CLIMATE CHANGE: WE ARE IT’S CAUSE, WE CAN BE THE SOLUTION!
WE ARE IT’S CAUSE, WE CAN BE THE SOLUTION!
Have you ever go hiking and felt the sun almost burned the life out of your skin? Or going to work at around 8:00 A.M or 9:00 A.M in the morning, and the heat is really intense, that when you arrived at work, it’s almost like you’ve worked an 8-hour duty in a construction site? And you’re worrying too much for UV rays penetrating dee Annoying isn’t it?
Now imagine, that your home is slowly disappearing and you can’t do anything about it; just like how the polar bears in the North Pole feel, where their ice habitat is slowly disappearing. Or let’s imagine ourselves being a fish, living in a deep blue sea and our coral habitat is slowly dying and the reason is the rising heat in the ocean. And these two examples isn’t just an imagination. It’s the horrible truth! And it’s happening right at this very moment. All of the life here on Earth is in the brink of destruction because of this thing called Climate Change.
BUT WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
According to various scientific studies, it is a change in global climate patterns, where the average temperature of the earth rises up. It is the direct effect of Global Warming and in the past 50 years, it has increased fast and in an alarming rate.
There are many natural reasons why climate change is occurring, like volcanic eruption, variation of solar radiations, and plate tectonics. But drastic change in the Earth’s temperature is all caused by human activities which started since the Industrial Revolution, where people started building machines and factories, and relied mainly on burning of fossil fuel as the main source of energy and unknowingly emitting elements that causes the entrapment of heat because of greenhouse gases.
AND WHAT IS GREENHOUSE GAS?
So Earth is covered up with atmosphere, and without this atmosphere Earth will be a very cold place without any living thing. Atmosphere is what makes our planet warm enough for us to live in it. And greenhouse gas is a crucial and essential part of the atmosphere that makes the planet warm. But too much greenhouse is really harmful. Too much greenhouse gas traps large amount of heat. Too much heat will cause death to all of the living things here on Earth. Since the Industrial Revolution started, we, humans, have been emitting excess greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Basically, some of the heat can’t enter our atmosphere because of our protective shield called the ozone layer, while some of the heat from the sun that the Earth received is reflected back to the space by the ice glaciers in the North and South Pole, and the rest of the heat is absorbed by the Earth.
And because there is too much pollution in the atmosphere, these green house gases trap more heat inside the Earth and it’s so thick that it makes the average temperature abnormally high. And also, human pollution thatcauses the deflation of our Ozone layer is really evident that now, our protective shield is almost gone and harmful radiations now enter the Earth.
The dying ocean also plays a major role in reducing greenhouse gases. The ocean contains life forms that absorb carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. So the ocean balances the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But since the glaciers are continuously melting, the amount of the heat that gets reflected becomes lower. This property of the ocean and the ice is called Albedo. To explain it simply, it is how a whiter surface reflects more lights back than how a darker surface absorbs more light. As mentioned above, our natural reflectors (the glaciers) is slowly decreasing, which means the deep, dark ocean now absorbs all the heat from the atmosphere. And the heat causes the life forms that absorb carbon dioxide to die.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO HUMAN ACTIVITIES
Aside from the Earth’s natural greenhouse gases, humans emit Industrial Greenhouse Gas. And these Industrial Greenhouse Gases are highly capable of absorbing Infrared Radiations, much more than the natural greenhouse gas. Some of these elements like Halocarbons are extremely hard to break and will stay in the atmosphere for a very long time.
The infamous CFC or Chloro-fluro-carbon is one of these Industrial Greenhouse Gases. The CFC is known to decrease the ozone layer. CFC’s are emitted thru air conditioners and refrigerators. Thanks to Montreal Protocol of 1987, the productions of those things have been banned.
Some of human activities induce high levels of Earth’s Natural Greenhouse Gases like Methane and Carbon Dioxide thru deforestation and high production of meat livestock. But burning of fossil fuel is the main cause of high level Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and it affects almost everything including life in the ocean.
The ocean is one of the most affected when it comes to unbalanced greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The ocean absorbs almost one third of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and as levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, so do the carbon dioxide levels in the ocean and it causes the ocean to be more acidic. This process is called Ocean Acidification. While, Coral Bleaching is the term used for the process of whitening of corals because of rising temperature of the ocean that it’s death. Ocean Acidification and Coral Bleaching can cause less survival of marine organisms, and marine ecosystem. And death of the ocean life could mean the death of humanity.
GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL AND WE ARE AT THE END GAME
According to a blog post:
“It’s a banner week for the end of the world, because we’ve officially pushed atmospheric carbon levels past their dreaded 400 parts per million. Permanently.”
Tragic. Humanity is really despicable. We let our greediness lead into this.
Carbon levels are high so what does it mean?
– It means unbalanced food chain. Unbalanced food chain means unbalanced ecosystem. Rising heat impacts the growth of algae, the start of food chain. Without enough nutrients, more species will die and become extinct.
