Environment Avengers, Assemble! | Teen Ink

Environment Avengers, Assemble!

November 1, 2015
By Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
324 articles 10 photos 1166 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To these the past hath its phantoms,
More real than solid earth;
And to these death does not mean decay,
But only another birth"
- Isabella Banks


In the United States, many controversial topics have been gaining popularity. With its youth taking a stand for what they believe in and speaking out, one could argue that they’re changing the future.


While the LGBTQ+ Movement and countless other equality-driven organizations are gathering support, it seems like the perfect time to reform other parts of our society- including the lack of environmental awareness. The people breathing in the atmosphere might be climbing a ladder, but so are CO2 levels.


Carbon Dioxide is a gas that resides in our atmosphere. It plays an essential role in sustaining a regular temperature here on Earth. We don’t want to get rid of all of it, but when it reaches past the safety level of 350 ppm, it becomes a problem.


When too much of this insulating gas is accumulated, it creates what is known as the “Greenhouse Effect”. The atmosphere traps more heat in, and lets less out. If you have ever visited a greenhouse before, you may have noticed that it is muggier, and definitely warmer, than the outside environment. Similar to the glass walls of a greenhouse, the Carbon Dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere blankets the Earth and keeps it warm.


To maintain the delicate balance between too hot and too cold, scientists say we need to limit the amount of Carbon Dioxide we are releasing.


As of September 2013, the CO2 levels measured by the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii were at 393.51 ppm. Having taken a measurement this year, the observatory found it to have risen to 397.64 ppm. It isn’t just these sets of data that prove CO2 is on the rise. The numbers have been steadily increasing for decades.


For example, since this atmospheric study began, the group ESRL has been measuring how much levels rise each year. It has not dropped in the slightest since 1959. In fact, the numbers are getting larger in recent years, exceeding 1 ppm since 2000.


It is almost shocking to see everything laid out so plainly, and still hear people denying that global warming even exists, let alone threatens them. Many opponents to the idea of global warning state that it is something that isn’t as bad as it seems.


This situation could definitely be worse, but allowing something to drag out until it literally kills the Earth is not the answer. We still have time to gradually reverse the effects of CO2 on the environment, and instead of ignoring it until it becomes an enormous problem, taking care of it is a logical and preemptive solution.


The future of America, and of the entire world, rests solely in the hands of today’s youth. If they get involved and take part in preventing global warming, the Earth will be a better place for everyone.

 

Documentation of Sources:
CO2 Now. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2015.
Tans, P., & Keeling, R. (n.d.). ESRL Global Monitoring Division - Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. Retrieved October 30, 2015.



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