Global Warming Current Status: Full Review
By: Peter Coll
When looking at information involving global warming, many might find the data misleading or inaccurate. The internet is a vessel for the sharing of incorrect information, including global warming. This revelation can make people entirely disregard information that is accurate and truthful.
With that being said, our extensive amount of research on this topic has led us to formulate this article containing valuable notes that are worthwhile reading. In this article, you’re guaranteed to find all the essential information regarding our current status of global warming.
Additionally, sharing this article is exceptionally worthwhile and highly encouraged. This is because sharing such an article with your acquaintances, friends, and family is going to offer them valuable information to warn them about the dangers of increasing greenhouse gases and the effects that are caused by global warming. Thus, it also helps others make a conscious effect of preventing global warming from getting even worse.
How Critical is Global Warming Now?
At this point, global warming is critical. There is no doubt about that. How do we know this? There’s more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any point in time in the last 800,000 years. This might not sound too alarming, but this signifies some disturbing facts.
The biggest misconception is that global warming and climate change are terms that can be used interchangeably. However, this isn’t the case. The majority of scientists classify global warming as the increase in the Earth’s surface temperature. This temperature rise is what causes climate change.
From the increase in the Earth’s surface temperature, there are several impacts this has on the entire planet. These include the rise in water temperature, rise in sea levels, and the change in animal population and habitats. However, there are many other significant impacts global warming has on our planet, which we’re going to discuss later in this article.
With that being said, it’s very telling that there is more carbon dioxide in the world than in any other given point in the last 800,000 years. The effects of climate change have also played a role in causing extreme weather conditions. Mass deforestation has taken place, which has left our planet with fewer trees and less oxygen production. This only reiterates that global warming is negatively changing the way our world is functioning.
Thus, it’s clear that global warming is critical, as climate change is leaving our planet with less oxygen and more carbon dioxide. This, as you can tell, isn’t something we want occurring on Earth as we need oxygen to live, not carbon dioxide.
Climate Change Issues
It’s no secret that global climate change has had many observable effects on our environment. Animals have become extinct, sea levels have risen, and glaciers have shrunk. After discovering the effect humans were having on the planet, scientists have since predicted that climate change would result in what we’re now experiencing. These include more intense heat waves that last for more extended periods, accelerated seal levels rising, as well as the loss of sea ice.
When looking at the range of published evidence, all of this information indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are incredibly significant and likely to increase as time goes on. Experienced and knowledgeable scientists are entirely confident that global temperatures are going to continue to rise for many decades to come. This is resulting from greenhouse gases that are produced by human activities.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comprises of more than 1,300 scientists from many different countries, including the U.S. The knowledge shared among these scientists has led the IPCC to believe that future temperatures are likely to rise by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the coming century.
Additionally, the scientists making up the IPCC also believe that the extent of consequences brought on by climate change on specific regions is going to vary over time. Not to mention, these increased temperatures are said to produce beneficial impacts in a variety of areas while also causing many harmful effects in other regions from this increased temperature. Even with the beneficial effects of these increased temperatures in some areas, the net annual costs of climate change are still likely to increase over time due to global temperatures rising.
With everything mentioned above, there are many long-term effects of global warming and climate change. Some of these effects have been identified through the Third and Fourth National Climate Assessment Reports and are detailed below:
Global Temperature and Sea Level Rise
A global rise in temperatures is being experienced and has led to many different elements changing. One of the things that have been affected by a worldwide warming climate is seawater. As a result of increasing temperatures, oceans have become warmer. This has led to ice in colder regions in the ocean melting.
Glaciers have shrunk in size while ice sheets have also diminished. However, this ice doesn’t evaporate into the air. Instead, it becomes water and adds to the ocean. As a result, more water collects in the seas, which increases the sea level.
Coastal regions are expected to be most affected by this rise in sea level. Scientists believe these rising sea levels to have a potentially massive impact on many different areas. Additionally, the city of Venice in Italy is expected to be completely underwater within the next 50 years due to increasing sea levels. Scientists have determined that the world’s sea level has continuously been rising since as far back as 1900. During this time, sea levels have been increasing at a rate of no less than 0,04 inches each year.
Ocean Warming and Acidification
The increase in greenhouse gas and fossil fuel pollution isn’t only affecting the sea level. When looking at the bigger picture, this carbon pollution is also changing the chemistry of the ocean. It’s doing this by slowing the ocean’s ability to uptake carbon dioxide. As a result of this, ocean acidification is taking place, which harms shellfish and other marine organisms that depend on the ocean remaining as a more alkaline solution.
