Climate change and the future of our planet.

  • 2 months   ago

The Industrial Revolution was not only important and a shifting point for the sectors of the economy but also for the climate. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s climate has been deteriorating fast. Human Capital and the industries that drive them have been major driving factors contributing to accelerating the pace of change. The excessive use of fossil fuel (oil, charcoal and gas) subsequently releases large amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, which then concentrates and warms the planet. The planet has been warming for centuries, from the North Pole to the South Pole

According to Global Surface Temperatures, since 1906, the global average surface temperature has increased by more than 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and by a higher temperature in more sensitive polar regions.

The rising of the temperature of the planet has already damaged and affected lands, oceans, and species. According to National Geographic, scientists have already documented these impacts, “Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earth’s poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice. Much of this melting ice contributes to sea-level rise. Global sea levels are rising 3.2 millimeters a year (0.13 inches), and the rise is occurring at a faster rate in recent years.” Additionally, “As temperatures change, many species are on the move. Some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have migrated farther north or to higher, cooler areas. These rising temperatures are affecting wildlife and their habitats. Some species — including mosquitoes, ticks, jellyfish, and crop pests — are thriving. Booming populations of bark beetles that feed on spruce and pine trees, for example, have devastated millions of forested acres in the U.S.” Furthermore, ‘Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average. Yet some regions are experiencing more severe drought, increasing the risk of wildfires, lost crops, and drinking water shortages.” 

And we can expect to continue seeing other effects that will take place eventually, if not already happening, such as; 

  • Rising of sea levels, which are expected to rise between 26 and 82 centimeters (10 to 32 inches). 
  • Hurricanes, floods and other forms of storms will become more common and stronger, 
  • On the other hand, in some other areas, where droughts are the norm. 
  • Shortages of freshwater will occur due to the fact that about three-quarters of the world’s freshwater is stored in the glaciers, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.  
  • The resurgence of the diseases such as the Zika virus in 2016. 
  • All while ecosystems are still changing, some species will move if they are able to travel long distances and maneuver obstacles, adapt successfully in their new environment and evolve by creating new cross breeds. Others who cannot migrate nor evolve will fail and become extinct. Climate change further affects how living beings interact with each other, and the fast-paced human lifestyle with an almost constant upward reproduction slope impose challenges for the survival of several species. 

It is never too late to act; however, there are many steps every single one of us, government and institutions can take that can derail the one-way train to an inhabitable planet. Minor steps can be of significant impacts. The reduction/ replacement of any and all single-use plastic bags. This could be achievable with reallocations of funds and changing the deposit systems.  The option to go to a cashier who is environmental-friendly, or sells replacement eco-friendly bags, should not be an ‘option’ nor a luxury, because Mankind cannot afford to choose otherwise. This should extend to consumer production, in which they cease to use plastic containers and others, and instead, use recyclable materials such  as paper or glass). Restaurants and franchises would ban the use of plastic straws and cutlery. Moreover, consumer companies would invest in waste collection to keep the plastic pollution from entering the waterways, and in redirecting the plastic streams away from the sea. 

On a governmental level, more bills should be passed to take lead in cleaning up the ocean, having a certain minimum for green spaces, regulating factories and controlling mass production.