– It means extinction rates of different species will step up. World Wildlife Fund guesses that thousand of species could become extinct every year.
This is really saddening. And for most people, it’s business as normal because it does not affect them… for now.
WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Ten to twenty years from now, what will happen to Humanity? To our planet Earth?
Actually, we don’t need to wait for 10 or 20 years because the effects of climate change is really evident right now. And here are some of its examples:
As the temperature continue to rise, the normal seasonal change will be disrupted. Climate pattern is important not only to humanity but also to plants and animals. It will affect one’s species way of living. For example, in India, one-horned rhinos live on grasslands and they rely on the annual monsoon to bring timely and sufficient rain to replenish the grasslands they feed on. But as climate change affects the seasonal pattern, it could bring more droughts or floods causing the depletion of the vegetation they are feeding on.
Sea level will rise because of the melting ice caps. More shorelines and islands will continue to disappear as the sea level rises. There will be increased coastal flooding to low-lying communities. NASA calculated that the average sea level rise level rise is 3.41 per year. And that’s really a high percentage. Few years from now, the island that we’re living on will be covered in seawater if we don’t do anything about this now.
Wildfire will more likely occur in our forests, grasslands and mountains.As the temperature gets higher every year, it will result to hotter and drier land temperature causing more wildfires to ignite. Wildfires may cause desertification to some areas. Wildfire will consume most of the animals’ habitats. And lastly, it will also likely damage agricultural farms and will affect crop production.
Hurricanes and storms are natural part of our climate system. It brings life to some but the more usual is it brought the death of many. Researchers found that hurricanes and storms will now be more powerful and destructive.Storm surges will be higher and it will penetrate further in low-lying areas, there will be heavier precipitation and higher and destructive wind. These are all caused and intensified by the warmer temperature and the rising sea level.
Food production is also at big risk because of climate change.Food quality will be lower and the length of growing season is elongated because of frequent drought or flooding. Crops will significantly drop and more people will experience undernourishment and hunger. Some crops will be almost impossible to grow, like the cacao plant that requires certain temperature for it to grow.
Ocean Acidification and Coral Bleaching, as mentioned earlier, will cause an irreparable damage to the marine life and its ecosystem just like what happened to the Great Barrier Reef. With the marine ecosystem at risk, some of the animals like the sea turtles will be at high risk of extinction too.And let us all remember that most of the oxygen with breathe is from the ocean, so what would happen to us if it’s entire marine life is dead.
Climate Change also affects the supply of drinking water. Aside from Drought, Pollution, drainage and other human activities as a problem to the supply of freshwater, the climate change makes it worse. Water cycle is balanced process from evaporation to precipitation. Warmer temperature will increase the rate of evaporation of water, in effect it will increase the atmosphere’s capacity to hold water. Increased evaporation may cause drought some areas and fall as excess precipitation on other areas, thus, causing flood. Freshwater resources along the coasts face risks from sea level rise. As the sea rises, saltwater moves into freshwater areas, more freshwater is removed from rivers for human use.
The world will face extinction andbiodiversity loss. Biodiversity is important for plants and animals to maintain their habitat and ecosystem. Species extinction rate is extremely high and half the living species could become extinct by the end of the century. Biodiversity loss could slow down disease control and increase the chance of spreading infectious and auto-immune diseases.
Climate Change will have a big impact in human health, mentally and physically.Aside from the annoying heat that we experience every day, more frequent heat waves will lead to higher percentage of serious health risk, that’ll lead to heat stroke and other existing medical conditions. Increased air pollution will lead to longer and more intense allergies and spread of insect-borne diseases. Climate Change will also affect human’s mind and behavior psychologically. It impacts psychosocial and mental health including stress, guilt, and anxiety to adapt and cope with the changing weather. It will also cause the increase of social disorder such as post-traumatic disorder, suicide, stress, abuse and violence.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP PREVENT CLIMATE CHANGE?
Just because it doesn’t affect you personally doesn’t mean it’s not really happening. The damage that, we, humans, have done to the earth is somewhat impossible to repair but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to turn the tables around. It will take everyone’s effort to save our planet, to save ourselves.
If there is a silver lining in this gray sky, it’s that various scientists and researchers never stop finding ways of minimizing our CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. And countries around the world is starting to go green when it comes to resources of energy like UK, Sweden, Germany and France. These countries have the lowest carbon dioxide emissions and they are shifting to renewable energy instead of using fossil fuel energy.
If we want to act immediately and prevent the continuity of global warming, the government of every country should have platforms and laws that helps fight climate change. By using solar and wind power instead of fossil fuel power, yearly carbon emissions will be cut 1/3. Building of solar farms and wind farms as a new source of renewable energy is a great solution. Implementation of new innovations like exterior finishes that breaks down air pollutants, and smog eating concretes will also be a big help in its small little ways. Every country should switch to electronic vehicles instead of using petroleum and other fossil fuel.
