Our Earth’s average temperature has gone up by 0.9ºC since the 19th century (Callery, 2018). That may not seem like a big enough difference to cause that much trouble but it’s effects are noticeable and undeniable. From higher temperatures to higher water levels the effects of global warming and how rapid it’s changing earth and our lives. Global warming can be defined as “the upward temperature trend across the entire Earth,” (Callery, 2016) according to NASA’s Earth Science Communications Team Website that deals with “Global Climate Change.” Global warming is caused by the increase in greenhouse gases, most specifically carbon dioxide, that have been, released into the atmosphere. When the sun’s energy comes down to Earth, it is reflected upward as heat. Some of that heat makes it out back to space but because of the growing amount of greenhouse gases, some of the heat is then trapped and therefore causes the earth to become hotter. These conditions have had a major impact on Earth.
There is a correlation between the rising temperatures and the rising of the sea levels. Glaciers have been adding more water to the nearby bodies of water which in turn causes the sea levels to rise (Salvador, 2013). Also, when water is heated it expands. Sea levels have increased by 8 inches since the 1800’s with the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast gaining 8 inches just in the past 50 years (Salvador, 2013). If the conditions were to continue this way, we would be up to 16 extra inches of sea level in another 50 years but more than likely with the rise of trends it could possible be more than that. It’s estimated that 40% of the U.S. population is located mainly in high population-density areas in the coast and 8 out the 10 largest cities in the world are on or near a coast(Niepold, 2017).
Another impact is how it affects our weather events. Some people don’t necessarily believe that global warming is anything more than a government hoax.
One recent chain of events that have caused those non-believers and skeptics to fuel their theory is that fact that areas, like parts of Texas, including Kingsville, received a surprise snowfall back in December of 2017. The question that can come to mind is, “If the Earth is getting hotter, then why are areas that are usually hotter getting colder weather?” The thing is that another effect of global warming is extreme weather events. Since the temperatures are rising, water evaporates quicker which then in turn causes more frequent and heavier rains and snowfall. One statistic states that “the amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest one percent of storms has risen nearly 20 percent on average in the United States,” (Wisland, 2011).
With more rain, we can also expect to experience more flooding as well.
The chances of reversing the effects of global warming are slim to none but there are some changes we can make to help make sure that it doesn’t continue to rise in the manner that it currently is. The first step is to work on reducing the release of greenhouse gases. Since the times of the Industrial Revolution, more CO2 has been emitted as a result of the burning of fossil fuels to help run machinery. With regulatory laws and policies, we could help reduce that amount. Another way is to try and reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by reducing deforestation and planting more trees and plants (Knell, 2017) since carbon dioxide is a key factor in the photosynthesis process. More plants means less carbon dioxide and an increase in their by-product, oxygen.
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