Climate change is an ongoing issue in the world today. There are studies and facts that show what climate change is and how badly the Earth and its many organisms and environments are being affected. There are many different known causes of climate change, the main factors being greenhouse gases, humans, and the Sun. The effects of these causes include changes in the temperature of the Earth, in frequency and strength of natural disasters, and in many species and habitats in the world, including the arctic and the ocean. So if we know what causes climate change and the effects, shouldn’t we be able to, if not want to, fix them? There is enough scientific evidence to prove that greenhouse gases and humans are the main factors of climate change, and they all have different effects on the Earth.
Greenhouse gases are gases produced on Earth, mainly by humans, that when released, get trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere, and thus cause an increase in temperature. These greenhouse gases consist of water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons. (Climate change causes, 2019) Carbon dioxide and methane are both gases produced by both humans and natural happenings. Carbon dioxide can be released through natural events, such as volcanic eruptions, but most of the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere comes from human action, such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels. Methane mainly comes from decomposing waste. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is produced from fertilizers, both commercial and organic. Chlorofluorocarbons can destroy the Earth’s ozone layer, which can contribute to the Sun’s effect on climate change. Water vapor is the only greenhouse gas not produced by humans, rather it is a result of the other greenhouse gases warming up the Earth, which causes water vapor to form and increases the possibility of clouds and rain. (Climate change causes, 2019)
Humans are a main factor in producing greenhouse gases, but they are also a main cause of many natural disasters, including , flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. As mentioned earlier, greenhouse gases warm up the Earth’s surface, and as a result produce water vapor which in turn produces clouds and rain. Along with the increase in rain, the Earth’s warmer surface temperature causes the world’s glaciers to melt and cause a rise in sea-levels. Flooding in the forests, or lack thereof, is due to the human action of deforestation. The job of trees in a rainforest is to catch rain to avoid flooding. When humans cut down these trees, the forest quickly floods. Floods can also be caused by bridges and man-made dams, which both stop the natural flow of bodies of water and cause them to overflow.
The intensity of hurricanes is increased by climate change. In an article from the The New York Times states, “Hurricanes get energy from warm ocean water, and the oceans are heating up… Compounding the problem, warmer air can hold more moisture, which can lead to the kinds of intense rain events and high levels of inland flooding…” (Schwartz, 2018) As already mentioned, humans contribute to climate change with producing greenhouse gases, so the increased temperature of the ocean that causes more intense hurricanes can be directly related to humans.
Earthquakes have become a common occurrence in the world, whether it be a small one that you barely feel while sitting in your bed, or a large one that destroys a whole town. The cause of many earthquakes is directly related to human cause. Mining and fracking, both essentially forms of drilling into the earth, can cause tremors, which are caused by stress on the rocks under Earth’s surface. Man-made dams not only cause extreme flooding, but also cause earthquakes. Man-made dams often hold an extreme weight of water in a place where it is not natural for that much pressure to be present on the Earth. In her article, Catherine Brahic mentions, “By artificially holding a large volume of water in one place, dams increase pressure on fractures beneath the surface of the earth. What’s more, water has a lubricating effect, making it easier for the fractures – or faults – to slip.” (Brahic, 2008) Man-made dams are the main cause of extremely powerful and dangerous earthquakes.
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