Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are drying, and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace. It’s becoming clear that humans have caused most of the past century’s warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are higher now than in the last 650,000 years.
We call the result global warming, but it is causing a set of changes to the Earth’s climate, or long-term weather patterns, that varies from place to place. As the Earth spins each day, the new heat swirls with it, picking up moisture over the oceans, rising here, settling there. It’s changing the rhythms of climate that all living things have come to rely upon.
What will we do to slow this warming? How will we cope with the changes we’ve already set into motion? While we struggle to figure it all out, the face of the Earth as we know it—coasts, forests, farms and snow-capped mountains—hangs in the balance.
That is why the effects of global warming have catastrophic potential. Global warming may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It could turn out to be the difference between a category three hurricane and a category four. Global warming as caused by greenhouse gas emissions can lead us to a definite imbalance of nature.
Obviously there is no one magic solution to the problem of global warming. There are instead hundreds of questions that need to be asked and addressed so as to create an overall Earth plan that will develop our planet wisely. The changes we can make, both large and small when combined will curtail global warming for the better.
If the carbon footprint made from producing a hybrid is ten times larger than that it erases it is news that should be shared. Compact florescent lights are great energy savers but are all of these exactly what they claim to be? And furthermore will light emitting diodes render CFLs obsolete before they are universally adapted.
We will find solutions to the problem of global warming by asking countless questions about the processes we rely upon to live. We answer these questions on a personal level by changing the habits, which build each of our carbon footprints and on a global level by insisting that social and governmental structure acknowledge the need for environmental protection.