Years ago, global warming used to be some scary thing we heard about in science class. Fast forward to now, the earth is heating up rapidly. Glaciers and ice-caps are melting, wildlife is going extinct left to right, sea levels are rising, and super volcanoes could go off any minute. And contrary to popular belief, global warming isn’t caused by people leaving their lights on or letting the water run for too long. It is caused by huge corporations letting out tons of gas and pollution into the air and dumping oils and waste into the ocean.
An important factor of global warming is a thing called the greenhouse effect, which according to nationalgeographic.org is when certain gasses in the earth’s atmosphere trap heat. This explains why the temperature of the earth’s climate continues to rise. The reason for this is even though the gasses let light in, it traps in heat, similar to the walls of a greenhouse – hence the name ‘the greenhouse effect’. This effect isn’t all bad though, because without it, earth would not be livable due to how cold it would be.
Some may be thinking, ‘Why is this a concern? How does it affect us?’ There are a lot of reasons why humans should be concerned about rapid climate change and global warming. For one, these temperature changes are happening rapidly- so rapidly that some species may not be able to adapt to keep up with these changes. And most importantly, since it’s happening on earth, it affects the human race as well. For one, the ice sheets in places like Greenland and Antarctica are starting to melt. This poses a threat to the sea levels, which could cause flooding and high tides.
An even bigger threat is the high mercury levels that this rapid climate change brings. This means that weather can become more extreme. For example, more intense storms, more rain, and long, dry droughts can occur. This can be a serious challenge for people who grow crops for a living. Some animals and plants may have trouble existing in certain habitats because of all these weather changes, which poses a threat to their species.
Now the question remains: how to we reduce the damage done? How do we fix this? Well, of course, there are small things you can do at home, but the main threat to all this extreme climate change is large corporations emitting pollution into the air. Don’t lose hope because of this though; there are still ways humans could get together and help as a whole. As stated in UCSUSA.org, one of these ways is to cut down on the use of fossil fuels and start using renewable energy. Examples of this are hydropower (water), solar energy, and wind power.
Of course, these are time consuming to set up and relatively expensive. There are also many small things you could do at home to kick-start in being more efficient for the environment. NRDC.org states that every time you finish charging your devices – you should pull the plug! You may think it won’t matter, but the average home in the U.S. powers about 65 devices! Across the U.S., this adds up to 50 large power plants. Another simple thing is to keep checking on your tires. If everyone’s tires were properly inflated, we could save 1.2 billions of gas each year. Yeah, it’s that simple. And lastly, don’t be a part of that statistic and speak up! Let your friends and family know about this. These are just a few easy solutions to help fix the negative changes to the earth. If you keep up with it, you could be the one to make a difference in the environment.