Ever been in a sauna where the temperature just keeps getting warmer? Well, there is no need to be in one because the Earth is doing just that.
Studies have found that the average difference in temperature has never been as high as we have experienced in the last decade. And even though the Sun is our main source of heat, the amount of heat it radiated towards Earths remains within the trend. This then begs the question: why are we warming up?
The presence of heat-trapping gas molecules in the atmosphere minimizes the heat that escapes the Earth’s surface; a phenomenon more aptly referred to as the greenhouse effect. Although some of these gases are produced by nature itself, there is no doubt that human activities have boosted the more complex one like CO2 (carbon dioxide).
The main cause of increased CO2 in the atmosphere is the burning of fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detailed out in their report that between 1970 and 2010, almost 80% of C02 emitted remained in the atmosphere. They even further concluded that it is “extremely likely” that the upsurge in temperature between the observed period is a direct result of human doings. And we are slowly feeling Mother Nature’s response.
Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been observed to loss significant thickness over the span of the decade. Worldwide, glaciers have continued to shrink in size. Sea level rose to heights that were not seen over the past million years ago. Low-lying cities experienced the greatest number of flooding last year than that for the past 50 years. Wildfires have also been rummaging through forests in the United States and cities in Africa. Heatwaves struck cities in Europe.
Ultimately, the cause is also the cure. We must change how we produce and utilize energy to a more sustainable and carbonless approach.