Climate change is a topic
that some people do not pay attention to. It is a topic that is prevalently
discussed in many sectors of different industries, most notably politics and
science. It is also a topic that is often misunderstood and causes people to be
biased and/or not care due to numerous reasons. First, some people believe this
is not an imminent threat to the planet now. Another reason could be that some
people lack a basic knowledge on this subject. Lacking basic knowledge often
results in people misinterpreting the data or literature scientists bring
forth. Here, the discussion of climate change will cover the physical evidence,
projections as to what it will look like in the future, and its impacts and who
all will be most vulnerable.
is the first piece of physical evidence that will be discussed. Temperature
increase is mainly due to greenhouse gases. For example, burning fossil fuels
is a way carbon dioxide gets released in the air. With the greenhouse gases in
the air, it contributes to the warming of Earth’s temperature because it cannot
go past the Earth’s surface. In addition to being in the air, they also make
their way around to other places on Earth, like the ocean. Therefore, greenhouse
gases are another piece of physical evidence. Third, sea levels and oceans are
another one to look at. The increasing sea levels is primarily due to the
melting glaciers in the Arctic. The melting glaciers are due to the increasing
temperatures. In addition, the pH levels of oceans are being tampered with
because of the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they are
absorbing. These are interconnected in some way, either directly or indirectly.
The atmospheric temperature
is projected to increase in the future. It is expected to face a significant
increase in the surface temperature of the planet by the end of this century. This
could lead to radical weather across the world, such as some places receiving warm
weather when they ideally would not.
Greenhouse gases are also
likely to increase in the future. The levels of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere have been on the rise since the 1960s, and has continued an
exponential growth since. Also, the levels of carbon dioxide at the ocean
surface has been increasing since the 1990s. From the Working Group 1 article,
it says that by continuing to use greenhouse gases, it will contribute to the
climate warming. However, if the use of greenhouse gases decrease, that can
help reduce the amount that is emitted in the atmosphere. (AR5 WG1, p.17)
Sea levels will rise due
to the rapid decline of ice and glaciers in the Arctic. The levels of ice and
glaciers will basically be nonexistent by the end of the 21st century.
From the Working Group 2 article, it says that as the sea levels are predicted
to rise, coastal and low-lying areas have an increased chance of experiencing
submergence, coastal flooding, and coastal erosion.” (AR5 WG2, p. 18) This would
be around areas near water more so. The levels of pH in oceans are also likely
to decrease because of the increase in carbon dioxide.
Impacts and Vulnerability:
impacts of these physical effects will have devastating effects on many parts
of the world. The increasing temperature will see a decrease in growing crops
or any type of agriculture. The sweltering conditions will be too extreme for
anyone to do any labor outside. Therefore, the number of outside labor will
quickly deteriorate. Places like Africa are especially vulnerable to this because
Africa is an underdeveloped country that relies on outside labor to obtain
their food. Also, since the carbon dioxide levels will increase, that means the
water that they rely on will be high in carbon dioxide. The resources they
currently have will diminish quickly and unfortunately, they will have a very
low chance of surviving.
place that could be vulnerable are the small islands. The small islands will be
vulnerable to the increasing sea levels that could impact their communities,
specifically the lower income. People with lower income usually live in areas
where the houses cannot withstand extreme weather such as hurricanes and
tsunamis. Increasing sea levels overall could be catastrophic for small islands.
Along with the small islands, the Arctic also poses as a vulnerable place for
increasing sea levels. With the increase in sea levels comes the decrease in
glaciers. This would mean the animals that rely on those glaciers to stay alive
could quickly become extinct because their chances of survival are very low.
in regards to the greenhouse gases, everyone is vulnerable to that. From the
low-income communities to affluent ones, carbon dioxide will affect them all. The
emission happens because of human activity and the more humans work, the more
carbon dioxide is released in the air. Carbon dioxide is all around us, and it
is not going anywhere.