Although some people do not believe that global warming is real, the facts say that it is very real, indeed. Earth’s temperature has risen tremendously over the past 50 plus years, which shows us just how real this threat is. According to NASA.gov, humankind has been experiencing the effects of climate change for the better part of the past century.
Not only have there been seven cycles of the glaciers advancing and retreating within the past 650,000 years but within the last 7,000 years, we have seen the end of the last ice age. This also marked the start of the modern era as well as the beginning of humankind.
Global Warming Facts
A few global warming facts. After reading these climate change facts, you may not be a skeptic for long. Here is a quick list of facts that you should know about climate change.
There has been a rise in the world’s temperature
The fact is, the Earth’s surface temperature has increased by about two degrees since the end of the 19th century. That is very fast in planetary terms. In fact, it is the fastest rate in recorded history.
Our oceans are warming up
Because of the surface of the world getting warmer, the oceans have absorbed a lot of that heat. Since the year 1969, the temperature of the top 2,300 feet of the seas has increased by about 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit. To learn more about this, check out this article on warming oceans.
Ice sheets are shrinking
The ice sheets from Greenland and Antarctica have reduced a lot. According to the data from an experiment by NASA, Greenland lost about 36 to 60 cubic miles of ice every year. This happened between the years of 2002 and 2006. Antarctica lost about 36 cubic miles of ice every year between the years of 2002 and 2005.
Glaciers are disappearing
As a result of the increasing temperatures here on Earth, Glaciers are quickly becoming the things of legends. Glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate. All around the world, glaciers are retreating and growing smaller every day.
Some areas are getting less snow
During the end of winter and the beginning of spring, we used to get more snow before the temperature of the planet went up. In some places in the world, we are getting less snow overall. Also, the snow is melting earlier than usual.
Sea levels are rising
The seas have increased a lot. The sea levels in the world have risen about eight inches within the past century. However, it gets even worse since the rate of increase has doubled within the last two decades. This is in comparison to the previous century.
Arctic sea ice has reduced
Not only has the extent of the sea ice in the Arctic diminished but the thickness has too. Looking at the pictures NASA has taken from space to study the disappearance of artic sea ice should be enough to make anyone believe in global warming.
Severe weather events have increased
Not only has the number for the record high temperatures in some areas been growing, but the record low numbers have been getting lower quickly over the last few decades. Also, the amounts of rainfall have increased in the United States.
The oceans have been acidifying
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the amount of acidity in our oceans increased about 30 percent.
Causes of Global Warming
Global warming is caused by what we call the Greenhouse Effect. You may be wondering what the Greenhouse Effect is. It is when CO2 (carbon dioxide), air pollutants, and greenhouse gases come together within the atmosphere. Sunlight and solar radiation pass through them, before bouncing off the Earth’s surface. The CO2 doesn’t leave the atmosphere but it stays in the lower levels of it instead. It absorbs the heat of the sun, warming the Earth. Therefore, as soon as we flood our atmosphere with carbon, this is what causes too much warming to happen on our planet.
Who is to Blame for Global Warming?
Scientists believe that humans are responsible for more than half of the warming since 1951. Why? Because since we have been burning fossil fuels at the rates we have been, global warming has been getting a lot worse. Carbon emissions (CO2) are caused by burning fossil fuels. And the burning of fossil fuels alone can create about two billion tons of CO2 every year.
Coal-burning power plants are the most significant source of CO2. Transportation is the second most significant maker of CO2, which emits about 1.7 billion tons of CO2 every year.
How are Global Warming and Severe Weather Linked?
Science says the reason for the higher temperatures, more rain, and increasing severe weather is the reason for the Earth’s rising temperature, which means global warming. One example is the California drought. According to scientists worldwide, the drought in California, which started in 2015, has been the worst water shortage the state has ever had within the past 1,200 years. Nearly all scientists agree that the state’s worst drought intensified by the rise in the world’s temperature.
Also, the oceans’ temperatures rising creates more energy during tropical storms. Think back during Hurricane Katrina and other severe tropical storms and you will agree that global warming and severe weather are linked together.
How Can We Prevent Global Warming From Worsening?
Most scientists also agree that if we continue doing what we are doing now, things will only get worse. High temperatures can cause more droughts. They, in turn, cause more wildfires. If our sea levels continue to rise, we expect severe flooding in areas such as Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. However, there are things we can do now, or stop doing now, to prevent any more damage from happening to our planet.
Although we have begun doing things to keep global warming from getting worse, we could do a lot more. One thing that some places are doing now and the rest of us need to follow doing is to use clean, renewable electricity. Another step we must take is curbing and eventually ending industrial carbon pollution.
Clean Power Plan: The Pledge
In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pledged to decrease the pollution in our atmosphere by burning one-third less coal by the year of 2030. Back then they called it the Clean Power Plan. Sadly, that pledge has not been put fully into action, even now. It appears, actually, to be moving backward.
When it comes to transportation, everyone should be opting for the cleanest possible routes. Such as riding bicycles or public transit and using electric or hybrid vehicles. Emissions standards should be created that force the transition away from carbon-emitting fossil fuel dependency.
Is Global Warming Real?
The short answer is yes, scientists have come to the conclusion that we are, in fact, causing global warming to worsen.
Do these climate change facts scare you? They should because global warming is a real thing that is happening all around us. The things we can do right now to stop it should be going on right now, or our children may not have a future.
Feature Image: CC by 0, by The Digital Artist Via Pixabay