For years, all I have heard about is “climate change” this and “climate change” that. I used to ignore scientists when they would harp on this issue. Truthfully, I never really believed in it. However, my mind has recently been opened and I am starting to realize the scary truth about climate change. Last year I took Meteorology 005 for a GN requirement. My professor was actually really cool and explained climate change in a way I had never heard it explained before. He didn’t approach it from a pessimistic stance. Instead, he simply noted that climate is going up and that we must do something about it. Something clicked in me after that lecture and I began to realize the severity of our climate situation. As much as I want to pretend our climate is where it should be, it most definitely is not.
World-wide, there are copious amounts of evidence for our rising climate level. According this this article written by NASA, for over 400,000 years, CO2 emissions have had their ups and downs, but they have never reached over 300 ppm. In the past 60 or so years, CO2 emissions have skyrocketed from that level to reach 400 ppm. As we have learned in class, many scientists believe it is the rising CO2 levels that are causing global warming. And, since no natural causes can be found to explain why the sea levels are rising, many scientists believe it is the actions of humans that are causing these harmful effects. However, CO2 emissions are not where the evidence stops for climate change. The NASA article also notes that many pieces of evidence can be found by looking at our oceans. In the last century alone, the level of the sea has risen almost 7 inches. The water is also beginning to slowly get warmer and warmer. Also, though you may think it a stereotypical example of climate change, it is true that our ice caps are shrinking at an alarming rate. Some ice caps in Greenland have even shrunk to half of the cubic mileage that they started out with.
A lot of research has been done on the topic of climate change. Many scientists continually looks for more and more evidence of its occurrence. This article describes some work done by scientists Joel Guiot and Wolfgang Kramer. The two scientists took pollen cores from the Mediterranean and ran some tests on them. Since pollen cores offer a good look into climate change over the years, they used their findings as a baseline for which to compare further studies to. They studied different vegetation’s and determined how they would react in different climate-change scenarios. The men found that even the slightest temperature variation could drastically change our ecosystem. This experiment just goes to show you how imperative it is that we step up and take action for our planet.
So, after all of this talk of climate change, I admit that I finally caved and had to accept the harsh reality. There would be absolutely no point in scientists making up this data, so I myself have chosen to believe in it. If you are like me and didn’t believe in climate change at first, I hope you now at least got a taste for the severity of it. If you feel inclined to take action, this website lists some great ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and help reduce climate change.