The worst outcome of human impact on earth… The major phenomenon of this decade that defines new ways of life, sets new norms on trade and productio, that changes us all for good… We are all familiar with the term “Climate Change”.
But, what is it?
Literally, climate change means a statistical change in the average weather conditions over a certain period of time. What we understand from the term today is not a mere climate modification, though. Rather, it refers to a specific and unique occurence that affects the whole world. It is called the “anthropogenic climate change”, in other words: climate change triggered mostly by human impact.
Temperatures are observed to reveal unnegligable increases in the overall face of the world. Extreme droughts are followed by unprecedended floods. Polar ice is being melted down. Sea temperature gets higher constituting a jeopardizing the bewildered. Therefore, even though some places on earth do go though a cooling period, the term “global warming” is often used interchangeably for modern day climate.
So, what did we do all of a sudden to heat up the climate?
Before answering this question, we must caution that the answer is related to certain types of gasses that act upon the world’s atmosphere. Green house gasses they are called, for the green house effect they create. Methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are among the well-known green house gasses, to name a few.
You might be objecting this statement saying that carbon gasses are released with or without human impact. You are right. They are naturally present in our biosphere due to many natural events such as plate tectonics, volcanism or even from mere animal excrements. What’s more, life on earth is actually bound to these gasses. Because, these gases act as thermal blankets for the atmosphere. In their inexistence, the heat couldn’t be absorbed in the atmosphere, thus the temporature would be zero.
The problem, today, is that the blanket over the blue marble has got extremely thick.
Over the last 80 years, huge amounts of greenhouse gases have been released to the atmosphere. The major causes of this increased emission are of human impact, such as fossil fuel combustion, aerosols and cement manufacture. The way we produce, the way we travel, the way we build… everything we do has been adding up to the carbon concentration. Moreover, deforestation and ozone depletion, two other anthropogenic hazards of our century, have been magnifying the affects of GHG emissions.
Scientists and politicians are now questioning what we are awaiting as the earth goes on to heat up. The retreatment in the size of world’s glaciers are considered to be the most manifest indicators of Global Climate Change. Glacier National Park has already lost 65 % of its size. Vegetation, insects and ice cores also indicate the scope of the impact. Unless our impact on our environment goes through a radical change, we should be ready for worse repercussion along the 80 years to come.