According to Climate.nasa.gov, “in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era,– and of human civilization.” One of the reasons why the earth’s climate is changing is because human activities alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. In order to understand how greenhouse gases impact on our planet we have to understand what climate change is.
Climate change occurs when changes in Earth’s climate system result in new weather patterns that remain in place for extended periods. One of the reasons for the occurrences of new weather patterns is greenhouse gas emissions. The Greenhouse Effect is due to human activities, and many countries are trying to find the best ways to solve the problem in this, the 21st century. Some believe it is nothing to worry about. However, over the last century, the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This happens because the burning processes of coal and oil combine carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2. To a lesser extent, the clearing of lands for agriculture, industry, and other human activities have increased concentrations of greenhouse gases.
In some regions, new weather patterns might be welcomed but for others they are devastating. New weather patterns affect the ecosystem the most. According to the report, Ecosystems and Global Climate Change ,by Jay R. Malcolm & Louis F. Pitelka, “Climate is the single most important factor determining the geographic distributions of species and major vegetation types. It also influences the properties of ecosystems and the flows of energy and materials through them” When a pattern in weather changes certain types of plants and foods won’t be able to grow. Therefore, animals that depend on plants as their food source won’t have any food to eat, which leads to their deaths.
New weather patterns don’t only impact animals, humans are also affected. In some places higher temperatures and shifting climate patterns may change the areas where crops grow best and affect the makeup of natural plant communities. Alexandra Branscombe states, “The greatest damage to crops per ton comes from black carbon and from gases used in refrigeration. Methane emissions are also very harmful to plants because the gas increases surface ozone that causes harmful chlorosis, or a yellowing of the leaves”. With such facts and research information, we still have a world leader who believes that climate change is not real. According to an article in Times.com by Justin Worland, “President Donald Trump has falsely called climate change a “hoax” invented by China, incorrectly suggested that wind turbines cause cancer and dismissed a landmark scientific report produced by the federal government’s own scientists. His Administration has sought to roll back key climate regulations at every turn”.
If we don’t stop greenhouse gas emissions, we might not see a big impact in our generation but the upcoming generation will be greatly impacted by it. We can’t be selfish thinking only about ourselves and not about our future generation. We might not able to solve the greenhouse gas emissions within one or two years, but taking small steps.such as using recyclable products, buying energy-efficient products, planting more trees, and using solar power will help to reduce them, as well as save money. If we all take little steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we will be able to save the planet from horrific circumstances.