an assignment, my final
| In our galaxy, there is nine planets, all but one are inhabitable. With the odds of 1 in 9, we currently have no hope of establishing life on any other planet. So if this is the only chance we have, why destroy it? Today, every person is contributing to global warming, by using cars, electricity and other needs for our society to function. Global warming is a serious matter, affecting every living creature, from land to sea. It is our duty as the most sophisticated mammal to prevent the destruction of or planet, at all costs. It is our responsibility to hinder our on impacts of global warming, through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by means of producing clean renewable energy sources, as well as decreasing our global consumption.
Some may ask what is Global Warming? Well, it simply means our atmosphere's temperature is rising, causing the land and ocean temperatures to rise. Global warming is a natural occurrence that our planet goes through, with the process of heating and cooling. Scientists have several theories of why global warming is occurring. Some scientific evidence suggests it is solar activity (Eco Info), and humans play no role in this change. Others feel it is the repercussions of deforestation causing the increase in carbon (The Futurist), and having fewer trees to help filter out the carbon in the air. The popular theory is greenhouse gas emissions, approximately 82% of the greenhouse gasses are from CO2 which also has adequate evidence to support. In 2012, 6,526 metric tons of CO2 were emitted into our atmosphere. Whatever the cause, global warming is affecting our planet and drastically changing our environment and all the delicate ecosystems on our land and in the sea.
On land, the average rise in temperature is 1 ? F (P R Newswire), which doesn't sound like much, but when the ice age occurred the earth's temperature only changed 5 ? C (Global Warming). With just a little increase in temperature, it has caused many natural disasters such as heat waves, tornados, severe thunderstorms, avalanches, melting of ice sheets, and devastating droughts. Extreme heat waves have affected much of Europe, in 2003, 20,000 people died from heat related illness (Stein). In just Windy City, Chicago 700 people also died from complications of the heat waves (P R Newswire). The warming of the atmosphere is directly influencing the rise in thunderstorms, mainly on the east coast, it is predicted to increase by 25%-30% (Global Warming Focus: Stanford Research). The rise in storms may also increase the chances of tornados causing mass flooding, destruction to property, injury and even deaths (Global Warming Focus). While on the west coast, we have been experiencing mass droughts, increasing the chances of wildfires and shortage of water. In Alaska, the land temperature has increased by 3 ? F, causing the spruce bark beetle to flourish on the bark of trees, "chewing up" 4 million acres of trees (Glenn).
Many places with heavily impacted snow, have been experiencing overwhelming avalanches that will only get worse. In Greenland, much of their country has been melting at an alarming rate, which is also turning their normally frozen country to "slush" (Dybas). This melting is also causing toxic chemicals in "permafrost" to melt, containing DDT and high concentrations of mercury. To make this problem worse, the rise in temperature promotes bacteria growth, when the bacteria come in to contact with mercury, the bacteria transform it into methylmercury, which is highly toxic substance (Dybas). With the increasing amount of sea ice melting, there is an expected 18" rise of water (Global Warming Focus). Most of New York is about 16' above sea level, and some of Manhattan is only about 5', with the mix of increased storms and rising sea level, there will be much more flooding than in the past, with increased damage.
With the temperature of the ocean rising, almost all marine life is at risk, with coral reefs and plankton being effected the most. In the past decade, plankton have migrated about 72km, which is a high rate of travel compared to land animals that have migrated an average of 6km (Climate Sea Change). Sea ice is also melting, destroying habitats and feeding grounds for many animals including polar bears, seals, and many different types of arctic birds. Another problem with the temperature of the ocean rising, is increasing sever hurricanes. Coral reefs are affected the most, because they rely on an extremely delicate balance, this rise of the temperature puts many creatures that rely on the coral at risk, forcing many creatures to extinction.
Today we have many technologies to help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions such as renewable energy, eco-friendly vehicles, and energy conservation. In order to slow or prevent further warming, actions must be taken. If our government should placed bans on vehicles that emit large quintiles of CO2, industries that burn coal, and other fossil fuels. While also enforcing energy efficiency and renewable energy, our overall carbon foot print would be drastically reduced. Geoengineering is a manmade process, that is manipulating the weather patterns, such as carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management (GAO). Solar radiation management is the process of injecting heavy metals such as aluminum oxide, barium and titanium into our atmosphere to reflect heat from our planet, and is currently being implemented in various parts of the planet (Oxford, GAO). Carbon Dioxide Removal such as dispensing calcium hydroxide, silicates and limestone into the ocean forcing it to store more carbon by acidification, concealing carbon biomass locking carbon in the soil, immense reforestation, fertilizing the sea with phosphorus and iron to increase a plankton boom (Cascio) and filtering carbon out of the air with industrial filters (Oxford).
In conclusion, if nothing is done to stop or reverse global warming many different species will be affected, causing extinction and unbalances in all ecosystems. This is not a problem that can be solved overnight, as several officials say it "We call on government and international financial institutions to ceases all fossil fuel subsidies and to invest immediately in clean, renewable and decentralized forms of energy," (Knight). Global warming is a grim matter affecting our planet; we must implement renewable energy, reduce our dependency of fossil fuels, lower our consumption and reduce our carbon footprint.
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