Dangers of Climate Change


Photo courtesy of Hannah White

Hannah White

The earth must warm as a result of an increase in levels of greenhouse gases. Paleoclimate evidence by NASA reveals the current warming period is about ten times faster than the average rate. In addition, human activities with an increase of carbon dioxide are increasing 250 times faster than the previous last ice age from natural sources. 


NASA has been closely monitoring the health of the earth for decades. Since they have satellites floating miles away, they have collected data on the extremities of global warming. Heat stored in the ocean causes water to expand. Also being held responsible for ⅓ to ½ of global sea level rise, ¨It is projected to rise another 1 to 8 feet by 2100. This is the result of added water from melting land ice and the expansion of seawater as it warms¨ (NASA). Oceans take a long time to respond to conditions on the earth’s surface, therefore it will continue to rise and warm after the warming is stopped. The top few meters of the ocean store as much heat as the entire atmosphere. In 2020, iIPCC reported to have the highest sea level recorded along with the warmest temperatures. 


Climate change effects are irreversible and will worsen throughout the decades ahead. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the dangers of climate change will vary over time in individual regions along with giving the ability for environmental and social systems to adapt to change. Up here in the northeast, ecosystems, agriculture, and infrastructure, will be compromised with such change. The IPCC has predicted hotter summers, droughts, behavioral changes in wildlife, and coastal flooding.


Ancient evidence that can provide climate change answers can be found in several places: layers of sedimentary rocks, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and in tree rings. The effects of such changes show throughout the globe. With warming oceans, declining levels of arctic sea ice are concerning and harming the life that survives off them. With over 70% of Earth’s surface being the ocean, that is where 90% of global warming is occurring. It is absurd we haven’t come to a solution to fix the atmosphere before all living things change or drop dead.