7 Scary Facts About Global Warming
The new National Climate Assessment was launched this past May and it’s being considered a landmark document for more than one reason. It’s written in a language that we can all understand; it’s not being covered up or ignored, and most importantly, it shows without a doubt that thanks to climate change, we do not live in the same America anymore. Chris Mooney writes on motherjones.com about seven prominent examples of how that is (based on the assessment):
- America is much hotter than it was before: the 2000’s were the hottest decade on record for the U.S., and 2012 was the hottest year ever for the contiguous United States.
- That translates into dangerous heat where you live: clearly, extreme heat waves are striking more than before, and climate change is involved.
- America is desperate for a drink: the assessment states that the Western drought of recent years “represents the driest conditions in 800 years.” Projected “snow water equivalent” (water held in snowpack) will decline intensely over the course of the century, particularly in the Southwest. In 2011 and 2012 the total cost to agriculture amounted to $10 billion in Texas and Oklahoma.
- When it does rain, floods could be disastrous: climate change is also aggravating extreme rainfall because the air can hold more water vapor on a warmer planet.
- There is less of America: Sea level around the world has risen by eight inches in the last century thanks to global warming, and is projected to increase by one to four feet over the coming century. Coastal residents will have less protection and infrastructure could be at risk.
- Alaska is unrecognizable: our only Arctic state has seen temperature increases that double those in the rest of the country. It’s losing its glaciers and the permafrost is thawing which damages coastlines, infrastructure, and places where people live. Projections show that Alaska could be spending $5.6-$7.6 billion repairing substructure by 2080.
- America is on fire: more drought and more heat mean more wildfires, and the U.S. has been setting numerous records. Increasing wildfires actually worsen global warming by releasing more carbon from the ground.
The Environmental Defense Fund states that human activity is causing the Earth to get hotter – mainly because of two actions: Burning fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum which releases carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere where they trap heat, and deforestation which also releases carbon dioxide. In addition to that, fewer trees means less of this extra gas is absorbed, because trees need carbon dioxide to grow. Did you know that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any time over the last 800,000 years?
If human activity is causing global warming, then human activity can stop it. The effects of global warming touch all of us, no matter where or how we live. If you’re wondering what you can do, here are some suggestions: http://globalwarming-facts.info/50-tips/?singlepage=1
-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team