Climate change is a phenomenon that we just can’t keep ignoring in this day and age. NASA themselves have confirmed their data on the matter. In the past 650,000 years, we can track the history of the wax and wane of CO2 in our atmosphere; this is unequivocally the highest it’s ever been. Despite the genuine and very immediate threat that this poses to us, though, countries and corporations across the globe drag their feet at sacrificing efficiency for sustainability.
What do we risk losing if the problem continues, though?
Climate Change As It Stands Now
There’s a lot of confusing numbers and metrics floating about to highlight just how severe the issue is, but they’re solid facts nonetheless. The key factor that acts as the core factor that the other problems are merely a symptom of, though, is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
As of July 17, 2019, we stand at 411 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 in our air. Considering how small 411 seems versus the rest of the million parts nitrogen, oxygen, and other gases in our atmosphere, that may not mean much. However, CO2 is the main byproduct of the modern industry and accounts for 82% of GHG (greenhouse gases) in our atmosphere. Historically, fluctuations correlate directly to changes in Earth’s temperature.
Before 1950, we’ve never seen greenhouse gas levels reach above roughly 300 parts per million for all of recorded history. Even through apocalyptic scale natural disasters, greenhouse gas levels kept a steady, approximate rhythm between 170 and 280 ppm. In just the infinitesimally small amount of time between the mid-20th century and today, though, levels passed their expected peak. Levels completely unprecedented by any stretch of the imagination. These numbers aren’t even taking into account the other contributing factors like methane, which has been found to be around 30 times more potent than CO2 at trapping ambient heat.
The effects of such are immediately noticeable and tangible. NASA reports that eighteen of the 19 warmest years on record have all happened since 2001. They may be in increments as seemingly small as 1-4 degrees Fahrenheit, but the numbers still don’t lie. Polar ice sheets have been losing mass at a rate of 455 gigatons per year. That’s not just tons, no. That number represents four hundred and thirteen billion tons. 455 followed by twelve zeroes!
It’s a number so massive it’s almost unfathomable. It’s enough to make all of the Earth’s vast, seemingly endless oceans rise about a fifth of an inch per year. Again, though, that number seems so innocent and small. How can an inch’s worth of ocean over five years do any damage? Well, according to Conservation.org, we can estimate that 800 million people across the globe are currently at risk of being directly vulnerable to the effects. The combination of all these effects are due to cause flooding along coastal areas, heat waves that can decimate flora and fauna alike, rapidly changing air pressure patterns that can cause extreme weather, and so much more.
The Future of Climate Change
The future of our climate is solely in our hands as of right now, but the damage is already happening on an alarming scale. Even if we take immediate, drastic action to cut emissions, we’re still dangerously far along the scale, and global temperatures will continue to rise. Not as bad as a scenario where we do nothing, though. Species from all walks of life face potential extinction in an apocalyptic-level scale. The landscape and ecology of our world may never be the same. It’s what we’ve been hearing as a worst-case scenario for years and years now, but it’s past some dark “what-if” question now. Climate change is a reality.
Steps We Can Take Today
We owe it to the world and to ourselves to take any of the steps we can to combat this bleak outlook on the future. Any efforts to reduce our consumption of natural resources and emissions will be steps towards the best possible future. Renewable energy still reigns as king among the goals we can achieve now. For your home or your business, we can help you solar power your life and reduce your dependency on natural gas/coal power and reduce the need for the same. Get in contact with us today and help do your part for a better future!