What is Climate Change?
By now, you have probably heard the words ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ more times than you can count. Maybe it’s so common you have not actually thought about what it means. What is climate change and why is everyone so freaked out about it? Well…let’s tackle that question with some straightforward information. The truth is that people—scientists and regular citizens like you alike—are extremely worried about it because the condition of our climate right now has never been like this before. The weather is sporadic and we are not always able to tell from one day to the next, what the weather is going to be like.
Is the climate actually changing?
Yup! The term ‘global climate’ refers to the average climate of the whole planet
(temperature). The reason scientists are so worried about the global climate is because the earth is warming up fast. Unfortunately, this is something us humans have not experienced yet on earth, so it can come as a shock.
Humans are making the Earth’s climate warmer
Greenhouse gases have risen immensely since the late 1950s. This was originally because of the Industrial Revolution. Since this large industrial boom ( factories, advanced technology), humans have been contributing unnatural sources of greenhouse gases into the climate. What are greenhouse gases? Natural greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor and nitrous oxide. But humans can create these gases too, and when they add their own to the gases already naturally occurring, the levels in the atmosphere can get pretty strained. These human-released greenhouse gases can trap and hold heat in the atmosphere. This means that certain gases released by human-made items are trapping heat that is trying to get from Earth to space. The result: our climate begins to unnaturally change. Or…global warming. Right now, our human and animal eco systems are unbalanced.
What is the evidence of climate change?
Our oceans are warming up fast since they have absorbed twenty times more heat than the atmosphere does. And on the surface of the Earth, temperatures have increased by massive amounts over the last century—particularly within the last thirty years. That’s pretty fast! All the greenhouse gas emissions have caused the earth to heat up three times as fast now than they did back in 1950. Also, the boundary of the lower atmosphere—or troposphere, as it’s called—has risen by more than 900 feet over a scientist-recorded twenty-year period! The troposphere contains our Earth’s weather and it means that the danger is quite literally too close to home.
What are the bad things that could happen?
The heat could increase to uncomfortable rates, causing drought and insect outbreaks. Wildfires are increasingly more common as well as decreasing water supplies. But on an even bigger scale, climate change can mean stronger hurricanes and life -threatening heat waves. Melting glaciers, rising sea levels and warming oceans could hurt and kill animals and they could lose their homes. In short, the way humans live their lives and create products needs to undergo a massive eco-friendly change, or Earth as you know it could potentially be no more.
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