The global yearly temperature has risen by a little more than 1 degree Celsius, or roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit, during the Industrial Revolution. It increased by 0.07 degrees Celsius (0.13 degrees Fahrenheit) every ten years between 1880 and 1980, when accurate recordkeeping began. However, the pace of rise has more than doubled since 1981: The worldwide yearly temperature has risen by 0.18 degrees Celsius (0.32 degrees Fahrenheit) every decade during the previous 40 years.
The world has never been hotter. After 1880, nine of the ten warmest years have occurred since 2005, with the five warmest years on record all occurring since 2015. Climate change doubters claim that rising global temperatures have slowed or stopped, however multiple studies, including one published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in 2018, have refuted this claim
Climate scientists have now concluded that we must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040 if we are to avoid a future in which the worst, most devastating effects of climate change: extreme droughts, wildfires, floods, tropical storms, and other disasters that we collectively refer to as climate change, will be part of everyday life around the world.
These effects are felt by all people in one way or another but are experienced by the underprivileged, the economically marginalized, and people of color, for whom climate change is often a key driver of poverty, displacement, hunger, and social unrest.
CAUSES FOR GLOBAL WARMING
When carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants accumulate in the atmosphere, they absorb sunlight and solar radiation that has bounced off the earth’s surface, causing global warming. Normally, this radiation would escape into space, but these contaminants, which may persist in the atmosphere for years to centuries, trap the heat and cause the earth to warm.
Greenhouse gases are heat-trapping pollutants such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and synthetic fluorinated gases, and their impact is known as the greenhouse effect.
Though natural cycles and fluctuations have caused the earth’s climate to change several times over the last 800,000 years, our current era of global warming is due to human activity—specifically, our burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas, which results in the greenhouse effect.
Transportation accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, followed by power production (28%), and industrial activities (28%). (22 percent).
To avert disastrous climate change, drastic reductions in emissions are required, as well as the widespread usage of alternatives to fossil fuels. The good news is that, as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, governments around the world have publicly pledged to reduce their emissions by setting new targets and developing new policies to meet or even exceed those standards.
The bad news is that we aren’t working quickly enough. According to scientists, we need to cut global carbon emissions by up to 40% by 2030 to prevent the worst effects of climate change. To achieve this, the international community must take quick and tangible efforts to decarbonize electricity generation by fairly transitioning from fossil fuel to renewable energy production.
Warming temperatures are generating longer and hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, more rains, and more intense hurricanes, according to scientists.
The earth’s ocean temperatures are also rising, allowing tropical storms to pick up more energy. To put it another way, global warming has the potential to transform a category 3 storm into a more dangerous category 4. In reality, scientists have discovered that the frequency of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the number of storms that reach classifications 4 and 5, has increased since the early 1980s.
Communities are suffering and death tolls are rising as heat waves, droughts, and floods linked to climate change grow more common and intense. Scientists think that if we don’t lower our emissions, climate change would kill over 250,000 people per year and push 100 million people into poverty by 2030.
Climate change affects everyone, yet not everyone is affected equally. Indigenous peoples, people of color, and those on the margins of society are often the hardest hit.
Even while these communities have done the least to contribute to climate change, inequities built into our housing, health-care, and labor systems render them more exposed to its worst effects.
As a major contributor to global warming, the US has a responsibility to assist the world in moving toward a cleaner, safer, and more equal future. Other countries care about our duty, and we should care about it as well.
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