Over the last 10 years, the global average sea level has risen 7″. This means that over the last 10 years the ice and glacial structures in both of the Poles have been and continue to melt at an alarming rate.
But what is the cause of all of this? Global warming. To many people, global warming is just some made up phrase that scientists created to give a reason behind why we may have had an extra long summer that is constantly plus 30 degrees. But in fact, global warming is a much more serious and in-depth topic to be looked at. With the loss of ice/glaciers, high water levels and warmer climates, wildlife, vegetation, and humans will all be negatively affected. Global warming is not something to trifle with. We need to act now. To start, let’s focus on one of the main questions, “what is the cause of global warming?”. No doubt, the underlying cause of it is from human activity.
We produce such a monumental amount of waste that the pollution is causing the atmosphere to change. The waste comes from the burning of fossil fuels – for example, the coal used to heat homes and power factories, the gas for cars and other automobiles, etcetera. When fossil fuels burn they produce methane gas and carbon dioxide. We have released so much carbon dioxide and various other greenhouse gases into the air that our planet’s atmosphere is now like a thick, heat-trapping blanket2. When the light rays are reflected off the earth from the sun, they are not “strong” enough to break through the atmosphere, making them bounce around between the atmosphere and the earth causing the planet to heat up. This makes the earth’s natural cycle speed up, instead of being a slow and continuous sequence. This is also dangerous because it can lead to severe weather – for example, flooding, drought, and violent storms. So, as I mentioned before, studies found that the global average ocean water levels have increased by around 7″.
With that, the water has also increased in temperature. But why is this important? Well, this essentially results in a chain reaction. When water rises and gets warmer, the fish that rely on a certain water temperature for survival are forced to go deeper down where it is cooler. When this happens it leaves a big problem for the corals. Corals need clear water to thrive. Since they get all they’re energy and nutrients from photosynthesis, if the fish have evacuated a reef in search of cooler water then there will little to no fish left to keep the plankton/sediment population at the reefs in control.
This will make the water to become opaque and not let any sunlight in, causing the corals to die. The death of corals affects many things. For example, the reef fish who toughed it out and stayed in the warming waters will no longer have a home due to the dying corals.
The destruction of coral reefs also directly affect humans. Billions of dollars and millions of jobs all over the world and invested in the reefs. Many marine orientated jobs would become obsolete with the extinction of the reefs. For example, The fishing industry would be impacted heavily, forcing them to only rely on deep sea fishing, as well as people living near coral reefs who depend on fishing them as a food source. Maybe you’re not a fish lover, so the fact that climate change is killing wildlife doesn’t bother you. But do you love your Mother? Your Father? Your sister or brother? Well, climate change affects them too, as well as it affects you.
Increased pollution leads to permanent health problems like asthma and allergies, not to mention the exponential number of people that are dying due to heat waves. For instance, in 2010, many nations, including parts of Canada underwent life-threatening temperatures that resulted in drought, wildfires, and animal and human deaths. As David Suzuki once said, “The debate is over about whether or not climate change is real; it is now time to act to solve the problem.” There are many things society can do to stop the further damage to climate change. It could be simply making people more aware of the damage they’re doing to individual action on a daily basis. If you feel strongly about climate change and want to keep our planet a blue and green beautiful place than here are 3 things you can do to help.Be smart with your food – Use the green bin at home, Don’t waste food; don’t throw it out unless it’s gone bed, eat meatless meals a few times a week (Animals raised for human consumption contribute 18% of greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide).Be more energy efficient- Turn off electronics when they’re not in use, turn off the lights if you’re not in that room, and wash your clothes in cool water and let them air dry.
Drive less – walk, ride a bike, or carpool/take the city bus. “We have a single mission: to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation.” Human action has led to the devastating effects of climate change and it is our human in-action that is intensifying the damage. But luckily we have the power to stop further damage. Our individual actions on a daily basis will add up to a collective impact that will save our planet.