change is a controversial issue where people hold various opinions about. However
in recent times, there has been overwhelming evidence indicating climate change
is real due to the warning trend in our climate resulting into the melting of
earth’s glaciers and ice caps which will in turn, cause the sea levels to rise
and as well pose an imminent threat to coastal regions. It is now understood
that the earth’s climate is warming up, the arctic is melting, while the
drought and flood patterns are changing, and these changes will drastically
increase over the years (IPCC, 2007) . There is a strong debate in our society
about the occurrence of climate change. Climate change is happening because there
was an increase of about 0.01oC in sea
surface temperature at the global scale, as against 2015 record (Blunden and
Arndt, 2017). Bluden and Arndt (2017) point out that there was constant heavy
flooding in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay as a result of wet conditions across
southern South America all through the year. Bluden and Arndt (2017) further
states that ‘Wetter-than-usual conditions were also observed for eastern Europe
and central Asia alleviating the drought conditions or worse, the longest such
stretch in the record’.
suggests that climate change is a valid threat because the health of the ocean
is failing due to increased temperature, causing mass deaths of fish and the
overgrowth of dangerous algae. Currently, there
is an extraordinary increase in the warming trend since the mid 20th
century and most likely (greater than 95 percent probability) can be attributed
to human activity (IPCC, 1996). Sufficient evidence that climate change exists
can be drawn from the satellite observation of the National Snow and Ice Data
Center (2013) which reveals that the amount of spring snow cover in the
Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow
is melting earlier. Levitus, et.al.,
(2009) points out that with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of
ocean indicating warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969, the oceans
have taken in a great deal of the increased heat. According to the National
Ocean and Atmospheric Authority (NOAA)
(YEAR) surface ocean water acid levels increased
by about 30 percent since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This increase
is the result of human emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and
hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide
absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons
per year (Sabine et.al., 2004).
picture below further supports the fact that climate change exists, showing
increase in temperature and impacts on the glacier.
1: Picture of melting earth glacier Figure
map shows average temperatures in the
Rafferty, 2016) United States (NOAA, 2016)
Data by NASA has established key
evidence proving the reality of climate change from the Greenland and Antarctic
ice sheets which has decreased in mass. National Aeronautics and Space
Administration’s (NASA) Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland
lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers of ice between 2002 and 2005.
Figure 3: Image of flowing meltwater from
the Greenland ice sheet (NASA, 2006)
key evidence to indicate that climate change is a valid threat can be seen in
the models used by NASA and NOAA to predict climate which generally indicate an
overall warming trend. As inferred from the report of the Working Group 1 which
globally averaged surface temperatures have increased by 0.6 ± 0.2°C over the
20th century; and that, for the range of scenarios developed in the IPCC Special
Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES), the globally averaged surface air
temperature is projected by models to warm 1.4 to 5.8°C by 2100 relative to 1990,
and globally averaged sea level is projected by models to rise 0.09 to 0.88m by
2100’ (1PCC, 2001).
evidence that indicate that climate change exists and is a danger to humanity
is observed in Jarraud and Steiner’s statement. Jarraud and Steiner (2013) further support
the claim that climate change is real in the report “Climate
Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” stating that
‘The report confirms that warming in the
climate system is unequivocal, with many of the observed changes unprecedented
over decades to millennia: warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, diminishing
snow and ice, rising sea levels and increasing concentrations of greenhouse
gases. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the
Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.’ (p.v)
With so much evidence in support of the occurrence of climate
change, it is unrealistic to believe otherwise. The evidence overwhelming
supports the fact that the earth’s climate is changing significantly, resulting
into various disastrous challenges which could make the earth inhabitable if
J. & Arndt, D.S (2017) State of the Climate in 2016. Bull. Amer. Meteor.
Soc., 98 (8), Si-S277, doi: 10.1175/2017BAMSStateoftheClimate.1.
C.L. et.al. (2004) “The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2,” Science vol. 305
(16 July, 2004), 367-371.
(1996) IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Summary for Policy makers
Santer, B.D. et. al. (1996) “A search for human influences on the thermal
structure of the atmosphere,” Nature vol. 382, 4 July 1996, 39-46.
(2001). Climate Change 2001: Impacts,
Adaptation, and Vulnerability. ISBN 0 521 80768 9 hardback ISBN 0 521 01500
(2007): A simplified guide to the IPCC’s “Climate Change 2007: A mitigation of
Climate Change”. How to cut greenhouse gas emission and minimize global warming.
7. IPCC (2013): Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
et.al. (2009) “Global ocean heat content 1955-2008 inlight of recently revealed
instrumentation problems,”, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 36, paper no.
Snow and Ice Data Center (2013).
C. Derksen and R. Brown, “Spring snow cover extent
reductions in the 2008-2012 period exceeding climate model projections,” GRL,