Essay on Consequences of Global Warming

As free people, everyone has the privilege to have all sorts of opinions on any topic or situation. This creates the possibility of many controversies. Such as the argument of global warming. It’s clear that everyone is valid to their own beliefs, but are there even two valid opinions to the controversy? As time goes by, it’s more and more evident how global warming has become a severe environmental issue. Some fail to believe that it’s happening, but various research has proven to show that compared to the past years, global warming has gotten higher and is affecting many. Various articles and research offer compelling evidence from extensive research to prove that the earth’s climate is undergoing threatening, unrecoverable changes from climate change. Only a few scientists have questioned the existence of global warming and its harms. Nasa even states that “peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree” on the existence of global warming  (NASA 2021). Numerous years of research done by these scientists have been put into the study of global warming and what we can do to stop it from destroying the planet further. The only question is, will  you do something to stop it?

Nevertheless, what is global warming? Global warming is a phenomenon where the earth’s average temperature rises dangerously due to the incremental amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Primary greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere include gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. The whole phenomenon originates when carbon dioxide and other pollutants are collected in the atmosphere, but “last for years to centuries in the atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter” (MacMillan 2016). Also known as the greenhouse effect. Contrary to the belief, greenhouse gases are not bad, if not essential for life on earth. However, the problem comes in when these greenhouse gases in excess begin to get trapped. Such occurrences lead to repercussions to appear. The burning of fossil fuels used for electricity is the largest contributor to this dilemma. While some may argue that since greenhouse gases have always been here, global warming is simply a natural process, the amount of gases in the atmosphere has skyrocketed recently. Live Science states that after the industrial revolution, “Today’s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended” further showing it's not a natural process (NOAA 2005).

Undoubtedly, the appurtenances of global warming on earth are extremely dangerous and some are nonreversible. Out of the many, there’s melting of polar ice caps, water shortages, increased fire threats, drought, higher wildlife extinction, just to name a few. Josef Were, professor of environmental affirms in an interview with Live science that, ‘“We can observe this happening in real-time in many places. Ice is melting in both polar ice caps and mountain glaciers. Lakes around the world, including Lake Superior, are warming rapidly — in some cases faster than the surrounding environment. Animals are changing migration patterns and plants are changing the dates of activity”’ (Bradford,  para. 4). Not only us humans are the only ones being affected by global warming also, plants, biodiversity, the ecosystem, and fundamentally everything on Earth. The maximal heat and poor air quality increase the complications in heart and respiratory conditions such as, “asthma, renal failure, and preterm birth, and as temperatures rise, there will be more heat-related illness and deaths'' (Herring 2020). Many species have been affected such that, many have had to leave their natural homeland that’s been ruined and lost. In addition to driving innumerable species to leave their hospice, warming temperatures have affected the cycles of plants such as mating, blooming, and migration. In particular, Columbia University asserts how pink salmon “in Auke Creek, Alaska, and sockeye salmon in the Columbia River are migrating to spawn earlier than they did 40 years ago in response to warmer water temperatures” (Cho, para.6).

Evidently, there’s a phenomenal amount of unfortunate effects being caused by global warming, but what is there to do about it? As every day passes, the more and more difficult it will be to restrain global warming and its consequences. The impacts of a warming world have already been felt and shown by people all around the world. As climate change stays unchecked, the impacts will only get worse. While there is no outlined single solution to magically stop global warming, the more people grasp and comprehend reality,  the easier it’ll be. Everyone needs to grasp the idea that humans mainly cause this phenomenon and need to do their part to help stop it. New advanced technologies,  studies, and different approaches have been made to help bring down the emissions of these dangerous gases. New approaches stated by the Climate Hot Map such as, boosting energy efficiency, greening transportation, revving up renewables, phasing out fossil fuel electricity, managing forests and agriculture. Even infamous nuclear energy has been taken into consideration (Solutions to Global Warming). Considering how deadly it can be, it shows that urgency to stop global warming. Energy used for power, heat, and cooling homes, business, and industries is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. So, by using the method listed above of boosting energy efficiency and using energy efficiency technologies it can allow us to use less energy to obtain the same level of production. 

Furthermore, from the methods listed before,  one that catches the attention of most is the nuclear energy one. Nuclear energy emits zero greenhouse gases and provides a better alternative for energy that doesn't emit harmful gases into the air. Nuclear power plants do not produce air pollution or carbon dioxide while operating. It seems like a great alternative to save the planet, but as seen in the past, it has many risks. Events such as Chernobyl have shown the highly risky effects that nuclear power can have if a mistake is done. In Chernobyl hundreds of people died from exposure to radioactive materials that spread into many parts of Europe. Also, you never know who might get their hands on nuclear energy and what they may do with it. If nuclear energy is used then there's also the question of where would nuclear be put? While nuclear energy must be considered, there are far too many risks and what-ifs that go along with bringing back nuclear energy and using it. It's better not to cause another problem from the momentous that we already have at hand. Just like Christopher Paine vocalized in the article, Some Rethinking Nuke Opposition, ‘“Our position is that nuclear is not off the table as an energy source, but we believe there are cheaper cleaner, and faster ways to reduce pollution and provide reliable energy than nuclear power,”’ (Welch para. 20).

Ultimately, as more time passes by without us doing something about it, it will only get worse and there will be no going back. Whether the public wants to accept the real problem or not,  the effects are clear and real. There’s no doubt something is happening to our home and it’s none other than global warming. Humans are the ones facing the problem and effects of climate change today and are the ones single-handedly contributing to it. While it’s obvious it is impossible to stop global warming at once, everyone can do their part to reduce and at least slow down this problem.