However, this rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is also driving up the ocean’s surface temperatures. Thus, ocean warming is taking place and leading to harmful environments for marine life to survive in. As the ocean’s waters are rapidly becoming warmer, the marine wildlife isn’t getting the opportunity to adapt fast enough to these changes.
One example of this occurring is the coral reefs along many coastlines in the world. Coral reefs are susceptible mechanisms, which means that adaptability to changes in specific environments isn’t prevalent. Due to this, many diseases can spread exceptionally quickly and cause bleaching to occur. All of these threats can kill many coral reefs in the world while others have already suffered.
Scientists have recorded that ocean acidification has played a significant role in the world’s largest body of water. Surface waters making up the ocean are now known to be more than 30 percent more acidic than at the beginning of the industrial era. Not to mention, ocean acidification is currently happening at an even faster rate than any other point in time. In addition to this, research has led many scientists to believe that ocean surface waters are likely to be more than double as acidic as these waters were in the last century if we don’t put plans in place to reduce our carbon emissions.
Shrinking Ice Sheets
There’s no doubt that shrinking ice sheets are a problem for the world. Scientists have found that these ice sheets have shrunk by more than 4,000 gigatons since 1994. It’s believed that the primary reason for these ice sheets shrinking is the warming ocean that’s present under these ice sheets.
With that being said, one of the biggest concerns that come from these ice sheets shrinking is the global rise of sea levels. However, this isn’t the only problem expected. The melting of ice sheets might also change the circulation of oceans and the global temperature patterns. Not to mention, this shrinking of ice sheets also holds the potential to drive extreme weather events across the world.
Additionally, the melting ice sheets in Greenland might cause currents to slow down. As a result, heat transport can become more sluggish, which can negatively impact the climate patterns throughout the North Atlantic. What’s worse is that many scientists believe this process to have already started.
The research collected indicates that ice sheets located in polar regions have a crucial role in the world’s climate in the future. This can cause extreme weather conditions to occur while entirely disrupting the mechanisms making up the ocean.
This is because the shrinking of ice sheets produces large influxes of fresh water into the ocean, and its failure to mix with the rest of the sea can cause catastrophic problems. This influx of freshwater forms a layer on the surface of the water. This layer traps heat beneath the ocean, which leads to the ocean’s deeper layers warming up.
As a result, warm ocean currents are created. These warm ocean currents pose a threat to more structures in the world’s ocean. These currents are known to melt glaciers on many parts of the ice sheet increasingly. This information indicates that this shrinking of ice sheets can change the climate system, making it more variable and prone to disturbances and fluctuations, such as extreme weather events.
A glacial retreat is known to occur when its terminus doesn’t extend as far as it previously has done. There are many reasons that glaciers might retreat, and it’s caused by ice melting or ablating at a more rapid pace than snowfall has the opportunity to accumulate and produce new glacial ice.
Glaciers are known to require particular climate conditions and are commonly found in high snowfall regions during winter months and in areas with cool temperatures in the summer months. These specific conditions ensure that the snow accumulating during the winter isn’t lost during the summer months. It’s for this reason that many glaciers are present in high alpine and polar regions.
The retreating of glaciers is a pressing issue for a variety of reasons. This is because glaciers act as reservoirs of water that are available throughout the summer. The melting of glaciers provides water to the ecosystem throughout drier months, which creates a perennial stream of water for animals and plants.
However, these glaciers need to be replenished, or else the structures making up these glaciers are bound to retreat. Due to this, the benefits of melting glaciers in the summer months aren’t going to be present, which is going to leave animals and plants without a steady stream of water.
Climate change caused by global warming is causing glaciers to thin and recede. This is a direct response to warmer temperatures and also drives ice sheet loss. Scientists understand that glaciers are sentinels of the present climate change. This is because glacial retreating is one of the most visible pieces of evidence of global warming.
An example of this is that the white surfaces of glaciers have the functionality to reflect the sun’s rays, which ultimately helps to maintain the current climate that we have in the world. However, when these glaciers retreat, we’re left with darker exposed surfaces that work to absorb the rays of sunlight and release heat. This is contributing to the rising temperatures of the Earth’s surfaces.
