Climate Change Climate change is the result of global warming, causing rapid changes in weather patterns and an increase in natural disasters

Glossary

Ocean Acidification: altercations to the chemistry of the ocean. Happens when CO2 is absorbed into the ocean

Theory: a supposition or collection of ideas that are used to explain something, usually one of greater principles

Greenhouse Gas: gases in the atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the "thermal infrared range"

Radiation: the emission of energy, that causes ionization

Emission: the production and/or discharge of something (gas usually)

Awareness: to have knowledge of a situation or fact

How does climate change affect us?

Climate change and global warming are impacting the global environment, in a multitude of different ways. One of the most prominent things climate change is influencing is weather, as it majorly affects the number of natural disasters natural disasters. David Titley, the founding director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, states, “Climate change will likely trigger large-scale instability as heat, floods, drought, ocean acidification and rising sea levels disrupt local and global food markets, fresh water sources, and the very existence of low-lying nation states.” Not only do these disasters have the potential to harm countless people, but will also impact the economies involved where the disasters take place. Climate change and global warming are responsible for millions disasters each year, costing 864 billion dollars since the year 2000. If international political leaders don't acknowledge these problems and their outcomes, the number of disasters and costs will continue to rise.

What are some solutions for climate change?

With the public aware of the threats of climate change and global warming, professionals have been looking into ways to possibly solve these problems. We can attempt to slow global warming by burning less fossil fuels and wasting less energy, which will lower our carbon dioxide output, causing less of a temperature increase. National Geographic's informative videos on climate change states, “Many organizations advocate cutting greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the impact of global warming. Consumers can help by saving energy around the house switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs and driving fewer miles in the car each week. These simple changes may help keep the earth cooler in the future.” We need as many consumers as possible to be aware of these solutions to global warming. Strong political powers need to take the reins in leading and inspiring others to solve these issues. Faiza Oulahsen, a Greenpeace activist, asserts, “We need to protect and preserve the Arctic by creating a global sanctuary for the uninhabited regions of the Arctic. The oil and gas reserves need to stay put under the seabed. We can’t afford to burn more fossil fuels. If the Obama administration seriously wants to tackle climate change, it needs to stop violating international climate commitments.” Decreasing the amount of carbon emission is a crucial piece to solving the global warming problem.

How aware are people of climate change?

Awareness to climate change has risen dramatically in the last decade, yet there are still countries that have drastically low recognition levels. Statistically, the awareness levels of climate change correlates with whether the country is developed or undeveloped and the education levels associated. “People with a higher level of education were more likely to be aware of climate change. Education is less of a factor in whether people consider climate change a threat. Instead, researchers find the principal factor is, unsurprisingly perhaps, whether respondents consider climate change to be human-caused,” report's Matt Sweeney, a Climate change expert with a PhD in environmental sciences. Groups of these environmentalist researches recorded detailed statistics on the awareness and dangers of climate change. The highest proportion of respondents to these surveys that were concerned of the dangers were found in Ecuador (99%), Bangladesh (98%) and Trinidad and Tobago (98%). Concern in western countries such as the US (64%), Germany (65%) and the UK (71%) is much lower than their awareness, while the countries who least considered climate change a threat were China (36%), Iceland (37%) and Estonia (39%). These numbers, although have risen, are still not what they need to be. Without complete global support we cannot combat this issue.

What are some alternate views on climate change?

While climate change has been debated for decades, some alternate views still remain popular. Not even all scientists have been able to agree on one whether or not climate change is a real world problem that is accelerating at a rapid pace, or if it is a scientific theory that has no set evidence to prove it. A recent scientific study by the National Science Foundation reports, “97% of professional scientists agree that climate change is real, while only 74% believe that there is current available evidence that climate change is real.” These statistics definitely show support for climate change, yet those with alternative views are very vocal in the scientific community, expressing what they believe. Ivar Giaever, a Norwegian-American physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973, believes, “The scientific community needs to rethink and possibly reject these climate change claims, as they are baseless and not properly founded. Instead of directing immense funds into technologies aiming to reduce CO2 emissions, we need to focus on more prominent problems with humanity.” Giaever is one of few who believe that the global temperature has been stable for the past century, and doesn't see the supposed threat. Still, most of the scientific community agrees with the fact that climate change is a dangerous problem, and that solutions must be looked into.

What will the Trump Administration do about climate change?

A very popular topic in the news recently has been President Donald Trump’s plans for the future of the United States. Trump has previously tweeted “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing less competitive.” Many people have shown concern for Trumps statements on climate change, as Environmental research surveys show that just under 71% of Americans believe that climate change is real and human caused. Trumps statements and actions on climate change could have potentially been swayed by outside parties. Jeremy Symons, who works on climate politics for the Environmental Defense Fund of the United States, says, “We’re seeing an unprecedented amount of influence from the fossil fuel industry in Trump’s cabinet”. If the oil industry is heavily swaying the President's beliefs and actions on climate change with large donations and political support, then there is a very little chance he will attempt to make an impact on this global issue.

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