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Why is Global Warming Bad?

These past seven years have been the warmest recorded since the 1800's. Wildfires, droughts, heat wave related deaths. These tragic events have been featured in the media more with each passing summer. The increase in global temperature has caused death and destruction to our home, the Earth.

It is common knowledge that global warming is occurring but how did it get this way? Let's go over a bit of the science behind why and how temperatures have been continuing to climb.

Human influences such as carbon pollution (eg. burning fossil fuels as gas for your car) and removing Earth's pollution-capturing components (eg. plants and trees) are throwing off the planet's equilibrium. The increase of pollution and decrease of pollution-catching elements have resulted in a buildup of carbon dioxide, methane, soot, and other pollutants in the atmosphere. These pollutants trap the heat of the sun, causing the climate to warm beyond Earth's homeostasis. The Earth is an amazing, self sustainable planet with many elements designed to maintain equilibrium. When that gets thrown out of whack, billions of species die.

The warming of the Earth's climate has already proven fatal for many species. Continuing to support the imbalance in pollution-expelling and pollution-trapping will result in many, many more extinctions.

Global warming has increased unstable weather patterns and intensified natural disasters. The increase in heat has created a type of atmosphere commonly seen in deserts and rainforests. Dry areas get drier, wet areas get wetter. When a location is not equipped for such extremes, droughts and floods can destroy everything. For instance, natural disasters like these have costed the United States $10.8 billion annually from 2011-2015. And worse than that? It's costed many people their lives, families and homes.

Besides unpredictable and detrimental weather patterns, a rise in temperature proves to wreak havoc for our health as well. The pollutants intruding our atmosphere are also intruding our lungs. Dirty air leads to higher instances of hospitalizations and respiratory related deaths.

Rising sea levels are also linked to global temperature increases. This rise causes coastal erosion, flooding, and coastal disasters like hurricanes and typhoons. If the sea level continues to rise, many ocean bordering towns and cities will be under the water.

Higher temperatures equals less ice which equals higher temperatures? The ice that had once covered vass areas of the arctic has been rapidly melting. Besides this causing extinction for many cold climate species, less ice means increasing the rate at which the Earth is heating. The white of the snow and ice reflects excess heat from the sun back up into space. The ice serves as a cooling agent for the planet. Terrifyingly, the arctic is projected to be ice free by the summer of 2040 if this temperature increase stays consistent. By then, it will be too late.

The most important thing we can do for our planet is to educate ourselves. Research what you as an individual can do to help bring our Earth back to equilibrium. Shop sustainably, consume less waste, and advocate for change!


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