In the past 100 years, the temperature of our Earth has increased by about 4.5 degrees (Guggenheim). This may not seem like a lot, but on a global scale, it can have a huge impact. Global Warming is a serious problem, and it should be taken very seriously. Unless we take action now, we will have major consequences to deal with later on. These include, but are certainly not limited to, extreme weather, a decline in polar life, and effects on human health. It seems like Global Warming has become such a political issue that people tend to take a side based solely on the political party they support. This needs to stop. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, you cannot ignore the facts. The temperature of our atmosphere has been increasing at an alarming rate in recent years. Global warming is happening, and action needs to be taken to stop it, no exceptions.
Many scientists believe that Global warming will have a massive effect on the climate and weather on our planet. This could happen one of two ways. The first is that an increase in temperature will cause polar ice caps to melt. If the Earth's major ice caps were to melt, sea level would be raised anywhere from 7-14 meters (Ramanathan, 4). This would result in severe flooding. For example, the entire bottom section of Florida would disappear completely. A second way Global Warming could turn is that a temperature increase will cause evaporation and clouding, which would lower the earth's temperature and eventually result in an ice age(Ramanathan, 5). If either of these scenarios were to occur, the repercussions would be tragic to the entire planet and everything living on it.
Global Warming also poses a strong threat to polar life. As Global Warming continues, the habitats of the hundreds of polar creatures are constantly shrinking. It has even been predicted that at least half of the summer seas ice in the Arctic will melt by the end of this century, along with a great part of the Greenland ice sheet (Global Warming, 28). If this were to happen, sea levels would be raised a great amount. With their homes being slowly swallowed by the ocean, it would mean the end for many cold-weather species such as polar bears and seals. There have already been reports of polar bears drowning in the middle off the sea, unable to find land (Guggenheim). Unless we do something soon, our planet is at risk of losing a number of its precious species.
If neither of these consequences urges you to take action, this one will. Global Warming can be a severe threat to human health. Through the process of Global Warming, levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are constantly on the rise. This, in turn, deteriorates large amounts of ozone in our atmosphere. With these "holes" in the atmosphere, more UV rays are allowed to pass through to the Earth's surface. A higher amount of UV rays coming at us greatly increases our risk for skin cancer and other sun-related illnesses. If you aren't willing to act on Global Warming for the sake of our planet's well being or the welfare of polar creatures, at least do it for yourself.
Although Global Warming is a big problem, that doesn't necessarily mean that the solution has to be something big. Everyone can help to stop Global Warming simply by making small changes in his or her everyday lives. Little things like recycling as much as possible and using energy efficient light bulbs can make a big impact. In my house, the thermostat is set at 65F all winter, which can be made comfortable by just putting a sweatshirt on. As well as helping the environment, this is cost-effective. Another thing I plan to do is ride my bike to work every day this summer instead of driving my car. On top of these larger changes, I will make a point to do smaller things too like taking shorter showers, recycling whenever I can, and turning off my laptop and other electronics whenever I am not using them. If everyone were to make simple changes like these in their lives, it could make a huge difference. Along with help from the government, this could help save our planet. Do not just leave Global Warming for someone else to deal with, do something about it.
BibliographyGlobal Warming. Ed. Mary E. Williams. Oposing Viewpoints. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006.
Global Warming Oposing Viewpoints. Ed. Mary E. Wiliams, Bonnie Szumski, and Helen Cothran. Opposing Viewpoints. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006.
Guggenheim, Davis, and Albert Gore, hosts. An Inconvenient Truth. Paramount Classics, 2006.
Ramanathan, V, Bruce R Barkstrom, and Edwin F Harrison. "Climate and the Earth's Radiation Budget." Physics Today May 1999: 52-57.