Climate Change & the Future of Earth

If you have had observed climate closely, you would have noticed its effects on the environment. Be it drying up of lakes, ice on rivers or shrinking of glaciers, there have been observable changes for us all to see. What is sad is that even the animal and plant ranges have been shifted and the flowering of trees has been sooner than it used to be. In the past, scientists had predicted a dramatic change in climate and now, we are all witnessing it. Heatwaves, for example, are becoming a common occurrence. Similarly, sea levels continue to rise, and there has been a loss of sea ice.

If the observation made by scientists is anything to go by; it can be concluded that there will be a rise in global temperature for several years to come. A contributing factor for all these changes is the emission of greenhouse gases that are produced by human activities. The IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has thousands of scientists under its fold believe temperature to raise anywhere between 2.5 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit within the next century or so. Furthermore, their observation is that climate change may vary from one region to another and may also vary over time. The climate changes will also impact annual costs adversely as the damages caused by the change will soar and will only increase with time.

It is a known fact that, throughout history, the earth’s climate has constantly changed. It is worth remembering here that, in the last 650,000 years alone, several cycles of glacial advance and retreat have taken place, with the last one of them having taken place about 7,000 years ago. This, incidentally, brought about the start of human civilization and the modern climate era. The climate changes that we are now seeing are largely due to small variations in Earth’s orbit. When these variations take place, the solar energy received by our planet too changes and thereby causing climate change.

The current trend of climate change is extremely important because a large contributing factor is human intervention. In fact, since the mid-20th century, human activities have only increased manifold. The big picture the earth-orbiting satellites and other technological wonders have been able to capture has helped scientists and researchers collect information about climate change and our planet in general. Madhav Sehgal .

It was in the mid-19th century that the first demonstration of carbon dioxide’s heat-trapping nature was revealed. The ability of this phenomenon to transfer the heat through the atmosphere was chiefly responsible for motivating NASA to flow many instruments in recent years. Therefore, it goes beyond doubt that greenhouse gases are largely responsible for causing the earth to become warmer.

Ice cores that have been drawn from tropical mountain glaciers, Antarctica, and Greenland indicate that whenever there is a change in greenhouse gas levels, the Earth’s climate responds correspondingly. It is interesting to note here that even the ancient evidence can be found in the layers of sedimentary rocks, coral reefs, ocean sediments, and tree rings. This paleoclimate, or ancient, evidence is enough to indicate that the warming that has been happening off lately in nearly ten times the warming that has been happening because of ice-age-recovery.

If we can control greenhouse gas emissions, then it is possible to sustain global warming to a certain extent. This is because there is an appreciable amount of gases already present in the atmosphere. But if the controlling doesn’t happen, then we will have reasons for worry. There could be many things happening around us and when they happen, we will not be able to stop them at all.

Melting of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland may be an ongoing process; but, if the recent signs are anything to go by, the melting process could get accelerated. The collapse of ice sheets may impact the sea level, and therefore an impact in ocean circulation cannot be ruled out. Climate change could also mean changing precipitation. When the temperature increases, the evaporation rate also increases. What is more noticeable is that this increase will not be the same everywhere. Therefore, you’ll not be surprised if you find some places receiving less rain and other places getting more snowfall and so on.

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