Is Climate Change Real? How Can You Help?
One of the hottest topics for debate is our Earth’s rapidly changing climate. While some say the changing of our Earth’s atmosphere is a natural, gradual process, there is scientific evidence that shows many contributing factors that are not natural.
Unsure where about what to think? Don’t be! Let’s dive in!
What Is Climate Change?
We all know what weather is, and these are the changes that we see and feel on a daily basis outside. One place in the world might experience snow, and another may be basking in the sunlight. While climate differs based on seasons, the climate is essential to the usual weather of that place.
Now that we know what climate is, let’s dive into climate change. As NASA defines, climate change is “a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could change how much rain a place usually gets in a year. Or it could be a change in a place’s usual temperature for a month or season.” While our weather can change every few days or hours, climate change is a gradual process that takes place over hundreds of millions of years.
What Factors Contributed to Climate Change?
Now, there are two categories of factors that have contributed to our Earth’s climate change over the years, natural and human. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has noted that “…it is extremely likely (>95%) that human activities have been the dominant cause of the warming.” Below are a few of these activities:
- Greenhouse Gasses: Since the Industrial Revolution, and due to human activities outside of manufacturing and production, the key greenhouse gasses have all increased. These increased emissions have, in turn, increased the greenhouse effect, causing the Earth’s surface temperature to rise. Not to mention the burning of fossil fuels changes the climate more than any other human activity.
- Carbon Dioxide: To date, human activities release over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Since pre-industrial times, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by more than 40 percent.
- Methane: Due to human activities, methane emissions have increased more than 2.5 times since the pre-industrial level.
- Nitrous Oxide: Concentrations of nitrous oxide have increased by 20 percent since the industrial revolution and show a rapid increase towards the end of the 20th
Evidence of Climate Change
Let’s look at a few of the significant pieces of evidence scientists have noted for our Earth’s rapid climate change:
- Global Temperature Rise: Increased carbon dioxide has contributed to our average surface temperature. The Earth has seen 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit rise in its temperature since the 19th Most of this warming, however, has occurred in the last 40 years, with 2016 and 202 tying the record for warmest year on record.
- Warming Ocean: With Earth storing 90% of its extra energy in the ocean, our oceans have absorbed much of this extra heat coming from the sun. The top 328 feet of the ocean show warming of more than 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
- Shrinking Ice Sheets: Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment have shown that Greenland lost an average of “279 billion tons of ice between 1993 and 2019, while Antarctica lost about 148 billion tons….”
- Decreased Snow Cover: Using satellites, scientists’ observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades. The snow is beginning to melt earlier.
- Sea Level Rise: Our global sea level has risen about eight inches within the last century. In the previous two decades, the number has nearly doubled that… and is accelerating slightly every year.
5 Ways You Can Help
Luckily, there are steps and changes we can all take to help fight against climate change. Here are a few small actions that can help!
- Save Energy at Home: Many times, the heat and electricity in our homes is powered by coal, oil or gas. You can use less energy by lowering your heating and cooling, switching to LED lightbulbs and using energy-efficient electric appliances. You can also wash your laundry with cold water and hang them out to dry versus using a dryer.
- Walk, Bike or Take Public Transportation: Many of the vehicles on our roadways run on gasoline or diesel power. By walking or riding a bike instead of driving will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and your overall health. For longer distance trips, consider public transportation or carpooling.
- Eat More Vegetables: The production of plant-based foods generally produces less greenhouse gas emissions than regular food. Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and consuming less dairy and meat can help lower your environmental impact.
- Consider Your Travel: Airplanes burn huge amounts of fossil fuels, producing a significant number of greenhouse emissions. The fastest way to reduce this environmental impact is to take fewer flights, meet virtually or take a train!
- Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle: Items such as electronics and close cause carbon emissions at some point in productions. To help protect our climate, buy fewer things, shop second-hand, repair what you can and recycle.
Helping Our Planet One Install at a Time
While our team is working hard to build custom solar energy systems for each of our customers’ homes, there is a bigger picture at play. Momentum Solar was created in 2009 with the dream to help save our environment and help homeowners save money on their monthly utility bills. With thousands of installs completed in our company’s lifetime, it is a no-brainer that Momentum continues to grow as a top solar provider and installer across the country. Our team of experts is ready to help make you the switch towards a greener, cleaner future, one install at a time. Call us today at 1-888-MOMENTUM to learn more!
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