By: Maria Kristina Salientes
We concern ourselves with why the climate is changing; I bet what needs changing is us — a natural thought process. Not only one soul can fight such a huge predicament. This needs humanity’s unitedness. We have our countries communicating, but for what reason? I don’t know much, but I know the environment is at the bottom of the agenda. We have a kid protesting, but how about those who have the potential power to alleviates the problem. Let us acknowledge actions so that we could act on this. Inform people what caused every bit of our concerns. This won’t do if only 7 out of 10 drove to make it work, change comes with full manpower. This does not require us to do tiring physical dues; we only need to think of the stats in the environmental surveys, the icebergs melting, floods, warming, extreme drops in temperatures, this is basic stuff, science. If I have to explain this bit by bit, this will get too long, and you’d just be bored, not be able to read the more important disputes at the bottom.
Climate is the expected weather setting in a specified location. It can be geographically measured; countries do not have the same climate. This can be seen in statistics on how and when bars escalate above or below the normal. Climate change refers to changes in these stats over the years, decades, and centuries. This has happened since the geologic time scale until Anthropocene came, and it made a massive difference in how natural these extreme coolings and severe warmings are. It is the work of nature itself. The change was when people got involved. Humans affect climate by changing the nature of the land surfaces and through the emission of pollutants that affect the amount and type of particles in the atmosphere. In much debate, humans became stubborn and are slowly killing instead of preserving Earth.
NASA recorded a global temperature rise; the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 0.9 in Celsius since the late 19th century, a change driven primarily by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming occurred in the last 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010. From January through September, with the exception of June were the warmest on record for those respective months in 2016.
Greenhouse gases, not everyone knows about how it affects Earth’s energy balance and climate. Small changes in the output or any disturbance of the natural process of energy from the sun will affect this balance directly. This results in warming.
The warming oceans caused ice to melt. The Antarctic ice shelves hold the most significant contribution to the rising sea levels. This phenomenon disrupts the circulation of ice and water throughout continents. It becomes more alarming because these ice shelves modulate the flow of freshwater in rivers, for it contains 60 percent of Earth’s freshwater, and Earth only has 3 percent of freshwater in total than the 97 percent saltwater.
Yes, we should be afraid of what’s to come after this, but what we can do now is change. There are few initiatives to preserve what’s left of Earth. A part of the population is slowly removing plastics, which is a significant source of the crisis; some now live a green life. We have environmentalists and activists raising their voice to the government and doing the best they can to help and inform the people of how small good things they do for the environment will mean the world to them. We have scientists that research to aid the forces to save Earth. Do simple things like minimizing the trash we accumulate each day, preserve freshwater, commute, this will lessen human emission.
Let this be a reminder that we are living temporarily in a planet called Earth, a rich one but mistreated. We should be thankful and start to acknowledge the life it provided.
Maria Kristina Salientes is a sophomore in college and is currently studying geology. She attends the University of Southeastern Philippines. She has just recently joined the Project Ripples family as the International Contributor and Blog Writer. She is extremely passionate and knowledgable about science and climate change, and it is greatly reflected through her writing.