Some Thoughts about the Climate Change
I believe that the climate change is happening at this very moment. It is real. We have already observed changes to our climate that are more rapid than anything the earth has experienced for at least the last few decades.
There has been an increase in heat waves, fewer frosts and a warming of the lower atmosphere and Upper Ocean. Much of the warming is due to human activities that have increased greenhouse gases. This is known as the enhanced greenhouse effect. When I searched the internet, I found that some reports said that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels had increased by 35% from pre-industrial times. Ice core records indicate this current level is higher than at any other time in the past 420,000 years.
If few measures are taken to cope with this kind of situation, temperatures are likely to rise by 3-5 degrees centigrade by the end of this century. Reliable water supplies will be disrupted. Life in the ocean will be compromised, food production will decline and there will be mass immigration to areas of the planet’s surface which remain habitable.
The main reason for this, I think is fossil fuels are currently the dominant source of energy, which are mainly used to generate electricity. But in the climate conference in Copenhagen held in 2009, the politicians were unlikely to cut emissions sufficiently to prevent dangerous glob al heating though a Copenhagen Protocol to prevent global warming and climate changes was passed. If the humans want to change this kind of situation, the scientists can really contribute to the successful stop of the earth’s crisis spreading, which I mean the only way we have to tackle the problem is to switch our focus from the fossil fuels to the alternative energy sources, especially the nuclear power because it has been recognized the most promising substitute for the fossil fuels with the higher efficiency and less damage to the environment.
Speaking of the impacts, what is obvious is that the sea level is rising, which threatens coastal communities, wetlands (BTW, we have been to the wetlands in Ohio State) and coral reefs and the Arctic sea ice is melting, which may lead to changes in ocean circulation.
Ecosystems are changing, which I think this is why we have to move those endangered species to a conservation center or a zoo. As temperature warms, species may either move to a cooler place or die.
And one more thing, seawater is becoming more acidic for the carbon dioxide dissolving in the ocean is making seawater more acidic. There would be impacts on coral reefs and other marine life.
When we talk about how this trend affects humans. Most of it connects to the meteorology. To put it briefly heavier rainfall cause flooding in many regions. Warmer temperatures have led to more intense rainfall events in some areas. This can cause flooding. Last night, when I surfed the internet, I found out that water levels in the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River had risen with continuing heavy rain and the flood peak in the upper section was expected o reach much faster than in the devastating 1998 flood which left thousands of people dead and meanwhile several provinces were on flood alert over the weekend when the typhoon moved inland after sweeping across Hainan Island.
And higher temperatures can also cause a higher rate of evaporation and extreme drought in some areas. More frequent heat waves have become more common in the world and there have been more deaths due to heat waves and some changes in the range of animals that carry disease like mosquitoes, which affect human health.
However, we should not be pessimistic about it because the impacts are probably severe but perhaps not catastrophic. We have spared lots of efforts into raising the public awareness of the climate change. What really matters is not what we have got from nature but how we treat it.