing temperatures, climate change is also evaluated for varying gas emissions ranging from carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and other greenhouse gasses.
Looking at extreme weather conditions, which have all too soon become the new normal, are another sign of climate change making a long-lasting effect on the planet. Greenhouse gas emissions and extreme weather work in tandem to disrupt natural cycles for wildlife, agriculture, and destabilize societies.
How Long Has Climate Change Been In Effect
As early as the 1930s, scientists have noted an upward trend in global warming. Toward the end of the 1930s, it was suggested that carbon dioxide emissions were to blame for a rise in temperatures.
During the 1950s, more credible calculations for carbon dioxide's impact on melting glaciers, impeding with radiation absorption, and warming global temperatures continued.
Although some scientific studies showed that the earth experienced a gradual rise in temperature in relation to CO2 emissions, the level was not presently catastrophic.
After enough decades have passed, as the world has gone beyond the year 2000, humans are reaching a devastating point of no return. Gasses such as methane, carbon dioxide, and ozone contribute to extreme changes in weather patterns and are unable to be absorbed by the world's oceans.
Conditions such as droughts contribute to intense wildfires, destabilized food supplies and scarcity, and trigger energy crises.
Top 5 Causes Of Climate Change
Of all of the different causes of climate change, some are more noticeable than others. Reducing demand for processes that have a negative impact on the climate and environment is paramount. It is also essential that humans seek out working alternative solutions to limit the severity of climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Burning Of Fossil Fuels
Unfortunately, most human beings get their electrical and heating needs met via burning off fossil fuels. And unbelievably, the emissions are given off as a result of burning fossil fuels negatively affects the climate more than the fuel sources itself.
As power plants heat up various fuel to heat homes or power appliances, the lingering effects can be felt within the atmosphere in a matter of days. Considering that a power plant rarely has a day off regarding operations, the ability to heat up the earth via greenhouse gas emissions is significant.
Agriculture And Animal Protein Consumption
Thanks to advancements in modern agriculture and animal rearing, the demand for farm products and animal protein is driving climate change.
To accommodate the needs of housing and feeding numerous animals raised as livestock, large swaths of forests are often cleared to make space. With the reduced amount of trees to help lessen the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with the methane gas produced by animals confined within a small space, the combination is lethal.
Modern agriculture as we know it puts a significant strain on natural resources pollutes water sources and creates increased nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
Industry Manufacturing And Processing
Human beings rely on various industries to manufacture and produce goods for construction, conducting business, and transit. Thanks to the use of fossil fuels or manufacturing standards and practices, modern industry is a significant cause of climate change.
Depending on the type of elements that are released by industries during processes, it can lead to significant heating or cooling of the environment.
Unfortunately, water vapor, clouds, sunlight, and other natural elements can have a negative interaction with released gases or carbons.
The forests that exist around the world are essentially the planet's lungs. Without enough trees and foliage covering the planet, there is no easy way to filter emissions and keep the world cool and comfortable.
Deforestation helps contribute to climate change, brought on by consumer demand for various woods, clearing space for agriculture and manufacturing, and other needs.
According to Earth Day, deforestation is the second largest cause of climate change, and it is responsible for 24% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
Not only does deforestation lead to a loss of incredible biodiversity, but it contributes to soil erosion, flooding, and other problems.
During the Paris climate agreement held during 2016, addressing deforestation and making it a priority to conserve forests was emphasized. To better protect trees and help alleviate carbon emissions, people are encouraged to plant more trees, demand more sustainable products, and to avoid products made from forests.
Methods Of Transportation (Planes, Cars, Boats)
The development of greener forms of transportation is a definite need for humans and wildlife to enjoy a sustainable future.
Currently, the frequent use of automobiles, planes, and other modes of transportation are a major cause of climate change due to emissions. When fossil fuels that power planes, cars, and boats are burned, it releases carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, and nitrous oxide. All of these elements cause the earth's atmosphere to warm up, leading to intense and unfortunate changes.
According to the EPA, 27 percent of the greenhouse emissions released by the United States alone, is caused by the methods of transportation used. The amount of emissions released from transportation is only slightly behind power plants which create electricity.
Urging people to find more ecologically friendly methods of traveling, ride shares, and limiting extensive travel that requires fossil fuels is an order.
The greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are driven by consumer demand for various products, commuting to work, and recreational travel. The emissions are a detriment to the environment and are a leading cause of acid rain.
A Possible Future Without Implementing Changes
If humans are unable to put a stop to the causes of climate change, the world as we know it may cease to be inhabitable.
Unless people can migrate to the stars and live on the moon or Mars, it is essential that human beings hold themselves accountable for their contribution to climate change.
If global temperatures continue to rise, forests die-off, the ocean continues to warm and kill coral reefs, and extreme weather conditions persist, humans and wildlife may cease to exist.
When hot weather refuses to let-up, humans may put an additional strain on the power grid for energy. Droughts may impact crop yields, and extreme heat can exacerbate pollen, allergens, and contribute to poor air quality. In the worst case scenario, humans may bear witness to a mass extinction of all life on earth, and complete disintegration of society.
Lessen Your Carbon Footprint
Taking responsibility into your own hands is a must to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your contribution to climate change.
Reduce your demand on the energy grid for natural resources by installing energy-efficient items within your home. Unplug any electronic devices when they are not currently being used.
Add insulation to optimize your heating or cooling, and make sure to routinely inspect and maintain anything that needs repair to stop leaks.
Minimize your waste of water and food by planning ahead. Install energy-efficient toilets, low-flow shower heads, and fix any leaks.
Plan out meals and reduce your dependency on take-out meals or groceries that utilize an excess of packaging. Compost your food waste, and recycle materials whenever possible.
Try to avoid purchasing new products and buy secondhand when you are able. Put an end to lengthy commutes via a personal vehicle and choose public transit or carpool. Make it a priority to support local businesses when shopping, and embrace minimalism.