By Rawhi Washah—
Global warming is accelerating. Climate related issues are rising and adding up; things are getting worse – whether it’s an increase of devastating forest fires In California, excessive drought, major floods in Europe, or heat waves in Greenland. Technology has made it easier to have a clear reading on how warming is changing the earth; the science is there to back it up. There is no excuse on why we shouldn’t work hard to reverse the damage that is already done because this affects all of us—change needs to be done in order to keep the earth and those on it safe. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will take drastic efforts. According to the New York times article by Henry Fountain he cites Dr. Taalas as saying “The only solution is to get rid of fossil fuels in power production, industry and transportation.” According to Amanda MacMillan in her article, “Global Warming 101,” “In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of heat-trapping pollution, producing about two billion tons of CO2 every year. Coal-burning power plants are by far the biggest polluters. The country’s second-largest source of carbon pollution is the transportation sector, which generates about 1.7 billion tons of CO2 emissions a year.” Other climate change issues put the risk of many cities to flood or worse, due to seas warming and rising quicker. Henry Fountain said, “Glaciers are melting at a pace many researchers did not expect for decades. The amount of Arctic sea ice has declined so rapidly that the region may see ice-free summers by the 2030s.” Parts of the earth are becoming warmer at a quick pace, frozen parts of the earth are thawing quickly, which would lead to a threatening release of huge quantities of carbon gases, something that Is called by scientists as a climate feedback loop.
Due to major ice loss, the earth may be pushed into irreversible damage. According to Fountain, “the acceleration of ice loss and other effects of climate change have brought the world “dangerously close” to abrupt and irreversible changes or tipping points. Among these, the researchers said, were the collapse of at least part of the West Antarctic ice sheet — which itself could eventually raise sea levels by four feet or more — or the loss of the Amazon rainforest.” Fountain also said, “Warming can make wildfires worse, for example — it makes vegetation drier and more combustible — but forest management practices, as well as decisions about where to build, also affect the degree of devastation.” According to Fountain extreme weather examples include, “Heat waves in Europe in June and July, extreme rainfall in Texas during Tropical Storm Imelda in September, the drought that precipitated the “Day Zero” water crisis in Cape Town in 2018 are among many events shown to have been made more likely, more intense, or both, by climate change.”
In 2015, the Paris agreement was created. The agreement requested that countries all around to limit the damage. The agreement called to limit the current century to lower the warming degree to at least 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. However, under President Donald Trump, the United States decided to leave the agreement, which could lead to an increase of issues, if all the countries aren’t helping each other. This issue is an all hands-on deck type of issue; no one should take this lightly.
Fountain, Henry. “Climate Change Is Accelerating: 'Things Are Getting Worse'.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Dec. 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/climate/climate-change-acceleration.html