In the article, “Climate change: How do we know?”, the author discusses just how prominent of the effects of global warming are today, specifically the effects that CO2 has played in getting us to where we are. The overall warming trend of the planet has been due to the result of human activity over the past years, specifically the increase in the levels of greenhouse gases being released into the environment.
Greenhouse gases are those that are released into the environment and trap the heat radiated by the sun, causing the warming effect that has led to the intense climate change we are experiencing. One of these very effective greenhouse gases is Carbon Dioxide. As shown in the chart attached to this article, CO2 levels, in units of parts per million, have reached new and astonishing levels where our planet is currently. Prior to 1950, the highest the CO2 levels ever reached was around 300 parts/million. However, today levels have reached numbers as high as 400 parts/million.
Everyday effects of global warming have been seen in the global temperature rise, of approximately 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century. In addition, there is the warming oceans, the shrinking ice sheets, the glacial retreat, the decreased snow cover, the rise in sea level, and many others.
Overall, this increase in CO2 levels, along with other greenhouse gases, proves to be resulting in a number of detrimental effects to our planet.
The graph in your article displayed on NASA’s website is very useful in visualizing the the drastic increase in carbon dioxide over time, and how high it is today. It is shocking to see the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the Industrial Revolution alone. It is disheartening to realize how much humans have contributed to this increase which has led to climate change such as warming oceans and shrinking ice sheets as mentioned above. At this rate, one can conclude that temperates are going to continue to rise, more droughts and heat waves will occur, and tropical storms will become stronger and more intense.
Articles like the one you presented are so important, because so many people are still in denial about climate change and how much responsibility humans have in the worsening health of our planet. It is upsetting to acknowledge our own faults as a species, but important that we all get on the same page about our contributions to these issues so that we are better informed on how to reverse some of our negative effects.
For whatever reason, the ample proof and studies done that support the issue of climate change are often ignored. The evidence is very real and very clear. This article effectively demonstrates the science behind the issue and the threat that we face. Unfortunately, many people dismiss hard science as some sort of conspiracy or political issue that can be bargained with.
This is a very interesting analysis and am important topic to discuss. I often find that I am constantly being told “CO2 is poisoning the planet!” or “We have to reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere!” but nobody breaks it down or really explains why CO2 is so dangerous and what the evidence against CO2 is. It’s one of those things that people sort of blindly accept without really ever asking why or how we know. I wouldn’t have even thought to ask this question so I am very happy that you did!