Several problems arise from the retreating of glaciers. Melting glaciers contribute to the rising sea levels, which we have already highlighted the adverse effects this poses to the ocean’s mechanisms and climate change. However, glacial retreating also increases coastal erosion and elevates storm surge. This is because the warming ocean temperatures produce more intense and frequent coastal storms, such as typhoons and hurricanes.
Decreased Snow Cover
Snow cover is often referred to as the amount of land covered by snow at any given point in time. With that being said, more snow cover offers many benefits. One of these advantages is that more snow entails that more energy is reflected into space. This results in cooling. Thus, less snow cover is going to increase the Earth’s temperature, as more energy is absorbed in the surface of the Earth.
This snow cover has a massive impact on the climate, while changes in the environment affect the world’s snow cover. When looking at the bigger picture, warmer temperatures are directly shortening the time snow is present on the ground. This is specifically evident in the Northern Hemisphere.
In addition to this, climate change from global warming also plays a role in reducing snowfall. This limits the amount of snow present before spring melts are even present. The increase in the Earth’s surface temperature is also shortening the snow cover seasons.
An example of this is that climate change has led to warmer temperatures in Alaska, which has led to the snow melting earlier during the spring and resulting in a more extended snow-free summer season. With that being said, climate change doesn’t only mean that temperatures are rising. Extreme weather patterns also result in intense snowfall in some regions. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that snow is going to continue to fall.
Many scientists have identified that there is a massive threat to the world as a result of climate change. This is that the increase of the Earth’s surface temperatures can cause snow to become extinct. Although this seems far-fetched, it really isn’t in some regions. From various studies, scientists have identified that the total amount of snow that’s falling in certain areas might drop to only 65 percent of what is being produced now. From here, snow is likely to decrease each year as the carbon emissions in the air increase and surface temperatures rise.
Declining Arctic Sea Ice
The Arctic Sea is classified as an ocean basin that’s surrounded by landmasses with mountainous features. The sea ice extent present in the Arctic is limited by the landmasses that are surrounding it, and this sea ice extent is frequently changing with the seasons.
However, with help from satellite records, the sea ice in the Arctic has been shown to have drastically decreased since the end of the 1970s. This satellite record started in 1978 and has been demonstrated that minimum Arctic ice extent (generally occurring in September) has decreased by approximately 40 percent.
This sea ice expands to cover a larger area each Arctic winter. However, this sea ice is produced to be thinner than it once was. Evidence has been shown to suggest that this decline in sea ice has never been seen for the past 1,450 years.
The fact that Arctic sea ice is declining poses a severe problem. This is because the decline in ice means an increase in water, which triggers a rise in seas. This rising sea level, as we have discussed, is a severe problem that can endanger coastal cities and small island nations. The results of rising sea levels are storm surges and exacerbating coasting floods while making dangerous weather events more frequent and intense.
In addition to this, the changes in the amount of sea ice present have the ability to disrupt average ocean circulation. As a result of this, more changes can occur to the global climate. The disruption of these ocean circulations plays a massive role in increasing the temperature of these waters, and even the smallest change in the temperature can result in a more significant warming over time.
Not to mention, this sea ice works to reflect the sun’s heat away from the planet. However, as this Arctic sea ice is declining, so is the white covering that’s reflecting the heat from the sun’s rays. Thus, deeper seas are being exposed that are dark and absorb the heat of the sunlight. As a result, the water temperatures are again being exposed to conditions that increase its temperature, which provides an environment for climate change to thrive.
The economic impact that extreme weather has is one measure showing that climate change is affecting the number of extreme events the world is currently experiencing. This is shown as the number of billion-dollar extreme events is increasing drastically. There are many different extreme events that are known to be influenced by climate change. These include tropical storms and floods.
From extensive research and studies, scientists have been led to believe that climate change has the ability to worsen the impacts, intensity, and frequency of many different extreme weather events. The National Climate Assessment has shown that the number and strength of major hurricanes, heavy downpours, and heatwaves have increased in the U.S. and other countries.
An example of this is that sea-level rise has been shown to increase the impacts of coastal storms while global warming is able to place more stress on water supplies during a drought. However, the links between climate change and the various extreme events have different causes and impacts, such as:
It’s not hard to believe that climate change plays a role in the increasing risk and extent of wildfires. The risk of wildfires is dependent on a variety of factors, including the presence of shrubs, trees, and other potential fuel, soil moisture, and temperature. With that being said, all of these variables have strong indirect and direct links to climate change and climate variability.
Climate change is scientifically proven to enhance the drying of forest organic matter. These are the materials that work to spread the wildfire. Thus, the presence of climate change has been the reason for the number of large fires doubling between the years 1984 and 2015.
