In recent years, one subject that has almost every country in the world worried is climate change. No matter what the US President elect and surprisingly, a majority of Americans think [according to a report, only 48% of Americans believe that the Earth is warming mostly due to human activity], climate change is REAL and is taking place at a pace that is alarming to say the least.
The rise in sea levels around the world, higher temperatures, changing patterns of precipitation, longer intense droughts, frequent floods, melting polar ice caps- each one of these is a sign that our Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate. Climate change poses a fundamental threat not just to humans but also to the wide diversity of life on this planet, right from the penguins in the Antarctic to the coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Enlisted below are a few compelling evidences that prove climate change is real and happening:
Global temperatures have hit a record high in the past few years. Around the world, the Earth’s average temperature has risen more than 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the last century and about twice that in parts of the Arctic.
Coral vanishing from the Great Barrier Reef
In 2016, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef recorded the largest loss of coral ever. About 93% of the individual reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef were impacted by coral-bleaching to varying degrees. The reason behind this coral bleaching phenomenon is warmer water temperatures.
Disappearing polar ice caps
The extent and thickness of ice in the polar regions has declined drastically in the past decades. Climate experts have noticed that sea ice the size of India has melted in 2016 alone!
Changing landscapes and wildlife habitats
Global warming and changing rainfall patterns have led to a change in landscapes and natural habitat of the wildlife. Environmentalists have predicted that Earth might face extinction of one fourth of its species if global warming continues at the current pace.
Rising sea levels
Rising sea levels pose an imminent threat to low-lying coastal areas and islands. Approximately 100 million people live within three feet of sea level around the world and global sea level has already risen about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century.
Glaciers all over the world are melting at an alarming rate- whether it is the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies or the Arctic glaciers. Also, satellite observations have revealed that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.
Extreme conditions like frequent flash floods, long droughts, snow storms, excessive rainfall etc. have the potential to wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities. All these conditions are a result of rising global temperatures.
Thus, we can see that climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth. If we don’t take immediate steps to control this situation, its impacts can permanently damage our world. So let us all spread awareness and urgently reduce carbon pollution as much as possible. By rallying people around the world to make their contribution towards this cause, together we have the power to limit the effects of climate change.