College Papers

The being, by those who don’t believe in

The destruction of our planet Global climate change is a widespread issue that affects everything on planet earth. Everything that inhibits and relies on the well being and health of our planet is slowly decaying alongside earth as we sit back and watch it happen. The way global climate change occurs is by the increasing of the average temperature of our planet with man made pollution such as greenhouse gases which are various gases such as water, vapor, and carbon dioxide being released into our atmosphere. The long term effect to this are an increase in hurricanes, changes in the chemical balances of the ocean, wildfires, droughts and much more. If not taken seriously global climate change can cause earth to be uninhabitable, which is a hard thing to turn a blind eye to. Because of this, global climate change has become near and dear to my heart in fear that future generations will not be able to experience the simplistic beauty of nature. And while the inevitable is quite far from happening, it’s closer than you think. Although  Global Climate Change is being, by those who don’t believe in climate change,  justified as a natural, recurring cycle, but should not be taken so lightly because it is directly affecting our environment, the population, and our atmosphere which are major benefactors to the decay of our planet. Our environment is taking a toll due to global climate change and nobody acting upon it. A major benefactor of this is the fact that ice on Earth is melting. As earth’s atmosphere temperature continues to rise, the warmer atmosphere causes glaciers to melt in sea waters and in fresh waters in places such as canada. Polar ice and glaciers melting contribute to a rapid rise in sea levels. When the ice melts it exposes darker areas in the ocean which absorb more sunlight and contribute to the greenhouse effect. According to Environmental Defense Fund’s article, Heatwaves and droughts are becoming more frequent increasing evaporating waters that fuel large storms such as hurricanes and rising sea levels make storms capable of extreme damage. In areas suffering from drought, wildfires are becoming more frequent. Heat is expanding causing the water to become more acidic, a great example of proof of this is the great barrier reef being stripped of its color also known as being “bleached” by the chemical changes in the ocean. According to Environmental Defense Fund’s article on climate change effects under the topic “The oceans are getting hotter, expanding and becoming more acidic” causing needed habitats such as arctic ice for arctic animals vanishing more rapidly. Ice dependant animals like polar bears, and walruses are struggling to survive. According to the “Endangered Species Act list” made by the Environmental Defense Fund, polar bear become the first endangered animal because of global climate change. As stated before Coral bleaching is a effect from global climate change because the heat stresses the algae that gives coral its color causing coral bleaching. This affects the animals that live in the coral reefs causing it to be uninhabitable. Last but not least, milder winters make it possible for tree killing insects to survive, and because of drought the trees immune systems aren’t able to fight them off. Not only is Global Climate change affecting human beings, but it is the direct cause to the decrease in our ecosystem and wildlife. because weather and climate affect the survival of various disease ridden animals, diseases contagious diseases such as West Nile virus or Lyme disease are becoming more active. According to the definitions provided by the United States global change research program, these diseases are spread by 3 main factors, Exposure, Sensitivity, and Adaptive capacity. Exposure is contact between a person and one or more biological, psychosocial, chemical, or physical stressors, including stressors affected by climate change(USGCRP).Sensitivity is the degree to which people or communities are affected, either adversely or beneficially, by climate variability or change (USGCRP).And adaptive capacity is the ability of communities, institutions, or people to adjust to potential hazards, to take advantage of opportunities, or to respond to consequences(USGCRP). Because our population is more perceptive to these diseases, it is harder for us to have resilience towards them. According to the United States global change research program, climate and weather can also affect water and food quality in particular areas. Water and food quality are affected because of exposure pathways in different areas and on different degrees. According to figure 1.5: Climate change and health, “these exposure pathways affect Extreme heat, poor air quality, reduced food and water quality.” changes in infectious agents and population displacement. Also stated by climate change and health, this can affect human health in two main ways, the first way is by changing the severity or frequencies of health problems that are already affected by climate or weather factors, the second way this is by creating health problems and their severity, thus causing unprecedented health problems and risks in places they previously weren’t. An example of this would be “extinct” diseases trapped in a frozen glacier and when the glacier melts the diseases are re-released. Due to the greenhouse effect, it is apparent that our atmosphere acts as such. This is because the sun’s rays pass through the earth’s atmosphere, where it then reflects off earth’s surface and is absorbed, then radiated upward as infrared heat. According to “We live in a greenhouse” on Nasa’s “Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet”, “90% of this heat is then absorbed by greenhouse gases and radiated back to the surface, the surface is then warmed to a sustainable temperature of 59 degrees.” also according to nasa, most climate scientist believe humans caused the expansion  of the “Greenhouse Effect”which is process by which certain gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide trap heat within the Earth’s atmosphere and thereby produce warmer air temperatures(schuldt, Johnathan). Human’s activities are growing and affecting the natural greenhouse. According to Nasa’s studies, over the last century the burning of fossil fuels and coals alike have increased causing the causing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to also increase. In nasa’s examples of different planets atmospheres, they show how earth had the perfect gas balance for an atmosphere compared to mars and venus, but Because of humans increase in use of carbon emissions earth will become warmer in some places and in others it won’t become warmer, these warmer conditions will cause more evaporation and precipitation causing some areas to become wetter than usual causing floods and some areas becoming drier causing droughts. Warmer areas will also cause ice to melt including large ice glaciers causing the ocean levels to rise. Dryer areas will suffer with less crops and less agriculture all because of more carbon emissions in the atmosphere throwing off the perfect balance of gases in our atmosphere. According to “The role of humanity”, “The industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million in the last 150 years”.Though Global Climate Change is a very real matter, many still remain skeptical and unaware of their true carbon footprint. It seems as though many people push away the reality that Global Climate Change is real because it is hard to believe that our planet has come to be vulnerable and fragile. Mankind is a complex and indestructible force and because of this undeniable force it seems unlikely that we would ever have to worry about any physical defects to our planet. Many people believe that global climate change is a natural, recurring, cycle that our planet goes through. This mindset can be related back to the core values of those who believe in god as the creator of all beings. People believe that the earth goes through natural climate change every few centuries because they believe that earth naturally warms up and causes these side effects and they believe human beings and the use of carbon emissions aren’t causing the disasters we see today. Another reason why many people do not believe in global climate change is due to the lack of evidence supporting the issue. Many believe that it is a money draining expedition that won’t better our planet, but instead bleed our country dry of fines.But given the proof provided by climate change scientist, we can see that humans do actually cause most if not nearly all the climate change occurrences we see today. From my research and emotional ties to raising awareness towards global climate change, I believe that it is imperative that it be taken more seriously. Without change, we will have nothing to strive for in future generations and planet earth will no longer survive. With all the scientific outlets that we have today, there should be no excuse as to why nothing is being done and the majority of our population is still in doubts of our decaying planet. Preventive measures should be taken into the hands of the government and the citizens for the wellbeing of living organisms that cannot advocate for themselves. For the health of us, and our planet we should be asking ourselves what we can do to prevent further damage.