Global Warming Facts
Global warming has been in the back of our minds for many years now. However, it was not until recently that the facts about global warming moved to a priority spot in our lives. With the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement, more and more people are starting to pay attention. Get educated on what global warming is and find evidence of climate change all around you. To help with that education and to combat those who try to discredit climate change, here are some global warming facts to do with as you please.
What is Global Warming
First off, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. If you are looking for a scientific definition for global warming here it is. “A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants.” Thanks, Google. Basically, the global temperature is rapidly increasing due to the amount of pollution. We will get into what kind of pollution exactly later. One of the most common causes of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal or gasoline.
Many may ask the question, “why are we just hearing about this now?” The answer is simple. You are not. Climate change has been an issue since the 1980s. Scientists have been tracking the effects of global warming going as far back as the 1970s. In 1975, there was an investigation into traces gases from airplanes in the stratosphere and discovered that there was a danger to the ozone layer. The reason global warming is being talked about more nowadays is because of better technology to track climate change data. Another reason is the fact that so many high profile people are bringing attention to it, i.e. President Trump and others. Global warming is becoming a bigger issue because it is worse now than it has ever been and it needs to be addressed.
Here are 24 Interesting Facts on Global Warming
Fact 1- In the last 100 years, the global sea level has risen roughly eight inches. However, we have seen most of that increase just in the last two decades.
Fact 2- In addition to the increase in the sea level, we have seen an increase in the temperature of the oceans as well. Since 1969 it has risen by 0.302 degrees.
Fact 3- NASA climate change evidence comes from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. Data shows that between 2002 and 2006, Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers of ice per year while Antarctica lost 152 cubic kilometers of ice.
Fact 4- Since 1950, the number of record high-temperature events has been increasing, while the number of low-temperature events has declined.
Fact 5- 2016 was the warmest year on record.
Fact 6- Also in 2016, except for June, January through September were the warmest on record, respectively.
Fact 7- Atmospheric carbon dioxide skyrocketed after the year 1950.
Fact 8- America is responsible for 25 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution production.
Fact 9- Melting glaciers, early melting of snow and increasing droughts will increase the chance of wildfires in Western America due to dramatic water shortages.
Fact 10- The change in temperature does not just affect the weather; since the waters are getting warmer, it threatens the ecosystem of the oceans as well.
Fact 11- Due to the increase of high-temperature events such as flooding and heat waves, agriculture and fisheries will be damaged or destroyed.
Fact 12- With higher levels of air pollution, allergies, asthma and infection outbreaks will become more common.
Fact 13- Rising of the sea levels will lead to severe coastal flooding on the Eastern Seaboard, especially in areas such as Florida. We’ve all seen the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”.
Fact 14- The frequency of North Atlantic hurricanes has increased since the early 1980s. Examples being Hurricane Katrina and Sandy.
Fact 15- Gases that contribute to the Greenhouse effect are Water Vapor, Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Chlorofluorocarbons.
Fact 16- Fossil Fuels, primarily coal, oil, and petroleum, are the leading cause of global warming.
Fact 17- The most common types of pollution are air, water, soil, noise, radioactive, light, thermal, and visual pollution. Some of these are more damaging than others, but all are dangerous.
Fact 18- Republican Richard Nixon, originally proposed the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 bringing national attention to climate change.
Fact 19- In 2016, the three top world leaders who were fighting climate change were United Stated President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Fact 20- 27% of methane emissions are created from enteric fermentation in farm animals such as cows, sheep, and goats.
Fact 21- In addition to contributing heavily to the production of carbon dioxide, oil also is very harmful to creatures and plants living in or around the ocean.
Fact 22- According to a recent study, the Northeast of the United States is the fastest warming region, heating up 50% faster than the global average.
Fact 23- During the end of the last ice age, the temperatures in the northeastern United States were only five to nine degrees cooler than they are now.
Fact 24- Proof of climate change is all around us and is irrefutable. The fact of the matter is, if we do not do something and continue on our present course, it will truly be too late.
