The Natural Resources Defense Council states that global warming is caused by a collection of carbon monoxide and air pollution within the atmosphere. This event causes an effect such as that of a thick blanket covering the earth, by trapping heat from the sun. This is called the Greenhouse Effect and is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Two main sources of these emissions are coal-burning power plants and automobile exhaust (NRDC). According to the National Geographic magazine, global warming cyclically affects climate rhythms and the lives of all living things on earth (Global Warming). In short, the earth is heating up which will continue to threaten life on earth as it is known.
Global Warming Statistics
Currently, there are no signs that global warming will cease to exist, as the earth is already showing damage from its effects. As reported by NASA, average worldwide earth temperatures have risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees Celsius since the year 1880, and the majority of this climb in temperature occurred within recent decades and the rate is increasing. In addition, climate studies show the last two decades of the 20th century had the hottest temperatures during the last 400 years and possibly the last 1,000 years. Moreover, as reported by the United Nations, 11 out of the last 12 years were warmer since 1850, and even scarier is the fact that the Arctic is getting warmer. Average temperatures in this region (which includes Alaska, parts of Canada, and eastern Russia) have doubled the global average, according to a report from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment organization (NRDC).
Consequences of Global Warming
With ice melting in the Arctic, polar bears, penguins, and other Arctic wildlife, as well as indigenous cultures are threatened. Also, glaciers and mountain snow tops are also melting such as in Glacier National Park in Montana which is down to only 27 glaciers instead of 150 that were there as recently as 1910. In addition, sea temperatures are rising and coral reefs are dying off at rates of up to 70 percent. Global warming has also caused a record amount of natural events such as tropical storms, tornadoes, wildfires, heat waves, tsunamis, and floods in various parts of the world (NRDC). All of these events create domino effects throughout the circle of life on this planet and affects all living things – animals, plant life, and humans.
Predictions and Efforts to Change Global Warming
It is reported that the United States is the largest culprit as a source of global warming pollution, producing 25 percent of the problem by burning fossil fuels (NRDC). Clearly, an obvious prevention opportunity is for the United States to curtail its use of fossil fuels. There are technologies in place to help with this effort; however, they are not yet completely mainstream. Using renewable energy sources such as from the wind and the sun will help the global warming problem, and some states have already regulated this to be put in place by large utility companies by 2017 (NRDC). This is a relief; however, this effort needs to be expedited by the United States as well as other nations of the world. Everyone can do a part to conserve energy and not pollute any more than we already have. Too many people are oblivious to the facts about global warming and they do not pay much attention to it. There should be more in-your-face awareness and more broadcasts about the current and future effects of this threat to humanity. Global warming is everybody’s problem.