Researchers believe that a more extended fire season is formed from the presence of climate change, as this has created drier and warmer conditions in many different regions across the world. As a result of this, the risk of wildfires occurring is increased (with the frequency and intensity increasing as well).
Scientists are becoming more confident that there is a definite link between climate change and the presence of hurricanes. Research has found that warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea levels are directly causing hurricanes to become more frequent and intense.
Warmer sea surface temperatures are linked to intensifying tropical storm wind speeds, which have the ability to deliver more damage once these hurricanes make landfall. In addition to this, sea level rise is also said to make future coastal storms, such as hurricanes, costlier and more damaging.
Additionally, areas that are most affected by hurricanes are reported to be shifting poleward. This is mostly associated with expanding tropics and high global average temperatures. These changes in tropical storm patterns are moving northward in the Atlantic. This is said to place more human lives and property at risk.
Extreme precipitation events have caused more rainfall to occur. In addition to this, increased rainfall has also become more frequent. Many scientists believe this trend to continue as the Earth’s surface temperature continues to warm.
This is because warmer air has the ability to hold more water vapor. With that being said, an atmosphere with more moisture has been observed to produce more extreme precipitation events.
It’s no secret that hot days across the globe are getting more frequent and hotter while we’re experiencing fewer colder days. From this, heat waves are becoming more and more common and even more intense. These temperatures are increasing as greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere are becoming more potent. A recent study has reached the assumption that the annual number of days that have a heat index of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit are said to double in the future.
This information is alarming enough, but this extreme heat poses a new problem. Extreme heat is known to increase the risk of other types of disasters occurring. This heat has the ability to exacerbate droughts. Extremely dry conditions commonly found in areas with droughts enhance the risk of wildfires forming. Overall, rising temperatures across the world create a massive threat to people, the economy, and ecosystems globally.
The presence of climate change enhances the chances of worsening droughts in various parts of the world. Research shows that there’s a number of ways that climate change contributes to droughts. Warmer surface temperatures increase evaporation from the soil, which makes periods that receive low precipitation drier than if these areas were under cooler conditions.
In addition to this, changing climates also alters atmospheric rivers. These atmospheric rivers are classified as narrow streams of moisture that are transported in the atmosphere. This creates the risk of disrupting precipitation patterns. The combination of warmer temperatures and shifting atmospheric rivers can also adversely affect the snowpack and melt in many areas, which can potentially decimate essential water supply.
The increase in frequency and intensity of droughts poses several threats. This includes negatively impacting the transportation of water and the effective functioning of the agriculture sector. In addition to this, wildfires are likely to increase in drought-like conditions, while the reliability of electricity-producing plants is brought into question if these plants require cooling water to conduct operations safely.
Prevention Measures: How Can We Stop Climate Change?
When first discussing how we can stop climate change, we first need to understand how climate change is caused. In short, climate change is linked to the presence of global warming. Thus, if we want to stop climate change, we need to invest in measures that prevent global warming from worsening. This can be done through a variety of methods that should be implemented simultaneously. However, a great start would be to partake in one or two of the methods described below:
Start Speaking Up
One of the most significant ways you can make a change in the world and stop global warming is to voice your concerns. By doing this, you’re sending a message to others that you care about our planet. You can speak up about this issue in a variety of different ways. However, social media is one of the best methods as it holds the ability to reach thousands of people in a short span of time.
Protect Your Property with Renewable Energy
Investing in a property that’s built to generate a fair amount of power used from solar or wind power can help you lower the amount of greenhouse gas emissions you’re producing, which positively affects the atmosphere and helps stop global warming.
Reduce Water Waste
Saving water is known to reduce carbon pollution. This is because it takes a lot of energy to pump water, as well as heat and treat it. Thus, taking shorter showers and turning the tap off while brushing your teeth is an excellent way to reduce the amount of carbon pollution you’re attributing to and reducing global warming.
Which Authorities Take Responsibility?
It’s an incredibly challenging task trying to find the authorities who need to take responsibility for global warming. All humans have played a role in causing global warming because we have all accredited to carbon pollution production within our lifespan. However, there’s no doubt that some authorities are more responsible than others.
When looking at the data collected, it’s crystal clear that the most significant contributors to global warming can be linked-to electricity and heat production, which are industries that have attributed to approximately 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This includes the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas for heat and electricity. This industry is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions.
