Climate change has been a huge topic of discussion in recent years, but many people don’t yet understand the science behind it. In fact, some believe that climate change doesn’t even exist, despite evidence to the contrary being backed by respected researchers and noted climate experts. Because of the influx of information out there regarding these changes and what they mean, it can be difficult to suss out the facts and differentiate between them and hypothesis or misinformation.
First of all, it’s important to note that it all starts with greenhouse gases. These include carbon dioxide–literally the air we breathe, which can also be found naturally in volcanoes, hot springs, and geysers–as well as methane and water vapor. Without these gases, the Earth would be too cold for human habitation, as they rise and trap heat in our planet’s atmosphere.
Too much of these gases, however, warms the atmosphere to potentially dangerous levels. When this happens, glaciers melt, which makes the sea levels rise. Not only does this put humans at risk, it endangers plants and animals, too–up to 35% at the current rate of rising sea levels.
So what can be done about climate change?
There are many ways we can make changes that help the environment, but first we must educate ourselves on how to do it and why. Read on to find out the answers to some of the most popular climate-related questions.
“Climate change has been a huge topic
of discussion in recent years, but many
people don’t yet understand the
science behind it.”
Q. If the Earth’s temperature is warming, why are the winters still so cold?
We’ll still have cold days, and some cities may still see heavy amounts of snow and ice. But gradually, those kinds of winters will become more rare, and the warm, moist air that replaces it could be an ideal breeding ground for huge, destructive weather events.
Q. Why is it so much better to carpool or use an alternative method of transportation?
You may have heard the term “fossil fuels” being thrown around a lot. This is because those fuels–gasoline, oil, and natural gas included–trap heat in the atmosphere after they are released. Carpooling or using alternative transportation, such as a bike or simply walking, can help reduce those emissions. Even the rise of online shopping has contributed to fossil fuel emissions, because all those packages have to be shipped and delivered by a truck.
“There are many ways we can make
changes that help the environment,
but first we must educate ourselves
on how to do it and why.”
Q. Is it too late to reverse the damage that’s already been done?
It’s difficult even for experienced scientists to predict what will happen, but many believe that the Earth’s poles could see disastrous events as early as the next few years. In the Arctic, the coming summers could bring about the eradication of ice altogether.
Because we don’t see the results of global warming immediately–there is a lag between the release of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere and the resulting change in temperature, because carbon dioxide can stick around for hundreds of years–it is too late to reverse some of that damage. Moving forward, it’s imperative that we work to reduce greenhouse gases, and that will require some changes not just locally, but globally.
Q. What can I do to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere?
Apart from making an effort to change the way you use transportation, you can also reduce waste and recycle, support cleaner forms of energy in your town, make energy-efficient improvements in your home, plant trees (which store carbon dioxide as they grow) and much more.
You can also educate your friends and family on climate change and global warming and institute positive changes in your home that your loved ones can follow. Hold a fundraiser for donations to the National Wildlife Federation, and have shirts printed up that donors can wear to raise awareness for the cause.
Starting a conversation about climate change can be difficult, as it can have political and moral ramifications, but it’s important if we are going to make a serious difference.
Want to Learn More About Climate Change?
Here are recent informative articles:
And here are helpful Climate Change Awareness Resources:
Climate affects all life on earth.
Climate change is real.
We need to act now!
About the Author
Neil Stawski believes we aren’t doing enough to protect our planet. He created ClimateWise.co to educate the public and encourage people to take action.
*Top Photo via Pixabay by Cocoparisienne
What is your opinion about climate change?
What are you doing to help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.