Temperature Changes Due to Global Warming

The Debate on Global Warming

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TheWorldCounts, 15 April, 2014

The Debate on Global Warming

Global warming is the term used to describe the increase in our average global temperatures, which can cause our planet’s climate to change. 

It is being debated if global warming is a fact, or if it’s just a hoax that’s meant to scare people. There are differing views on the topic, but more and more scientists are accepting global warming as real.

The scientific community agrees that the average temperature of our planet has increased between 0.4 to 0.8 degrees Celsius over the last 100 years. 

The temperature changes due to global warming can start a chain of events that will be devastating for us and our planet – but more for us.

What’s Warming our Planet?

In 2013, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the biggest contributor to global warming in the last 50 years is Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, due to the burning of fossil fuels, agriculture and deforestation (1). 

Greenhouse gases, such as Co2, are natural and they actually enable life on Earth when everything is in balance. Without them, we’d be a much colder place. But when you introduce too much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, more of the sun’s energy is trapped and Earth’s temperature rises, causing changes in our weather and climate. 

This is called the Greenhouse Effect. It is happening too rapidly and life doesn’t have time to adapt.

The Facts on Global Warming

  • The average global temperature right now is more than 14 degrees Celsius and rising as you are read this.
  • In the last 200 years, we have added 2.3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Half of this amount was added in the last 30-35 years (2).
  • Average global temperatures can increase between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius by 2100 (3).
  • 2013 was the 6th warmest year on record.
  • 13 of the 14 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century.
  • The rising sea level is causing storm surges and coastal flooding. An example would be Typhoon Haiyan.
  • Sea levels have risen almost 20 centimeters since the year 2000.
  • If all the ice sheets in Greenland and the Western Antarctic melted, our sea levels can rise by 43 feet! It can be a disaster of extinction level. Most of our major cities are in the coast.
  • Extreme weather was felt all over the globe. The snow in Vietnam, the polar vortex in North America and heat waves in Australia are just some of the unusual weather experience all over the world.
  • The sea ice in the arctic now covers 14.36 million square miles. The lowest ever recorded in February (4).

Is Global Warming Real?

The disaster movies that you see may give you an idea of the kind of devastation an extreme change in weather can cause. 

One event will trigger and feed another event and a vicious cycle will occur, none of them good for us. Ozone layer depletion, melting of the permafrost, sudden collapse of ecological and biological systems, extreme cold and heat... I hate to sound like a doomsayer, but this is the reality that we want to stop. Right now we are just experiencing Super Storms, Cold Surges, Heat Waves and Floods and we are already suffering big losses. Is Global Warming Real? The state of our polar ice caps may be the most obvious proof. You can see how much it has decreased here.

We can contribute to the efforts to stop Global Warming by doing these simple things:

At Home

  • Keep your house well insulated to save energy.
  • Use Energy Efficient appliances and light bulbs.
  • Save Water. Repair leaky faucets. Use recycled water for your lawn and plants.
  • Buy environment-friendly products.
  • Recycle your waste products.
  • Go Green whenever possible.
  • Plant more trees.
  • Help raise awareness in your community.

In the Office

  • Go Paperless.
  • Turn off everything that’s not being used. Idle electronic equipment still uses energy.
  • Use public transport whenever possible to reduce vehicle emissions.
  • Donate unneeded equipments instead of throwing them away.

On the Road

  • Choose vehicles that are fuel efficient. Is there an electric car in your location? Buy one!
  • Conserve your fuel. Don’t do sudden stops and accelerations. Check your tires.
  • Use E85 (85% Ethanol and 15% gasoline) and Biodiesel to reduce your vehicles greenhouse gas emission

These are small everyday activities that affect the amount of Carbon Dioxide emissions in our atmosphere, causing Global Warming. All we need is to make one small change at a time, to make a big difference.

References

  1. Wikipedia: Global Warming
  2. World Resources Institute: Navigating the Numbers
  3. Live Science: Global Warming; News, Facts, Causes and Effects
  4. The Guardian: World Begins 2014 with Unusual Number of Extreme Weather Events
  5. Global Issues: Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction

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Tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere

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Tons of melted ice

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