While many people like to think that global warming isn’t real and is not a problem on our planet, it is, in fact, a very real problem and has affected our planet in some extremely horrible ways. Climate change is one of those ways. While some people have claimed that this change in the Earth’s climate is natural and has happened many times before, so it is not a problem, it is, in fact, a very large and impending problem. Climate change should not be occurring at the rate it has been. Climate change is something that naturally occurs over the course or hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. In just the past 50 years, the earth has seen many drastic changes in our climate, such as more devastating hurricanes and tsunamis, significantly more common occurrences of wildfires which are also more impactful to those that they affect, an increase in tornados and tropical storms. There is an especially dramatic increase of tornados in places where it is uncommon for tornadoes to occur. More common and more dangerous thunderstorms and blizzards. There has been snow in places where it almost never snows and the snow that these places have gotten have reached amounts that those locations have never seen before. Finally, the increase in fluctuating temperatures has affected many locations around the world.
Of all the causes of these changes in climate, by far one of the most prominent ones is the drastic increase or carbon monoxide(CO) and decrease of oxygen(O2) in our Earth’s atmosphere. In 2018 studies found that the amount of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere was the highest the planet has seen in the last 800,000 years. The average amount they found was approximately 410.94ppm (Parts per Million), which is a 0.035 increase from the measurements found only a year before, (2017’s average was 409.48ppi). While this may not seem like very much, if you look at the ppi of carbon monoxide from only 3 years ago, in 2015, you’ll find that the average ppi was only about 208, a 68% increase. That kind of increase would naturally happen over the course of at a minimum of 250 years, yet it has occurred in only 3. To compare, before 1990, there was only an average of a 0.5% or less increase in carbon monoxide per year. And now, from 1990 to present day, there has been an average of a 2% or higher increase per year. This means that since 1990 there has been more than a 56% increase in carbon monoxide levels. An extremely unnatural rate.
This increase can be blamed by the mass use of vehicles that use oil and gas to run. The amount of carbon monoxide that the average car releases approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere in just one year. In 2017 there were about 269.7 million car users in just the United States alone. That means approximately 1.07 billion tons of carbon monoxide were released into the atmosphere in that just in just the United States alone. The increase or CO can also be blamed on factory production which releases a chemical packed smog. About 2.57 million pounds of carbon monoxide is released by factories into the atmosphere per minute. That adds up to about 1.85 million tons of CO per day. It also doesn’t help that the decrease in oxygen caused by deforestation, trash buildup, and many other things has allowed room for carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels to grow. Because of this, the air we breath is becoming more and more toxic each year.
This toxic chemical increase has caused average earth temperatures to rise and fall at drastic rates, causing irregular weather patterns. One of the most prominent weather changes in the past couple of years has been an increase in hurricanes and tropical storms in not only amount but in devastation as well. In 2017, the US alone saw 17 named storms, 10 of which were hurricanes. This is well above the average amount which is about 12 storms per year, the majority of which are only weak tropical storms. The strongest hurricane of the 2017 season, Hurricane Irma, occurred on August 30, 2017, and reached wind speed of 180 mph. It is the strongest hurricane the US has seen since Hurricane Wilma, which occurred October 16, 2005, and had wind speeds reaching 185 mph. What made Irma so much more devastating though was it’s size. Irma had a diameter of about 420 miles wide, creating a circumference of about 1,319.47 square miles, while Wilma’s diameter reached only 2.3 miles wide which made a circumference of only 7.22 square miles. The abnormal amount of hurricanes this last summer is believed to be caused by global warming.
Also, the destruction of our environment can partially be blamed on the excessive amount of trash in landfills. Many people do not recycle recyclable items, those items then end up in landfills, increasing the amount of space and trash. Also, because we throw away so much, it can end up in the ocean, getting caught on animals which can then get stuck and injured by the trash, they can even die because they are stuck in the trash or have eaten it. This production of waste harms environments and hurts the animals living in them, but if more people recycle their recyclable items, we can decrease the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and also helps the environment by decreasing the amount of production of new products like new plastic and new metals which release fumes that pollute the atmosphere.
To sum this up, the Earth is dying, and it’s dying fast, human consumption of the environmentally harmful product is only speeding up the process. As a whole, we need to spread awareness and encourage doing things that will help the earth.We need to support organizations that advocate creating more environmental regulations, to volunteer time to picking up litter on the sides of highways and help animals that are caught in the trash that floats in the ocean. We need to help our Earth, and we need to help it fast.