There are major scientific agencies in the US which include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirming that humans are contributing to the world’s climate change issues. In 2010, the National Research Council concluded that climate change is currently happening and it’s caused by our activities which put us and natural systems at significant risks. In addition, numerous independent scientific organizations have released similar statements worldwide. Although scientists don’t all agree on what components of climate change are the problem, they all agree that climate change exists and is primarily caused by excess greenhouse gasses resulting from human activities.
At present, immense research regarding how much Earth will warm, how quickly it will warm, and what the consequences of the warming will be in specific regions of the world is being conducted. Even though all of these questions have not yet been answered, evidence confirms the causes and effects of climate change and justify us taking actions today to reduce future risks. Over the last century the global average temperature increased more than 1.4°F.
In fact the decade from the year 2000 to 2010 w the warmest on record according to the NOAA. The warmest recorded year in history was tied by year 2010 and 2005. As a result of the increasing global temperatures many other drastic weather and climate changes have occurred. All over the world many locations have experienced changes in rainfall such as more intense rain as well as frequent, severe heat waves. In addition, Earth’s oceans and glaziers have experienced changes. Sea levels are rising because the oceans warming temperatures are becoming more acidic and ice caps are melting.
While the sun or volcanic activity can contribute to the planet’s natural cycles of warming and cooling, the warming that has occurred in the last 50 years can’t be explained by natural factors alone. The sun also goes through natural periods of warming and cooling. Scientists have been able to measure functional fluctuations in the sun’s energy with the use of satellites. When compared to human influence over the last several centuries the sun fluctuations are very small. Therefore, the warming on our planet can’t be attributed to the changes in the sun’s energy. What scientists are certain about is that the warming properties of carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gases that we are adding to the atmosphere are causing the warming.
Carbon dioxide is a critical component of our atmosphere and is necessary for plants to perform photosynthesis. However, excess carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere increases global temperatures which leads to climate changes that will harm plants, animals and humans.
We’ll continue with additional facts related to climate changes on Earth in our next blog.
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