The Climate Change Crisis – What Is It and How It Happens?
Climate change is a problem that has been very actively discussed for several decades now. The issues related and contributing to climate change are some of the most common topics for arguments in the contemporary world; they include pollution of the environment, the rising sea level, melting of arctic ice, deforestation, littering, and the greenhouse gas. Climate change is a problem of global scale, and this aspect can be difficult to understand for some.
Consequently, the negative effects of climate change also tend to occur all around the world. However, the global action on the problem involving the efforts of the governments, scientists, organizations, as well as the average citizens, is complicated by a range of factors that either prevention people from taking this problem seriously or making them consider it a false conspiracy powered by the world’s politicians.
The climate change crisis is also known as global warming. The phenomenon is based on a natural mechanism that has been in place ever since our planet came into existence. To be more precise, the core of climate change is the interaction of the earth’s atmosphere with the sun activity. In particular, the atmosphere contains what is known as greenhouse gasses – the gasses that help the heat produced by the sun to stay within the atmosphere thus warming up the surface of the planet and supporting everything alive on it. Multiple vital processes in nature depend on this balance of temperature that occurs due to the right amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere. In turn, even a slight increase and decrease in this temperature will result in significant disturbances all around the globe.
The current change in climate is anthropogenic or inflicted by human activities such as production, farming, manufacturing, communications, consumption, and transportation. Ever since the onset of the industrial revolution that powered the development of technologies – the rates of emissions of CO2 (one of the greenhouse gasses) skyrocketed causing much more heat to stay trapped in the atmosphere, thus heating the climate on our planet. As a result, the arctic glaciers began to melt releasing much more water, changing the sea level, and flood the lower lands of some areas. The other outcomes of global warming are the changes in ecosystems causing the extinction of some animal species and the development of dangerous natural phenomena such as hurricanes.
What Can Be Done
In the modern world, production, transportation, and consumption are on the rise and the planet’s population continues to grow demanding more resources. To minimize or slow down climate change, the emissions of CO2 need to be cut. The major source of CO2 emissions such as factories, farms, power plants, and transportation modes cannot be eliminated. Their minimization is likely to cause turmoil in our society because now we seem to depend on the manmade resources (such as cars, electricity, and farms) just as much as on the natural ones (such as clean air and fresh water).
However, many of the environmental programs that exist in the modern world are aimed at different strategies specialized in the minimization of CO2 emission rates on the local, national, or global scale. In particular, one of the most effective strategies helping to take under control the amount of emitted CO2 is known as carbon pricing. This strategy pursues several major goals such as the establishment of sustainable production and transportation practices and the delivery of education to the population on the difference that can be made in this regard.
Today, the problem of resource scarcity on our planet is more pressing than ever before in human history. This means that the humankind has been engaged in overconsumption and could soon cause the exhaustion of the resources the planet has to give. Sustainable development if a practice aiming at the continuation of technological progress keeping all the existing gifts of the civilization and protecting the environment from dying at the same time. Pricing CO2 works based on establishing a limit to emission production exceeding which the companies have to pay fines. Also, the practice of emission trading allows businesses that managed to cut their emissions selling them to the other companies that are likely to exceed. This strategy is applicable at local, national, and global levels.
Threats Affecting the Oceans and Why They Occur
In addition to the melting arctic ice that changes the chemical contents of the oceans, thus threatening the natural habitats of many of the underwater species, there exists the problem of littering. To be more precise, this problem is one of the most noticeable effects of people’s impact on the environment. It is visible in the gigantic sites of trash that are located around every town or city inhabited by humans.
Littering is a major problem because due to the need to store and transfer most of our consumed products, they are usually packaged in plastic containers that are not biodegradable. Also, the vast majority of plastic wrappings and containers are not recycled. In that way, huge masses of plastic trash eventually migrate to the oceans where they become the cause of many threats and risks for the environment and a wide range of species of birds, fish, and animals.
Plastic containers used by people daily are multiple; they include disposable plastic trays and dishes, beverage bottles, bags, and other kinds of packaging for all kinds of goods. Most of these plastic containers are thrown in the trash. The developed countries of our world serve, consume, and dispose of huge amounts of plastic daily due to the common perception of the convenience of plastic containers and wrappings. However, what is thought to be immensely practical and useful in reality turns out to be one of the largest threats to the environment.
In particular, due to the major currents in some of the world’s oceans, there now exist patches of plastic trash that can form islands or cover the entire surfaces of smaller bodies of water such as rivers and lakes. Also, it is important to remember that plastic trash comes in a variety of forms and sizes and also can break apart into small pieces and can be eaten by birds and animals, thus killing them and causing the extinction of species due to the dangerous living conditions.
What Can Be Done
Finally, it is needless to say that littering has a range of adverse effects on humans as well. To be more precise, some populations are heavily affected by the large amounts of trash in their areas. The layers of litter cause the accumulation of bacteria, contribute to the migration of species of animals, and the destruction of their natural habitats and ecosystems.
Sustainable development is the strategy that could help implement change regarding this issue. In particular, switching to the use of biodegradable materials for packaging is one of the best solutions. The amount of used plastic also can be minimized by the reuse of plastic containers and bags so that fewer of them go into trash bins. Reduced consumption of foods and goods packaged in non-biodegradable plastic also could be a way out of the present situation; however, it is very problematic to achieve since most goods required for everyday use are wrapped in plastic.
Anthropogenic impacts on the environment are very severe and can potentially become even worse in the future as the amount of CO2 emissions and plastic litter increases, thus causing massive pollution of the atmosphere and oceans and depriving the humanity of two of the essential resources necessary for the continuation of life – fresh air and water. Immediate action is required to be taken for the humankind to be able to address these problems.
Moreover, the action needs to be taken on a global scale because the impacts of littering and air pollution tend to affect the resources that do not belong to any country or city in particular. Differently put, oceans, as well as the atmosphere are the resources shared by the population of the entire planet and, in that way, everyone is responsible for taking action, as well as vulnerable to the existing risks.