CHANGING CLIMATE CHANGE 10
ChangingClimate Change: One of the Most Urgent Challenges of Our Time
Greenhousegas emissions are one of the biggest causes of climate changeglobally. A strict emphasis on usage of clean energy sources is theeffective way to face climate change challenge. There are alternativefuels and technologies to help bring down the escalating globaltemperature. Though, there are challenges, with combined efforts itis possible.
Changingclimate is an urgent challenge because it is affecting millions ofcommunities all over the world. It is no longer a simpleenvironmental issue, and unless it’s tackled now, futuregenerations will be affected too. There is need to take action toalleviate the challenges urgently and protect vulnerable people andthose who are already facing impacts of weather change. It isdisappointing knowing human activities have caused most of theclimate changes observed globally. In addition, emission ofheat-trapping gases has brought change of the earth’s energybalance. The worst thing is that the emitted carbon dioxide and othertoxic gases remain in the atmosphere for millennia (Hansen, 2013).
TheFourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC) states there is evidence to show that the gases haveplayed a big role in climate change from the mid-twentieth century. When the changes started taking place, warming and cooling of theearth changed due some factors. They include changes in the sun’sintensity, volcanic eruptions, and heat-trapping gases. But, humansare still the primary cause of climate change. They burn coal,fossil fuels and oil to generate power and carbon dioxide released inthe process gets into the atmosphere, where it traps heat (Ekwurzel,n.d)
Theburning of fossil fuels and deforestation releases 26 billion tons ofcarbon dioxide into the air annually. By clearing forests to practiceagriculture, carbon is transferred from living biomass in the air.Volcanoes emit on average from 130 up to 230 million tons of carbondioxide (Henson, n.d)
Thenatural fluctuation of the earth’s temperatures no longer functionsas it should. Extracting oil and mining from the crust of the earthand using the fuels in vehicles, electricity, manufacturing andcooking re some of the activities that have affected thetemperatures. They release gases that trap heat leading tomalfunctioning of the natural heating and cooling of the earth(Global Warming Science, n.d).
Humansconsume large amounts of energy daily. About 40% of the carbondioxide released in the U.S alone is due to fossil fuels burning forelectricity and gasoline (Global warming). Looking for renewableenergy sources, cutting down energy exhausted and clean burning fuelscan bring down the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air(Burt, Randall, & Branson, 2016). Industries emit different gasesinto the atmosphere, and since they heat-trapping capabilities, theytrap much more heat than carbon dioxide. The main greenhouse gasesare nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and methane. The most powerful inentrapping heat id the methane (Boucher, 2014).
Landfillsare full of garbage, and they are all over the world. Though some ofthe garbage is recycled, most of it is burn, which releases poisonousgases. Methane is of the fumes, and the huge amount of gasses getsinto the air contributing a lot to climate change (Boucher, 2014).
Withthe ever-increasing mass population worldwide, the climate isaffected. People breathe out carbon dioxide. Besides, many peoplemean increased demand for basic needs such as homes and foods. Theforests will be cleared to create space for farming and wood to buildhouses. Transport needs increases, and more cars are bought, whichmeans a lot of fuel will be burn (Scafetta, 2011). The fertilizersused in farmlands across the world produce nitrous oxide after itgets into the soil. Nitrous oxide gas is far more toxic than carbondioxide. According to EPA, fertilizers are some of the main causes ofclimate change (DeLonge, 2016).
Toslow climate change, people need to change their diets andlifestyles. Furthermore, consumption of non-renewable products canmake a big difference. Instead of using fuel that emits carbon,consumers should go for energy sources such as wind force, solarpower, subterranean steam and hydro-electricity power (Bradford,2014). Moreover, driving a fuel-efficient car or saying no fossilfuel as an individual, one can reduce carbon dioxide pollution. Heor she can use the train, buses, a bike or walk to work. Anothersolution is buying Energy Star awarded appliances. They are approvedby Environmental Protection Agency (Emanuel, 2013).
Witha scientific consensus that the globe is becoming warmer than before,people need to stop engaging in activities contributing to theincrease of heat-trapping gases in the air. According to mostscientists, the problem will be a huge issue in the next between 10and 50 years. The atmosphere has limits, and if the pollution is notcleaned now, it will cause future irreversible damage (Climateaffects human health, 2016).
Climatechange occurs due to greenhouse gases effects in the atmosphere. There must be a balance of energy getting into and leaving the globalsystems. The earth becomes warm by absorbing the sun’s heat andcools down when the sun reflects back into space. However, human andnatural factors have affected the balance and hence causing climatechange. Due to this change, the amount of sun’s energy reaching theglobe becomes different. There is also change in earth’s surfaceand atmosphere reflectivity, and the greenhouse retains more heatthan usual (Climate impacts on human health, 2016).