Having a 1-child only rule is a big help too. By controlling population we can also control climate change. More number of people means more consumption of resources that leads to more usage of the planet. Upgrading of infrastructures and invention of hybrid cars that isn’t using petroleum would cut emission of greenhouse gas and control climate change. Greening transportation by improving efficiency (miles per gallon) in all modes of transport, switching to low-carbon fuels, and reducing vehicle miles traveled through smart growth and more efficient mass transportation systems. Developing and deploying new low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies by researching into and development of the next generation of low-carbon technologies will be critical to deep mid-century reductions in global emissions. We can fight global warming by reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and by making our food production practices more sustainable. And lastly, every country should ban tree cutting at all cost and start planting more trees. Planting new trees will quickly reduce the rate of emission of gases.
IT’S ALL UP TO US IN ORDER TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM
As an individual you can help the environment. Small things are the ones that really matters. And saving the environment all comes down to each and everyone’s discipline.
- Be informed and get involved.
By reading this, you’re already one step ahead. Be sure to tell everyone that global warming is real and it’s happening. And that we need each other’s help in solving this crisis. Take action and inform everyone that we should minimize our greenhouse gas emissions.
- Be energy efficient.
Turn off that fan or computer when not in use. Unplug the television and other appliances when you’re going out. Switch to LED bulbs and get rid of that fluorescent bulbs.
- Eat less burgers, eat less meat.
Lack of demand means decline of supply. If we, at least, stopped eating burgers more often, there will be a smaller amount of methane emitted to the atmosphere. How did this happen? Burger meat are from cows. Cow’s poop contains methane. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
- Use public transport or carpool.
If a person drives every day to work he/she needs to pump petrol after 3 days and it causes carbon dioxide. Lessen it by using public bus or train in your everyday commute.
- Consume less, cut down the waste you’re producing.
Buy less stuff. Use reusable grocery bag. Think green when making purchases. Waste prevention and smart shopping are even more effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Recycle & reuse.
Reuse things. Recycle plastics, metal and glass. Recycling helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption. Using of recycled materials to make new products reduces the need for raw materials. This avoids greenhouse gas emissions that would result from extracting or mining raw materials.
- Elect leaders who make climate action a priority.
There’s no better way than having a leader who cares about the environment as much as you do.
- Support groups that help prevent global warming.
Be a big help by donating and supporting those groups. They are working hard for our sake and they need our support and financial help.
YES, YOU LOVE THE OUTDOORS. BUT HAVE YOU DONE ANYTHING FOR OUR BELOVED NATURE?
Climate Change will most likely affect our favorite outdoor activities. Most of us, outdoor enthusiast believes that connecting with nature means to get out there and immerse ourselves with nature by doing activities like mountain climbing and free-diving. We crave for those adventures and experiences which bring us closer to nature, but do we do anything to save it from climate change?
As an outdoor enthusiast, we sure wouldn’t want to see our mountains to burn because of wildfire. We wouldn’t want to hike and discover that the trails that we’ve once walked into is now unpassable to due fallen trees and landslide. We wouldn’t want to swim in beaches filled with garbage. We wouldn’t want to go for cycling for miles to experience heat stroke because of the dreaded heat waves. We wouldn’t want to go for free dive just to see dead corals below. But most of all, we wouldn’t want that our nature paradise that we’ve experienced will not be experienced by our future generations.
So, what can we, outdoor enthusiasts, do to help in preventing global warming?
- Practice LNT principles
Practicing LNT principles is a big help not just preventing global warming but also conserving the nature.
- Tell your friends.
Encourage the people that surround you and convince them to do what is right and good for our environment. And let’s be mindful in every action we take that has an impact. And if we want to protect and save outdoor from the dreaded climate change, we should stand and speak up LOUD. If you’re a hiker and you organize a group, you could encourage people to help lessen/ avoid emitting greenhouse gas.
- Join tree-planting events.
Not just planting, we should also nurture these trees and help reforest our mountains.
- Join Clean-up drives.
Minimize use of one-time use materials.
- Stop patronizing one-time use materials. Buy equipment that will last long and take really good care of it.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
If you can use bicycle on your way to work, then do it. Small things matters.
- Support or join organizations with green initiatives.
Your small donation is a big help, but, joining such groups will help you learn more about how to prevent climate change and it will help you spread awareness about it.
- Make a commitment to live greener
Discipline is the key. Change starts within ourselves.
9.Remember every trail we cycled into, every mountain we climb, every ocean we surf into, and every living thing we encounter is affected by our actions. Protecting them and taking care of them is our job as an environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast.
THIS IS OUR HOME
Let’s admit the fact that we’ve been doing things carelessly, and contributed in causing climate change without thinking what might happen to the future. We’ve gone too far and abused our home.Let’s not wait for the time that our forest is gone, our oceans are filled with garbage and toxins and our children or grandchildren suffers because of what we’ve done.
But it’s not too late to help, we can rebuild our future. Different countries have already made a step in helping prevent the climate change. Let’s spread the awareness and help elongate the life of our one and only home and every species living in it.
We are in the end game and we need to act fast.
Earth needs your help as much as you need Earth.
Green Mountain Tribe Inc.