We usually pay attention to how the weather changes throughout a week, a month, or even compared to previous few years. On the other hand, there are changes that are not visible and can only be observed by scientists using sensitive equipment. Certain patterns in weather that have a tendency to recur each year are called a climate. Nowadays scientists claim that there are major changes to the climate all over the world that will have, or already have, dire consequences.
Consider these facts provided by NASA:
- Global temperature increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. Nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.
- The amount of land ice decreases by 258 billion tons per year. Greenland ice loss doubled between 1996 and 2005.
- The amount of carbon dioxide parts increased to 399.60 per million. Its levels in the air are at its highest in 650,000 years.
- The amount of arctic ice decreases by 13.3 percent per decade. In 2012, Arctic summer ice shrank to the lowest extent on the record.
The primary factor that affects all the other changes in our climate is the temperature change. What are the main reasons the temperature changes throughout the years? There is a certain amount of heat that the Earth gets from the sun, and there is also a certain amount of heat that bounces back to the space. Our temperature depends on both these factors. The point is that when the heat reaches the Earth and then is reflected back to the atmosphere, the certain amount of it is stopped by the so called greenhouse gases. They are vital for keeping the right amount of heat on the Earth so that all the living creatures can exist on our planet. However the increasing amount of it changes the average temperature which can lead to unprecedented changes in our climate. The greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Their number has increased due to burning of fossil fuels, which has become the primary source of energy for people nowadays.
It is difficult for most of us to understand why a slight increase in the average temperature on the planet can somehow influence us. Consider this example: there are a lot of glaciers that are at the verge of melting and increasing the temperature by even one degree can make this process begin. In addition, such climate changes can result in longer period of droughts in some regions, the increasing number of wildfires, and the bigger number of tropical storms. That being said, we are going to make an in-depth analysis of all the factors that cause the greenhouse effect, the consequences, including the potential ones, and the ways of solving this problem.
The current and future consequences of global change (2014). Retrieved from http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/
What Is Climate and Climate Change? (2014). Retrieved from https://eo.ucar.edu/basics/cc_1.html
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