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Caring for our planet and the climate change

Global warming is a problem that needs serious attention and discussion. People all around the world are wondering if the climate change is a consequence of human activity or is the Earth just going through a cycle of evolution. Scientists have been studying global warming ever since 1960 when an Oceanographic Institution observed that the Arctic ice was starting to melt. In 1995, when global warming had already become one of the most controversial issues for environment agencies (EPA), almost 20,000 square km of ice had already melted in the Arctic pouring fresh, cold water into the oceans and leading to climate change.

By examining temperature and salinity in the world’s oceans and comparing them with patterns, researchers were able to understand some of the aspects related to the climate change as a result of increased global warming. A very good example is provided by the ocean currents that drive the Gulf Stream. Further melting in the Arctic could change the circulation of those currents and cause Britain’s temperature to decrease with almost 6?C.

What would happen if the ice kept on melting? Well, a new Ice Age is a very strong possibility. If the warm-water currents shut down, there wouldn’t be any warm water for many of Earth’s regions and the climate change would take place. Still, no climate change was, is or will be sudden. If that would happen today, the dramatic results would be revealed as a disaster that would include season alteration with the possible dissappearance of summer, dry weather or quite the contrary only rain and snow. In other parts of the globe droughts and firestorms would destroy everything in their path. Some places on our planet could become unhabitable and people would starve or freeze to death. There are many possible scenarios and none of them looks good.

Can we do something to prevent all this from happening? Specialists are trying to increase the awareness of the people who can do something about global warming. Yes, climate change is an issue everyone is well acquainted with. The risks are big and they involve the whole population of the Globe, but we are not doing anything to stop our mistakes. On the contrary, we are all giving a helping hand. Pollution is one of the main culprits of climate change. Coal, oil and gas industries are making millions in the era of development and very few of them care if the environment is protected from all the waste. People rely on these energy sources to travel, to eat, to heat without giving a moment’s thought towards global warming, climate change and a disastrous future. A friendly environment without ice melting and the rising of water levels is a very far to reach target.

Earth’s climate systems are extremely sensitive. They can suddenly swift from one mechanism to another and it may not be the right one (e.g. climate change caused by global warming). There are many strategies to avoid pollution and, as a consequence, the climate change. People are advised to choose healthier, cleaner energy sources such as solar power, wind and wave energy, fuel cells and hydrogen powered cars. Still, these solutions are expensive and not everyone can afford them.

In the opinion of some researchers, simple gestures could make a big difference in the case of global warming. We must all remember that oceans are essential in the distribution of life-sustaining water. They are the planet’s largest reservoir of water and the climate change affects them as well. So, to lower the global warming level and avoid causing acid rains, hurricans, flooding and droughts, we might want to consider cutting down on fuel, recycling and quit dumping our waste in the most inappropriate places. All this can lead to a healthier style of life.

Another theory developed on the global warming issue is the constructal theory. It sees the Earth as a heat engine that dissipates the power produced through air and water currents. Based on this theory, scientists are able to predict some of the climate changes that will occur in desert and tropical forests, as well as in temperate zones and poles. The main characteristics that help reduce the uncertainty about climate change and global warming are: the sun’s temperature, the solar constant (amount of incoming solar radiation), cloud cover and greenhouse factor (concentrations of aerosols and greenhouse gases to establish the quantity of energy trapped by the atmosphere). By studying these factors we may be able to improve the ability to predict what would happen and, with the help of instruments monitoring critical present-day conditions, to set up global warming patterns. Alternative reasons for the rise in temperature were given throughout the decade, changes in solar and volcanic activity being often incriminated. These are just suspicions as no actual proof was provided to sustain these affirmations.

The truth lies in the reorganization of the ocean currents circulating around the Earth and mainly the Ocean Conveyor (including the Gulf Stream) which distributes a large amount of heat around the planet. If that would be affected, and it may be by global warming, climate change wouldn’t hesitate to appear. However, that doesn’t mean we can keep polluting the planet. We must stand up and say no to gases that affect the atmosphere, the ozone layer and our natural habitat. Learning more about global warming and the climate change can make a difference in the future of our children.


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