The Topic That’s Really Heating Up: Global Climate Change
Spreading awareness about global climate change and the things that people can do to help will reduce the amount of man made climate change on Earth.
Dear Next President,
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have peaked since the Industrial Revolution. The revolution brought efficiency and ease to an all time high, but it also did the same to greenhouse gases; and things have only gotten worse. Between the year 1880 and now, global temperature has increased by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit. This may not seem like much, but when you put it in perspective this number has factored in all of the temperatures from all around the world, and there are definitely a lot of places in the world. This is all mostly because of our human activity.
Models that only show the progress of natural processes cannot account for the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, but models that also factor in the human contribution are able to fill in the gap between what is natural and what our world has become. The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, changes in land use, biomass burning, the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers, and even the decomposition of trash just sitting in our landfills all are sources of methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.
Methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide are all “forcing” climate change. This means that these gases do not respond physically or chemically to temperature change and remain semipermanently in the atmosphere. These types of gases are what prevent the heat in the atmosphere from escaping and are the major cause of global warming; but just as well, we are the major cause of these gases. If we could lessen the production of any one of these gases then it will make a big impact on our world.
Carbon dioxide definitely poses the greatest threat to our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is released when coal, oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels are burned for energy. If we, as individuals, can increase awareness and decrease energy consumption then we can work together to bring down the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. If more people were informed and aware of what they could do to conserve energy and protect the atmosphere, then they might be able to make better decisions when it comes to energy consumption. Even just turning of a light before leaving the house or walking to the neighbor’s dinner party instead of driving, add up and make a huge difference in terms of energy conservation.
Most people don’t think that the little things that they do to conserve energy could ever make an impact. But if the world worked together to inform everyday people that the little things do matter and that what they do everyday can make a difference, perhaps more people would start to make the small acts of energy conservation that do matter.
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere aren’t just going to stop building up. If we want to change that then we, as a planet, are going to have to start working together. Even if working together just means doing a small thing like turning off your kitchen light before bed, or a bigger thing like running your house on solar power, our everyday acts of energy conservation make a difference and we need to make sure that people know that.
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