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Maribel Montes-Perez

Natural Disasters
April 19, 2016

Climate Change Essay


This topic has been major discussion for people all over the world for years now.
It was even brought up during the Oscars when Leonard DiCaprio said during his thank
you speech that Global warming is the biggest threat affecting the human species. But
is it? Some American politicians will say that no global warming is a myth and nothing is
happening. Other will say no it is happening and there are facts, photographs and
videos from the last forty years to prove the change in our World.
Lets start with what does climate change mean? According to dictionary.com
climate change is a long-term change in the earth's climate, especially a change due to
an increase in the average atmospheric temperature. Facts state that the Earth has
risen between 0.4 and 0.8 C over the past 100 years (livescience.com). Research has
shown that Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at
the fastest rate in recorded history (nrdc.org). These facts alone are hard to argue with
when the evidence is showing an actual change. But is this change in our climate and
environment natural? Is it just evolution? Throughout our entire history we have seen
our climate get fluctuate. To be exact there have been seven cycles in the last 650,000

years of glacial retreat and advance (nasa.gov). What makes these last fifty years
different? Most the changes from the past are attributed to very small variations in
Earths orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives (nasa.gov).
Although the present day changes have happened more rapidly than in the past. It is
believed to be happening at such a rate due to the increased volumes of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing,
agriculture, and other human activities (livescience.com).
How does the rise of carbon dioxide effect it so much? When carbon dioxide
(CO2) and other air pollutants collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar
radiation that have bounced off the earths surface. Normally, this radiation would
escape into spacebut these pollutants, which can last for years to centuries in the
atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter (nrdc.org). Things such as
the invention electricity, cars, factories, stoves all emit carbon dioxide and other
pollutants into the air. With the rise of population we are demanding more of these
inventions causing even more to be released into the atmosphere. Not to mention that
we have cut down so many trees and plants that naturally help cut down on carbon
dioxide since they use it in photosynthesis to create oxygen.
I believe that yes climate change is real. Although it was brought whether this is
just one of Earths cycles. Yes I believe that it is that as well. I believe we are in a natural

cycle BUT it is happening more rapidly and maybe more extreme than natural due to
humans and our carbon foot print here. There is no denying the fact that carbon dioxide
is up 403.19 part per million, global temperature is up 1.4 degrees fahrenheit since 1880
(nasa.gov). And during the last ice age average temperatures were only 5 to 9 degrees
cooler than today (nasa.gov). Not only all that but the Arctic ice is down 13.4 percent in
the last decade (nasa.gov). That ice reflect about eighty percent of the suns rays back
into space. With less ice cover, the ocean absorbs a lot more of these rays, which
warms the water
"As you warm [the water] up, you're changing the contrast with the lower latitudes,"
Meier said. "And that contrast helps set up things like the jet stream and storm tracks
and general weather patterns." As the Arctic warms, weather patterns in lower latitudes
will also be affected (Geggal). All attributes to more extreme weather patterns. Again
we cant deny our world is changing. Hopefully we can slow down the change so there is
a planet for our children and grandchildren to live in.

Sources
Arctic Sea Ice Is at Near Record Lows, NASA Says Geggal, Laura. March 26, 2016.
Web. http://www.livescience.com/54191-arctic-sea-ice-cover-2016.html?
li_source=LI&li_medium=more-from-livescience

http://www.livescience.com/topics/global-warming/
http://climate.nasa.gov/
Global Warming 101 MacMillian, Amanda. March 11, 2016. Web.
https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101