With that being said, there’s still another 75 percent that needs to be accounted for. It would be a waste to start pointing fingers, as the damage is done. We would be wasting valuable time that could be used to reverse global warming.
It’s more important to understand who is responsible for helping to better the world and improve global warming. When looking at the overall picture, we’re all responsible for tackling climate change. You’re responsible as well as politicians, activists, and energy producers. We all have roles that we can play in stopping global warming and bettering the world we live in.
Individual action on tackling the issue of climate change includes personal choices in a variety of areas. These areas include diet, short- and long-distance travel, as well as household energy usage. Not to mention, your family size and consumption of goods and services all attribute to areas that hold the potential of bettering the global warming crisis. In addition to this, individuals also have the opportunity to engage in political and local advocacy involving issues of climate change and global warming.
Facts About Global Warming You Need to Know
Learning about climate change and global warming is important. However, learning and then doing something about what you have learned is crucial to making a change in our world for the better. Here are some of the most interesting facts about global warming that you need to know:
- Global warming is causing the Earth’s average surface temperature to increase. This is a result of the greenhouse gases that are collecting in the atmosphere (quite like a thickening blanket) and trapping the heat from the sun and resulting in the planet increasing in temperature.
- Greenhouse gases have the functionality that keeps heat close to the surface of the Earth. This is what makes the Earth’s surface livable for animals and humans. With that being said, global warming is being caused by the over-emittance of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels, such as coal, gasoline, and natural oil.
- Humans began producing and distributing more fossil fuels into the air since the start of the industry in the 1700s. These fossil fuels were generated from gas, oil, and coal to run factories, trucks, and cars. One of the most significant contributors to fossil fuel emission was, and still is, cars. It’s for this reason that a smart or electric car was created. By driving such a car, you’re not only going to be saving money on gas, but you’re also going to help prevent further fossil fuel emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere and help prevent making global warming worse.
- At this point in time, there’s more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than at any other point in the last 800,000 years. This shows that global warming is at its worse it has ever been. The effects being felt by this change in average temperatures have never been recorded before, which is alarming.
- Even though America only makes up four percent of the world’s entire population, this country is responsible for producing 25 percent of fossil fuel-related carbon dioxide pollution. This is the largest share of air pollution caused by any country in the entire world.
- The Environmental Protection Agency, as known as the EPA, has the responsibility and the authority to reduce pollution that’s caused by electric power plants. This is made possible under the Clean Air Act, which is seen as the bedrock air pollution law of the nation and was first adopted in 1970.
- It’s reported that the sea levels all across the world have risen by more than eight inches since 1870. This is said to be from the melting of glaciers and ice sheets that are located in the North Pole and the South Pole.
- The climate change that’s happening globally has already materialized in many different ways that have provided observable effects to the environment. From global climate change, many glaciers are believed to have shrunk while lakes and rivers on ice are breaking up too early, animal populations and habitats are ranging, and trees are flowering too early.
- Heatwaves are becoming more frequent as climate change is becoming more drastic. These heat waves are presenting a greater risk of heat-related death and illness. This is commonly materializing among individuals who have diabetes, whether they are elderly or younger.
- In accordance with the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the average surface temperature of the U.S. is reported to have increased by two degrees in the last 50 years. In addition to this, the perception in all regions making up the U.S. is said to average an increase of five percent more than usual.
- The effects of global warming have placed coral reefs in extreme danger. This is because the ocean’s water temperature is increasing at such a drastic pace. Due to the speed of these increasing temperatures, the coral reefs and the mechanisms making up these environments aren’t given the time to adapt quickly enough to these warmer waters. As a result, the coral reefs are made vulnerable to changing conditions, the likelihood of disease growing, and bleaching incidents.
The change in the mechanisms of our planet is likely to continue through this century and beyond. The presence of global warming and climate change is prevalent in our day-to-day lives. It’s time that we understand these impacts.It’s not ‘crazy’ that we’re experiencing so many extreme weather conditions and events. It’s a warming sign showing that these events aren’t going to stop. These problems are only going to get worse from here on unless we all make an effect of turning our planet around and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions we’re producing as a society.The threat of snow becoming extinct isn’t a myth. It’s a reality that our great-grandchildren are likely to experience if we don’t stop destroying our planet now. Temperatures are going to continue to rise, and we’re the only ones who can stop it. This is the only Earth we have, so we need to protect it. Take care of nature. Share this list with your friends to increase awareness in society