Celestial Green Ventures: Is the Earth Getting Hotter?

The simple answer to this question is, yes. Over half of the rise in Earth’s average surface air temperature since 1900 occurred during the mid-1970s, which was an increase of around 1 °C (1.8 °F). Together, a variety of other measurements such as decreased Arctic sea ice extent and increasing ocean heat content and cues from nature such as shifts of temperature-sensitive species of fish, mammals, insects, etc. offer unmistakable proof of global warming.

The most convincing proof of surface warming comes from widely used thermometer records, some of which date as far back as the late 19th century. Thousands of stations across the land and ocean surface are being used to measure temperatures. Placing contemporary temperature changes in the perspective of the past is made easier by indirect estimates of temperature change from sources like tree rings and ice cores. The most recent decade, 2010–2019, is the warmest decade in the instrumental record thus far, and these indirect estimates suggest that 1989 to 2019 was likely the warmest 30-year period in more than 800 years for the average surface temperature of Earth (since 1850).

Source: landaucapital.com

Given the enormous size and heat capacity of the world’s oceans, even a slight increase in Earth’s average annual surface temperature requires a significant quantity of heat energy. It may seem little, but the roughly 1 °C (1.8 °F) rise in world average surface temperature during the pre-industrial era (1880-1900) represents a huge increase in stored heat.

Many now refer to the Paris Agreement, a global agreement negotiated inside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and signed in 2016, when discussing the rise in temperatures. The agreement’s objective is to keep global warming below pre-industrial levels by, ideally, 1.5 °C (2.7 °F).

But what really happens if we reach 1.5 °C? At 1.5 °C, nothing really bad occurs. But if the average world temperature rises, we should expect to witness an increase in the number of damages and effects. By the end of this decade, or about 2030, we will likely see our first year above 1.5 °C. It will then take another 10 years or so to sort of permanently exceed that amount.

Celestial Green Ventures; The additional heat is causing regional and seasonal temperature extremes, decreasing snow cover and sea ice, increasing heavy rains, and altering plant and animal habitat ranges, both expanding and contracting some. The Arctic is warming more quickly than most other locations, as seen by the map below, and most land areas have warmed more quickly than most ocean areas.

Source: techexplorist.com

How can melting result from such little warming?

To warm up water, a lot of energy is required. However, heat is absorbed by the oceans, which causes them to warm up. In the Arctic, the sea ice is starting to melt as a result of the warmer water.

According to data from NASA’s Earth satellites, some Arctic ice melts and diminishes each summer, increasing smaller by September. The ice then grows once more as winter approaches. However, since 1979, the September ice has been thinning and decreasing. Therefore, even a modest bit of warming over many years can have a significant impact.

Celestial Green Ventures; Global sea levels are rising as more glaciers melt and enter the ocean. Another indicator that Earth’s climate is warming is the rise in sea level. Sea levels are rising for a variety of reasons, not just ice melting. The water in the ocean actually expands when it warms up! The water level has increased 7 inches in the last 100 years, according to scientists.

One of the major causes of Earth’s warming is the presence of more greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Methane and other greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) trap heat from the Sun in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is typical for our atmosphere to have certain greenhouse gases. They aid in keeping the planet’s temperature livable. However, too many greenhouse gases can result in excessive warmth. CO2 levels in our atmosphere rise as a result of the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. This occurs as a result of the air’s carbon and oxygen being combined during combustion to create CO2. We need to keep an eye on CO2 levels because too much of it can warm the Earth too much. The CO2 in the atmosphere is being studied by equipment on many NASA missions.

Source: scientificamerican.com

Celestial Green Ventures What next? Where do we go from here?

The amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we release over the next several decades will determine how much Earth will warm in the future. Today, we add over 11 billion metric tonnes of carbon every year to the atmosphere from the combustion of fossil fuels and the clearance of forests, which is roughly comparable to about 40 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere exceeds what can be eliminated by natural processes, causing an annual rise in carbon dioxide.

The 2017 U.S. Climate Science Special Report states that if annual emissions keep rising quickly, as they have since 2000, models predict that by the end of this century, the average global temperature will have risen by at least 5 °F (2.8 °C) and maybe as much as 10.2 degrees. Models predict that temperatures would still be at least 2.4 degrees warmer than in the first half of the 20th century, and perhaps up to 5.9 degrees warmer, even if yearly emissions climb more gradually and start to fall dramatically by 2050.

Your primary influences on climate change are what you eat, how you power your house and mobile gadgets, and how you travel.  The majority of these activities account for the 20 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions produced annually by a typical individual.

If you want to do your bit and help save the planet in your own way, you can take measures to avert a future in which significant ecosystems and the global climate suffer catastrophic harm. To know more click here.