What is global warming?
Vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real and it's happening faster than ever. It is not a natural occurrence as it is a result of human activities. Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of earth. It is caused by releasing what are called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Most of the activities we do every day from turning the lights on, cooking food, or heating or cooling our homes and offices rely on energy sources like coal, gas and oil that emit carbon dioxide and other gases. More carbon dioxide is now in the atmosphere than has been in the past 650,000 years. This carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere, acts like a warm blanket, and holds in the heat. This is a major problem because it destabilizes the delicate balance that makes life on this planet possible. Just a few degrees in temperature can completely change the world as we know it, and threaten the lives of millions of people around the world.
Environmental DestructionThe massive ice sheets in the Arctic are melting at alarming rates. This is causing the oceans to rise. That’s how big these ice sheets are! Most of the world’s population lives on or near the coasts. Rising ocean levels, an estimated six feet over the next 100 years or sooner, will cause massive devastation and economic catastrophe to population centers worldwide.
The United States, with only four percent of the world’s population, is responsible for 22% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. A rapid transition to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources will combat global warming, protect human health, create new jobs, protect habitat and wildlife, and ensure a secure, affordable energy future.
Health EffectsIn a recent chilling assessment, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that human-induced changes in the Earth's climate now lead to at least 5 million cases of illness and more than 150,000 deaths every year. Temperature fluctuations may sway human health in a surprising number of ways, scientists have learned, from influencing the spread of infectious diseases to boosting the likelihood of illness-inducing heat waves and floods. Also, as temperatures rise, disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents spread, infecting people in their wake. Malaria, dengue, fever and encephalitis. These diseases are not usually heard in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices. But if we don’t act to curb global warming, they will be.
Things We Can All DoUnless we take steps now to curb global warming, our way of life, our planet, and our children are all in grave danger. But don't give up hope! Each of us can make simple things that will reduce or stop global warming.
- Spread the word and share the learning by sending this link to family, friends, and colleagues to let them know about global warming and what they can do.
- Buy green products and donate to environmental organizations.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances.
- Reduce your use of fossil fuels. Support clean and renewal energy
- Protect native forests as "carbon storehouses"
- Plant a tree, protect a forest.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle!