Have you heard of an island called Tuvalu, formerly called Ellice Islands? It is a pristine paradise in between Hawaii and Australia. A tiny group of islands that act as a coral sanctuary, approximately ten sqm. land area, boasting with breezy palm trees and immaculate beach shores with vibrant coral reefs. Can you imagine that if we continue living the way we do for the next 50 years, this group of serene and pure islands will get engulfed by the water, permanently erasing them from the world map? This fact is just one of the things climate change can cause. Now, you may ask, is it too late to stop climate change? Let this public service information serve you, and our world, well.
Global warming and climate change: Definition and facts
When we talk about global warming, we think of the Earth getting hotter and experiencing longer summers and eclectic weather changes, but what is the real definition of global warming?
Global warming is a phenomenon that is described as the increase in the Earth’s temperature at a very alarmingly fast rate. And the trend is continuously accelerating over time. This phenomenon is caused by greenhouse gases getting trapped in our atmosphere and have no choice but to reflect back to the Earth’s surface. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other air pollution makers cause this condition. But what makes this action extremely harmful is that the trapped gases absorb heat and radiation from the sunlight, making the world hotter and the air more polluted than before. This worldly state is what we call the greenhouse effect.
Climate change, on the other hand, is another effect of global warming. Instead of just focusing on the warming up side of the Earth, climate change also indicates that lowering of temperatures. Because the world is already polluted, some areas become colder than usual. Some parts of the globe even experience seasons that they have not experienced before, like having snow in a tropical country or frequent rainfalls in the deserts. Scientists use the term climate change when describing the multifaceted shifts presently affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems.
How does climate change affect the world?
For ordinary people like you and I, the only effect we can think of when it comes to speaking about climate change is the weather. Summer becomes too long and too hot to handle, and we can hear news about the increasing rate of people dying from heat stroke and skin cancer. Winter weeks become months, and they sometimes become lower than 0 degrees. But if you would only see and research about what other effects we are getting from global warming and climate change, you would definitely feel alarmed. Here are the most notable facts we gathered:
- Severe drought causing famine in many countries. This problem will cause more dramatic water shortages and increase the risk of wildfires. Take the wild forest fires in the Amazon that happened just last year and the one still happening now in Australia.
- Melting glaciers, early snow melting, and rising sea levels will lead to coastal flooding in several areas in the world, particularly in the countries near the seaboards.
- Forests, farms, and cities will face bothersome new plagues, heat waves, torrential rains and typhoons, and increased flooding. All those factors will damage or destroy agriculture and fisheries. The recent and still continuing forest wildfires in Australia is an excellent example of this effect.
- Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and Alpine meadows could drive many plant and animal species to extinction.
- Allergies, asthma, and infectious disease outbreaks will become more common due to increased growth of pollen-producing ragweed, higher levels of air pollution, and the spread of conditions favorable to pathogens and mosquitoes.
Is it too late to stop climate change?
The answer to this question is bound to be complicated. The answer lies in how many are asking and how many are willing to do something about it. Scientists and environmentalists alike bravely yet fearfully say that we only have 12 years to correct our ways and help stop climate change. Sounding concerned about the Earth’s condition is easy, but taking action to change what is becoming an inevitable effect of climate change and global warming is a difficult task to do alone. If we just read and get concerned about what is happening in the world today, a bad ending to our life’s history is anticipated to be fast approaching. It is not enough that we go even to the extent of reading and writing about it in our social media platforms, although we would not modify our lifestyle. However, if every one of us is willing to sacrifice some of the habits we have been used to doing to make a difference, then it is not too late. Read on to know some of the feasible and straightforward things that we can do as ordinary people to help stop climate change.
Is it too late to stop climate change? What we can do
Climate change due to global warming is definitely a high mountain for a single man to climb and conquer, so it is easily disheartening to think of ways on how to stop it. However, scientists, environmentalists, and everyone who are knowledgeable about this phenomena could agree that there are ways that humans can respond to them and achieve a win-win situation, for both men and Mother Earth.
There are two known ways to respond to climate change. One is to adapt, and the other is to take action. Adaptation is an innate human instinct that helps us bend and alter our ways in order to survive. We need useful yet straightforward and practical measures to prepare us for and adjust to changing weather and temperature conditions. Knowing these steps can reduce reported negative impacts of this global problem, as well as allow us to take advantage of new opportunities.
On the other hand, the other major category on how to respond to climate change is mitigation. This action involves making efforts to reduce the amount and speed of future climate change by limiting what causes it. Emissions of poisonous fumes and/or removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are the primary focus of the global movement of environmentalists who are willing to fight this problem actively.
Adaptation and mitigation actions are linked in multiple ways. They can be considered complementary strategies—mitigation efforts can reduce future risks. At the same time, adaptation can minimize the consequences of changes that are already happening as a result of past and present emissions.