How Do We Know Climate Change is Manmade?
Throughout history, the earth and its climate have changed. There have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat over the last 650,000 years; the last ice age occurred around 7,000 years ago just around the same time when the human civilization began to appear as well.
Why have these changes occurred? Scientists agree that climate changes are linked to the small variations in how the Earth orbits, since this has, as a consequence, a slight change in the amount of solar energy that the earth will then receive.
Evidence has shown that the climate responds to an increase in greenhouse gas levels. These results have been taken out of ice cores and tropical mountain glaciers, coral reefs and sedimentary rocks. Science has also studied the effects that carbon dioxide has, especially when it has been produced by man, such as the carbon dioxide that is released when burning fossil fuels.
Continue reading and discover how do we know climate change is manmade:
The Earth’s Temperature Has Risen Incredibly Fast
Global warming has been felt since the last century or so, even though temperatures started to rise faster over the last 40 years, mainly due to an acceleration of consumerism, among other things.
In fact, another reason why the temperature of the earth has risen is due to the burning - made my man - of fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas, contain a mineral called carbon that when it is burnt (for example, as fossil fuels) the carbon will be combined with the oxygen and will create carbon dioxide.
This new combination of carbon dioxide alongside other gases are referred to as Greenhouse Gases, and they tend to trap heat in the atmosphere in order to preserve the earth’s right temperature.
Co2 (or carbon dioxide) has increased non-stop over the last 150 years or so. It can be argued that carbon dioxide levels started to rise as soon as the industrial revolution began to occur as well.
It was after the industrial revolution that man began to expand how fossil fuels would be used, and it became almost mandatory for all countries to have access to this new type of energy sources.
What most people failed to understand at that time is that the more fossil fuels that would be burnt, the more problems this will cause to the environment. Thus, individuals, communities and countries decided that burning fossil fuels in order to obtain things such as electricity was necessary, even though that would cause problems to the earth.
So there is a direct correlation between a manmade job or action and an increase of carbon dioxide levels that are being sent out and released onto the earth’s atmosphere, thus creating pollution and more of greenhouse gases than the ones that are needed. As a consequence, the more CO2 that is being released the more the earth will warm up.
Anthropogenic Reasons Behind Climate Change
Vehicles, power plants, aeroplanes, boats, coal mines, etc., are examples of forcings that make the temperature of the earth rise. There are two ways in which this is done, the first one is from trapping heat and releasing it into the atmosphere, and the second one is through a sudden increase in energy, that is, in turn, converted into heat.
Human cause drivers, or anthropogenic drivers, usually trap the heat from burning forests and cutting down all trees, burning coal, gas, oil, and indiscriminately using energy that is not clean.
Acidification of the Oceans
Another consequence has been studied since human beings started emitting carbon dioxide indiscriminately, especially through the burning of fossil fuels. As Co2 goes into the atmosphere then the surfaces of the oceans have increased its acidity in an estimated high 30%.
This is because most of the energy that has been trapped by the Greenhouse gases is absorbed by the oceans, instead of being absorbed by the atmosphere. As a result, the ocean’s heat uptake can be seen on the surface’s temperature.
How Much of Climate Change is Caused by Humans?
Human activity has likely caused a rapid increase in the world’s temperature, especially during the last couple of years.
It can be argued that even though there are natural factors that also encourage climate change (such as the gases emitted by volcanos and the changes in solar activity), these are minor contributions in comparison to how human beings are able to pollute the earth.
Many scientists have studied the effects of volcanos and solar activity on earth, and the results show that the two phenomenom do not increase the temperature of the earth, in fact, they actually cool it down.
Moreover, warming and cooling of the earth has happened before, even when humans didn’t exist. But today’s unprecedented and rapid warming of the world is definitely manmade, as the accumulation of toxic things that a person does is being shown directly on the earth through global warming.
It is important to know that human activities are the main driver behind climate change and global warming. Knowing this will allow individuals to understand that the actions they do will have a direct impact on the health of the environment they surround themselves in.
And even though the problem of climate change is manmade, men and women shall still be encouraged to address this by becoming more aware of how they are living their lives. Climate change is a big issue that all individuals must embrace in order to find ways to help reduce the negative footprint that is being left behind, especially for those generations to come.
This is why it is highly encouraged to use a bicycle whenever possible, instead of taking the car to go and do a simple errand. Or perhaps having a day of the week where no meat is eaten. If simple actions are made by all and then they are added up then climate change can be stopped sooner rather than later.