Climate Change, The Non-Non-Issue
Why Climate Change is Real, and is Definitely an Issue
Climate change is real and is most definitely affected by human activity. Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. Normally, this radiation would escape into space, but these pollutants, which can last for years or even centuries in the atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter. That’s what’s known as the greenhouse effect. This is irrefutable scientific fact and there is no justifiable evidence disproving it.
The most obvious bit of evidence is the melting ice sheets on both ends of the globe. The gasses released by human beings have trapped heat in the atmosphere. This causes the ice caps to melt and release the CO2 stored in the caps into the air thereby exacerbating the issue. Data from NASA’s GRACE satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland have been losing mass since 2002. Both ice sheets have seen an acceleration of ice mass loss since 2009, as shown in the following graphs.
Lets not forget that the sea levels have begun to rise as well. Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers and the expansion of seawater as it warms. This graph tracks the change in sea level since 1993 as observed by satellites.
Finally, closest to home in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, natural disasters (hurricanes, typhoons, etc.) have become even more prevalent. Thanks to pollution human industries are responsible for, the number of record high temperature events in the United States have been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events. This issue has become more obvious as of late thanks to numerous hurricanes landing in the southern coastal regions of the United States and wreaking havoc across the respective areas.
In short, the human race has nearly irreversibly altered the world because of our limitless hubris. However, there is still time to fix our glaring mistakes. By trying to be more conscious of our actions concerning the environment, we can hope to one day reverse the effects of our forefathers.