Humans have been alive about 50,000 years. A mere blink of an eye in comparison to the 4.6 billion years the earth has been around.
Earth is the only suitable environment for humanity as well as every other living organism on earth. Currently, global warming is the greatest threat to our species exsistence. We have already witnessed the polar ice caps melting at an alarming rate of nine percent every decade. The Arctic ice thickness has decreased 40 percent since the 1960s. Over the past 3 decades, more than a million square miles of perennial sea ice — an area the size of Norway, Denmark and Sweden combined — has disappeared. Predictions show that the Arctic will be free of ice by the summer of 2040.
So how does all the melting ice effect life on earth?
The melting ice causes sea level rise due to thermal expansion. Thermal expansion is the tendancy of matter to change in volume in response to a change in temperature. This will ultimately lead to a loss of coastal wetlands, barrier islands, estuaries and coastal communities. Many of these areas are home to entire ecosystems. The disapearance of one species on earth means the disapearance of another species food source. Krill for example, are one of the most abundant organisms that also provide food for a wide variety of marine life. krill will slow reproduction with even the slightest rise in temperature change. If the Krill stop producing do to temperature change then there will be a huge decline in marine life that feed on krill. This decline only leads to further extintion of other species who won’t have food to eat, including humans.
What is causing Global Warming?
Green house gases are the cause of global warming. A greenhouse gas is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation, thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere. Over the last 150 years humans having been burning fossil fuel for electricity, heat, and transportation, all while releasing green house gases into the atmosphere. The gases being released into the atmosphere further deplete earth’s ozone layer. This process allows extra ultraviolet B radiation to reach Earth. Too much Ultraviolet B radiation inhibits the reproductive cycle of phytoplankton, single celled organisms such as algae that make up the bottom of the food chain. Reductions in phytoplankton populations will in turn lower the populations of other animals.
There has been a cumulative and compounding devastion that has followed humans in their path. A combination of resource extraction, genetically modified organisms, moral failures, pollution, introduction of invasive species and a threat to the furture of any life on earth. We must curb our insatiable voracity for over consumption of the planets resources and find our connection again with the earth.
Please take a look at some of the links posted below to find out how you can make a difference for tomorrow.