World average temperature (°C)
According to a continuous study conducted by the NASA’s Goddard institute, the Earth’s average global temperature has risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius or 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the thermometer readings have risen continuously.
The weather in your locality constantly goes up and down by larger degrees. Why should anyone be concerned about a 1 degree increase in the global temperature? Well, global temperature is primarily depends on the amount of energy it receives from the sun and how much of it is radiated back into space. The numbers change very little unless some other factor is affecting the change in temperature. The amount of energy that the planet radiates back into space is dependent upon the chemical composition of our atmosphere – like greenhouse gases.
Changes on a global scale happen very slowly, normally. Geological processes take eons even. A 1 degree rise in the surface temperature of the Earth is therefore very important. Something unnatural is causing this and scientists have discovered that burning of fossil fuels is one major contributor. It is not a small feat to warm all the oceans, land and the atmosphere by even 1 degree.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the warmest 30 year period is between 1983 to 2012. Human activities continue to emit large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere in spite of efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.
A further increase in temperature will cause the ice caps and glaciers to melt, causing sea levels to rise and inundating coastal cities – where most of human civilization is located. Warmer oceans will cause more severe weather disturbances such as intense hurricanes and tsunamis, further causing havoc to our cities. The absence of our polar caps and glaciers will contribute to further warming since these ice caps help reflect the sun’s heat back into space. Without them, the planet will absorb the sun’s heat more.
Nothing good can come out of global warming. See how you can help stop or reverse the current trend. Visit The World Counts: Stories and know what’s happening to your environment, to your planet.
You Count – that’s why the world counts. Whatever happens to the planet, affects all of us.
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