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Essay: Climate Change: Exploring the Worldwide Phenomenon Affecting Everyone’s Future

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  • Published: 22 February 2023*
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  • Tags: Climate change essays

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A worldwide phenomenon. Our generation is facing the biggest environmental challenge. As our planet is one degree Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels. Climate change refers to an increase in global average temperatures but coined from researchers to include the effects of this increase of this temperature. The increase in global average temperatures and has been in existence around the world for many decades, but humans have changed the balance of temperatures of the planet by living and using resources beyond our means, and those changes affect all those who encompass the earth;  Dramatic changes such as sea level rise, ice mass loss in Antarctica and the Arctic by the use burning fossil fuels, huge amounts of methane-producing livestock, and cutting down the vast majority of forests are causing irreversible damage to the planet and future generations.

Climate change is occurring swiftly and caused primarily by the accumulation of greenhouse gases, which are “certain molecules in the air that have the ability to trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere” (Quest). Gases such as carbon dioxide and methane occur spontaneously and have a vital role on the planet’s temperature. Without these gases, life on earth would be impossible because the planet would be much colder. Humans have enhanced greenhouse emissions by their activities, “human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history” (USC). The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas for the use of energy and transportation has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as when they are burnt or extracted, the carbon releases and combines with oxygen. Vehicles add to these increases in emissions as when a vehicle burns gasoline it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As well as the clearing of land for agriculture as they make more room for crops and livestock, deforestation plays a critical role as “fewer forests means larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere” (National Geographic).  The degradation of soil and land has added carbon dioxide as well. An increase in methane is the result of producing large amounts of livestock as “In 2011, methane from livestock accounted for 39 percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture” (NPR).  Other sources of this gas are emitted through the production and transportation of fossil fuels. Amongst these causes, another vital one is the gain of profit of industries, even if that includes causing irreversible damage to the environment, such as corporations siding with politicians to make sure that they can continue to use increase their greenhouse emissions, as well as making sure that politicians make policies that favor them. These causes have a major effect on all individuals, human activities are changing the greenhouse effect, the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere increase the warming of the earth but increase in overall climate., “The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people” ( The Guardian). The rising temperatures mean the rising risks of events.

The impacts of climate change are vast and consequential and are affecting a series of populations and resources. An impact of this would be the forests, as they are critical of soaking up carbon dioxide and regulating the earth’s climate, which is the main greenhouse gas accountable for the warming of the atmosphere, but as well as a home for diverse species of animals and plants. With the increase in temperatures, the large amount of biodiversity causes extinction to species and their environments. Forests are also affected by deforestation as “when large areas of forests are destroyed it’s disastrous for the local species and communities that rely on them” (WWF), as well as when large proportions of these forests are chopped down, the trees release the carbon dioxide that they once held which contributes to the absorption of heat in the atmosphere.  There are serious impacts such as the world’s water system which affects agriculture, as with more extreme weather comes more natural disasters such as, flooding and droughts, and unregular weather patterns not only distresses farmers but a higher risk for diseases, pests on their crops.

Water is a vital resource for individuals and animals, there will be more displacement of major water systems arises conflict and countries fighting for access to water.  An increase in global temperature, gases such as carbon; increase, and since oceans are known as ‘carbon sinks’, “that they absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide, preventing it from reaching the upper atmosphere” (WWF).  These increased water temperatures, and an imbalance in concertation levels, is leading to more acidic oceans. Coral reefs are at risk of collapse, “sensitive coral and algae that live on it are starved causing dramatic bleaching” (WFF) which not only is an impact on the wildlife who rely on corals for their habitats as well as a source of food, but as well as the individuals and countries who rely primarily on the ocean’s wildlife for their diets. Polar Regions have been amplified by climate change, these regions have an extreme role in regulating the planet’s climate. When temperatures rise, and ice caps melt, it increases the water flow, and with the warming of the ocean, it causes an expansion in volume of which means that sea level is rising. The Artic is warming twice as fast and causes sea ice to melt earlier and forming late.

Climate change is the most probable cause of species extinction in this century, and that an increase of half a degree Celsius “may put 20-30 species at risk of extinction, and if the planet warms by more than three degrees Celsius, most ecosystems will struggle” (WWF) Many of these species’ habitats are threatened and affected by these changes that it makes it difficult for species to adapt. These species include Polar bears, as the Arctic is increasing in temperature twice as fast causing the sea ice to melt earlier which means that these animals are fasting for longer periods of time, which reduces their body weight and appearance making it harder for them to survive in the summer. Adelie Penguins and for these Antarctic penguins, the warming of the climate is reducing the sea ice in these regions, and these penguins rely on animals under the sea ice, meaning reduced food. Other species around the world are being affected by these changes such as Tigers, Snow Leopards, Asian Rhinos, and African elephants amongst many others that by the increase of average global temperatures their habitats become vulnerable to the changes such as inconsistent weather patterns, the increase of sea levels, the deforestation of land. Losing species disrupts the planet’s sustainability; the balance of biodiversity that affects human life as well.

Climate change is a real issue that is occurring and is affecting all individuals who inhabit this planet. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing substantially and further increased by human activities.  The overall temperature of the planet is increasing which comes with irreversible damages such changes are affecting vital forms of resources such as water systems, agriculture, and more. Coral reefs in oceans are collapsing, forests are dying, and animals are going extinct. The threat of these changes is global. The future of the planet is in our hands, and unless individuals act these changes will get significantly worse.

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