Owingto climate change, the temperatures go high in some parts of theworld. This causes heat- related fatalities increasing the number ofdeaths every year. However, people can use adaptive responses suchas air conditioners to enable them to cope with the heat. The hightemperatures cause heat strokes, dehydration and respiratory,cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases (Climate impacts on humanhealth, 2016).
Organismshave not been spared by the global climate changes. They either adaptor move to another area. Those species with the limited capacity toadapt to the environmental changes become extinct. It is the duty ofhumans to stabilize the climatic conditions for them and theecosystems to thrive (Lightle, 2011).
Toaddress the global warming issue effectively, the amount of gasesemitted to the air must be reduced significantly. There are ways toaccomplish it but individuals must take responsibility. Reduction ofpersonal carbon emissions will help address the climate changethreat. Also, to get excellent results, the elected leaders mustimplement and support effective solutions (Global warming solutions,n.d). However, it can be as simple as ensuring people use onlyrenewable energy and avoid relying on fossil fuels. Creation offuel-efficient vehicles combined with other oil use reductionsolutions will alleviate the needs to use a huge amount of fueldaily. Businesses that must emit carbon should be given a limit andbe observed strictly. As well, investing in reliable energytechnologies and approaches to build an economy based on cleanenergy. Lastly, stop deforestation, which is highly associated withclimate change (Global warming solutions, n.d).
Themajor contributors to the climate change problem are many. RichardHeed, a geographer, has done an extensive research and concluded thattwo-thirds or 63% of the carbon emissions released into theatmosphere come from 90 institutions only. They include ExxonMobil,Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Shell and BP. These are some of thecompanies that have released most carbon worldwide. According toHeed, some have contributed at a higher percentage than others. Whileit is easy to say humans have caused climate change, among 7 billionpeople living on earth, only a few can truly determine the amount oftoxic gases released into the air (Frumhoff, 2013).
Thereare changes that can be made to manage the impact and reduce climatechange. The main one is reducing the emission of heat-trappinggasses. Apart from taking action at a personal level, more can bedone. Changing policies based how much pollution an industrygenerates can go a long way to reduce carbon footprint. The carbonprint should be measured to enable proper planning to reduce it(Adedeji, Okocha & Olatoye, 2014).
Industrialplants are allowed to dump carbon into the atmosphere. There are norules or limited emissions. This has become the main driver in globalwarming. However, for the first time, EPA has come with rules toreduce the emissions. They are known as Clean Power Plan and theyoffer a significant chance to help control the ever increasingconsequences of global warming (Adedeji et al., 2014).
TheUnited States Carbon Cap-and-Trade Plan auctions permit for gasemission. It is a policy that puts a price on toxic gas emissions.Every firm will be limited and must have a permit for every ton ofgas released into the air. It is a way to enforce limit or capgreenhouse gas amount each company is allowed to emit (Global warmingsolutions, n.d).
Reducinggreenhouse gas emissions is not easy. According to Jilles van denBeukel, a geophysicist and a former geoscientist working for Shellpeople need to consider personal lifestyles and not justgeo-engineering solutions (Mooney & Broskvar, 2014). The factthat some commodities are always on high demand makes it almostimpossible to stop production despite their adverse effects onclimate. Coal is a good example it has a large market share due toits low cost. This shows how it is sometimes difficult to makeadjustments. Another reason is that Carbon dioxide emission is globaland the associated costs are too high. Furthermore, gas and oilproducing firms have huge interests in using fossil fuels. It istheir main income and used in industries to build their economy. Suchcountries are no willing to use cleaner fuels. Lastly, third worldcountries have other priorities such as food, security, health,transport and energy and climate changes concerns are not taken asurgent as they should (Mooney & Broskvar, 2014).
Thoughkeeping the global temperatures from raising more that 2 degreespre-industrial levels looks difficult, it is essential. It wouldbring disastrous impact because it can increase warming. This wouldfood insecurity, affect sea level and affect the feedback of runawaycarbon dynamic (Hansen et al., 2013).
Climatechange remains one of the most profound challenges that the worldmust tackle with urgency. Further delay increases the cost ofinaction and is likely to grow beyond what would be achievable. Thismakes it extremely important to act now as science has proven beyondany reasonable doubt that the greenhouse gases are destroying theplanet. The challenge must be dealt with and it will begin withthose in leadership positions. From there, everyone will play theirrole to save the earth.
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