Global Warming

Bri Wilson, Writer

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Global warming. What is global warming? Is it real? Is it going to affect me? Global warming is a growing issue that could lead to major issues if not addressed soon. It has various causes and many repercussions that will be addressed.

Global warming is has both natural and anthropogenic causes. Natural causes, while the impacts they lead are small, are still contributing to the problem. Things like volcanic eruptions, the sun’s intensity, and other naturally occurring fluctuations in greenhouse gases all disrupt the climate. However, the current rise in temperature and content of the atmosphere does not follow the natural pattern of change. This is because, also contributing, are anthropogenic causes. These are things caused  by humans. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased 40 percent since preindustrial times, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that, “concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.” Fertilizer, livestock production, road construction, and other industrial processes contribute to only a small portion of human-produced emissions. Major contributions from people exist in transportation and the burning of fossil fuels such as heat, oil, coal, and others. Deforestation is predicted to produce 20 percent of global carbon emission through deforestation processes such as logging, fires, and clear-cutting.

If not soon addressed, global warming can lead to massive destruction and changes in lifestyle. Extreme weather is one of these possible outcomes. More water is retained within the atmosphere as it heats up, changing weather patterns and making dry areas drier and wet areas wetter. It also increases the frequency of disasters, leading to more consequences and larger loss of life. As air pollution worsens as smog and soot levels increase, as do allergenic pollutants. Dirty air causes its own whole set of consequences. The World Health Organization states that, “climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year” between 2030 and 2050. This is due to the various effects such natural disasters, air pollution, and increased insect-borne diseases. Climate change does not only affect humans. Heated atmospheres also perilize ecosystems, increase ocean acidity, and raise sea levels, endangering mass amounts of the non-human world as well.

Thus, global warming is a real issue propelled by humans that, unaddressed, could lead to major damage in the future. Anthropogenic causes would have to be lessened in order to prevent the string of climate-induced illness and death.

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