Climate Change is Man Made
So what exactly are we doing that has been causing all of this pollution? Think of what you do throughout your day. You get up, turn on your bathroom light and take a nice hot shower. Then when you get to your kitchen, you turn on your stove and make breakfast. On your way to work, you are most likely driving. Just in that morning routine, there are many things that are contributing to climate change. Using non-energy efficient light bulbs increases your energy consumption. Using a gas stove creates carbon dioxide, as does driving a car fueled by petroleum. Now, these might not seem like a lot when just thinking of one person, however, just in the United States, there are 326 million people. Big difference, right? Most of that population does exactly what is stated above and do not think about their contribution to climate change.
In addition to man producing carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels, we also sort of shoot ourselves in the foot by getting rid of much of what would have absorbed the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The trees. By cutting down the forests, we are keeping the earth from sustaining itself. Also, when we then burn those trees, we release all of the carbon dioxide they absorbed back into the atmosphere.
Other man-made global warming sources are our production of methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Our source of methane basically comes from decomposing organic material, such as landfills, animal waste, and poor sewage treatment. Landfills are a big issue because not only do they produce a lot of carbon dioxide and methane, but they also pollute the land that they fill. Our source of nitrous oxide is mainly caused by fertilizer used in agriculture and landscaping.
In fact, nitrous oxide levels spiked around the turn of the century. Chlorofluorocarbons are long-lasting greenhouse gases that ultimately destroy the ozone. These gases are not naturally found and are purely man-made products such as aerosols, foaming agents, and refrigerants. Without man, global warming most likely would not have occurred. The earth has systems in place to deal with the gases that could be harmful to the atmosphere.
Paris Agreement and Why it Matters
The Paris Agreement has made national news within the last few weeks with President Trump making the announcement that the United States would be withdrawing from the agreement. Many across the nation agree that this is a bad move. Why is it bad for the U.S. to not be in the agreement. What even is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Climate Agreement consists of 196 nations, in an attempt to reduce climate change emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures by adopting green energy sources. The agreement states that global warming issues and the threat of increasing climate change are “urgent and potentially irreversible”. It can only be combated by the greatest possible “cooperation by all countries” as well as “deep reductions in global emissions.” A long-term goal of this agreement would be to limit the increase in global average temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius. This would greatly reduce the risks and effects of climate change.
Nations all over the world have acknowledged the proof of climate change and created this agreement to bring everyone together in a global effort to help save our earth. Now, the United States is the second largest contributor to global emissions, followed closely by China. Under former President Obama, the United States pledged to cut its production by 26 to 28% by 2025. To do this would require the full implementation of the Clean Power Plan, which targets carbon emissions. This would be done by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, natural gas and nuclear power. Ultimately getting away from coal power which is a big contributor to carbon emissions.
The U.S. Withdraw
By having the United States withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, it will greatly hurt efforts to reduce climate change. We will not have transparent collaboration between the United States and other countries. In fact, the French president extended an invitation to U.S. scientists to come work with them on climate change efforts. The United States is now one of only three countries not involved in the Paris Agreement which undermines the authority of other large nations.
In addition to withdrawing from the agreement, President Trump stated that he wants to put his America First Energy Plan into effect. This will put a focus on reviving the coal mining industry. Basically completely going against all of the work that has been done to reduce the effects of climate change. However, by not pursuing renewable energy like solar and wind energy, many new jobs will be lost. In 2011, the solar industry employed around 100,000 people. That is 100,000+ just with Solar. Imagine the jobs involved with the wind and water industries. With new technology always being created, there is the opportunity for the renewable energy job market to continue growing.
Further U.S. Involvement
The Paris Agreement will still go forward even without the involvement of the United States. However, even though the United States as a whole will not be involved, 12 states and Puerto Rico have created the U.S. Climate Alliance which commits to uphold the Paris Agreement. This alliance consists of the Mayors and Governors of the respective states, with the addition of university professors and presidents, businesses, investment groups and other organizations. (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft).
The letter written to declare this, called “We Are Still In”, states “In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years … Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.” Many see the proof of global warming and are ready to help in the attempt to reduce climate change no matter what. Faith in Humanity Restored.
Climate Change is Real
The facts and evidence of global warming are out there and it is not hard to find. It is not too late to reverse the effects and save our future as long as we as a planet commit to the effort. It can be as simple as buying energy efficient light bulbs and investing in cars with better fuel economy and electric power. Climate change is happening, and you can make a difference. Easy things like recycling, reducing water waste, and watching how much energy you consume, will make a significant impact.