Forecasting Climate Change
by Amy Lignor
As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming.
As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? What impacts will occur next year? There are a list of questions, as always, but the only fact that never changes is that humans and the trouble we are causing is the main source of global warming.
Evidence is produced showing that changes in weather, oceans and ecosystems/habitats, come from natural causes, but the evidence is not prevalent. Human activities include releasing billions of tons of carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere each and every year. Climate changes will not cease, seeing as that the more greenhouse gases we emit, the larger future climate change problems will become.
It’s important to note that the global average temperature has increased by more than 1.5°F, with some regions of the world warming more than twice that amount. Greenhouse gases and their build-up are responsible for a list of troubles: from temperatures and precipitation patterns to the melting of glaciers to shifts in ecosystems that have negatively affected the length of growing seasons and the migration of birds.
The EPA is not uncaring or silent about this problem. It was just recently, in 2016, that the EPA launched an online portal that actually provides local leaders with information and tools that will better equip them to handle climate changes. Based on the area they live in, this online service (Adaptation Resource Center/ARC-X) provides users with the info pertaining to their specific areas and concerns.
People may roll their eyes at this –i.e., “more useless government spending.” But the fact is this site is more than necessary. Recent statistics proved that the federal government incurred more than $357 billion in direct costs due to extreme weather conditions, storms, and fires over the past 10 years. Climate change is also expected to bring about highly significant financial challenges to everyone. Which is why the EPA designed ARC-X to help all local government officials.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, stated that: “From floods and droughts to dangerous heat islands and other public health effects, communities are facing the very real impacts of climate change. ARC-X is a powerful new tool that can help local governments continue to deliver reliable, cost-effective services even as the climate changes.”
The system is not only about telling people what is coming in regards to dangerous weather or the ill effects of climate change, it actually guides people through the process of how best to adapt to the changes that have already come about. They can adapt and address their specific risks and problems, and read case studies done on towns and communities that have already successfully adapted, so others may learn from them.
Yes, no matter who sits in the chair in The White House, climate change and ecosystem issues will continue. And, yes, there will be money spent in many areas in an attempt to stop what seems to be a constantly-increasing problem that will continue to get worse until we learn how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We have done good work, thus far. From wind energy to solar shields to environmental projects that are saving trees, forests and better serving industry, work is most certainly being done correctly. But more has to happen. Global warming was projected to not only continue during the 21st century, but intensify. Therefore, the most aggressive action needs to be taken by us – the world’s population – in order to literally save this planet for the next generation to be able to “breathe” a little easier.
Source: Baret News