The Impending Danger: Are Humans Responsible for Global Warming

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Are humans responsible for global warming? This essay is about current issue of global warming and climate change as it   is something that needs attention because of the various effects it can have such as increased heat trends around the world, increased ocean levels, increasing the acidity of water, and much more. Every day our planet is becoming more and more polluted. We need to learn to take better care of our planet because without it, there would be no place else for mankind to live. Global warming and climate change are an effect of our poor decisions on mistreating our home. Studies from around the world have shown that our planet is warming with fast record breaking temperatures, sea level rise, and humidity, along with many other indicators.

Global warming and climate change are primarily caused by human activities. We are responsible for causing changes in Earth’s atmosphere in the amounts of greenhouse gases by doing various things everyday things such as driving vehicles, and buildings such as factories, power plants, and other things that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientists believe the global warming trend is related to the 'greenhouse effect' which happens when the Earth’s atmosphere becomes thick from gases and other substances and traps the radiation from the Sun and warms our planet. This results in many things such as climate change which is described as “a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.” (NASA). Humans are considered to be the greatest influence with the emission of greenhouse gases such as Carbon dioxide, Methane, Hydrofluorocarbons and Nitrous oxide. A new study has shown that humans are 99.9 percent responsible for global warming. Every day we burn fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas, which release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that's most responsible for global warming. Things you do everyday like driving your car or cooking do more harm than good.

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Temperature increase is an effect of this. Because of this, glaciers around the world are melting and causing sea levels to rise. “This combination of effects has played a major role in raising average global sea levels between four and eight inches (10 and 20 centimeters) in the past hundred years'. It is expected to rise 4 feet by 2100. “The famed snows of Kilimanjaro have melted more than 80 percent since 1912'. More of this can be seen in India “Glaciers in the Garhwal Himalaya in India are retreating so fast that researchers believe that most central and eastern Himalayan glaciers could virtually disappear by 2035”. When temperatures rise and the ice melts, water flows into the oceans from glaciers and ice caps, and the ocean warms and expands in size. The rate at which this is happening has increased over time as global warming continues to worsen. “Scientists point out that sea levels have risen and fallen substantially over Earth's 4.6-billion-year history. But the recent rate of global sea level rise has departed from the average rate of the past two to three thousand years and is rising more rapidly—about one-tenth of an inch a year'.

Another result of global warming is ocean acidity. From the time of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of ocean waters has increased by around 30 percent. This increase is a direct result of humans putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which means more getting absorbed into the oceans. Unfortunately, it gets worse. “The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year” (NASA). This happens when Carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, and “the water becomes more acidic and the ocean's pH (a measure of how acidic or basic the ocean is) drops”.(NOAA) When CO2 is absorbed by the ocean, a bunch of of chemical reactions happen which results in the increased concentration of hydrogen ions. “This increase causes the seawater to become more acidic and causes carbonate ions to be relatively less abundant” (NOAA). Oceans are like a ginormous vacuum sucking up a lot of the CO2 released into the atmosphere. Ocean acidification doesn't just effect the sea life and the environment, it will affect humans too! “It will affect the food we eat since most of our shellfish requires calcium carbonate to form or to fortify their shells'. Having an abundance of healthy coral reefs is important to our survival because we rely on them for food, coastal protection, medicines and tourism money. Currently, Ocean acidification is affecting all the world’s oceans, including waterways and coastal estuaries. Today, more than four billion people around the world depend on food from the ocean as their primary source of protein. Also, there are many jobs and economies in the U.S. and around the world that depend on the fish and shellfish that live in the ocean.

Although global warming and climate change may seem to not be affecting our planet, it is, and it is something that needs attention. An article on the WashingtonPost by Max Boot, a columnist has stated “I was wrong on climate change. Why can’t other conservatives admit it, too?” He talks about his realization to global warming and climate change being an issue. Climate change may seem like it's just a conspiracy theory or a hoax, but it’s real and it will continue affecting our planet until the end of humanity. We need to realize what we are doing and control our output of greenhouse gases. Few organizations around the world are trying to take action, but with not enough support and funds it is hard to make anything happen. USCS is an example of an organization trying to make a difference. “Our experts and activists are campaigning to cut emissions from the energy and transportation sectors; highlighting climate impacts; and fighting for accountability from major fossil fuel companies'. There are people who think that global warming and climate change are a joke, but it’s a serious problem. If we do not do anything about global warming and climate change, our world will change for the worse. In the Northeast, heat waves, serious downpours and water level rise cause growing challenges to several aspects of life within the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and ecosystems worsen.. Within the Northwest, changes within the temporal arrangement of streamflow scale lowers the amount of water supplies for competitive demands. Water level rise, erosion, inundation, risks to infrastructure and increasing ocean acidity cause major threats. Increasing wildfires, insect outbreaks and tree diseases are widespread and causing many trees to die off. Within the Southeast, water level rise poses widespread and continued threats to the region’s economy and setting. Extreme heat can have an effect on health, energy, agriculture and decreased water availability will have environmental and economic impacts. Within the Midwest, extreme heat, serious downpours and flooding will have an effect on infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, air and water quality, and more. Temperature change will also exacerbate a variety of risks to the beautiful lakes. Within the Southwest accrued heat, drought and bug outbreaks, wildfires all coupled to temperature change, will continue to worsen.. Declining water availability, reduced agricultural yields, health impacts in cities because of heat, and flooding and erosion in coastal areas will all be seen.

We are responsible for global warming and climate change. It is something that needs attention because of the various effects it can have such as increased heat trends around the world, increased ocean levels, migration of nations, increasing the acidity of water, and increased natural disasters. These things are no joke and needs attention. If we do not do anything about it, our planet will continue to worsen, making it harder for humanity to survive. 

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