Update on Climate Change as of October, 2019

Update on Climate Change as of October, 2019

By Juliana Lee, Staff Writer

The increasing dangerous threat of permanent climate change has been looming over Earth in recent years. Scientists believe that due to human-induced causes, climate change is occurring much more rapidly in comparison to past years. Therefore, the fate of the Earth lies in the public’s decision to change their own ignorant lifestyles and behaviors that have proven to be detrimental to the environment. It also relies on how quickly people can unify and collaborate to prevent this life-altering transformation of Earth’s climate. 

As of 2019, the planet’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached an ultimate high in the last 650,000 years according to NASA. This is due to many contributing factors such as burning fossil fuels for gas and deforestation in order to obtain wood for paper. Carbon dioxide levels in November of 2005 were 380.5 ppm(parts per million), and the most recent measurement shows that levels are at 411.84 ppm in August  2019.

The increasing amount of this greenhouse gas has been trapping heat inside of Earth’s atmosphere, increasing the overall temperature of the planet. The warmest 19 years in Earth’s history, measured in celsius, were between the years 2000 to 2018 as well as 1998. The increase of temperature and levels of carbon dioxide have melted ice in the Arctic in addition to ice sheets in the two poles.

In the year 2001, there were about 6.8 million sq km of Arctic sea ice, but in 2018 they depreciated to 4.60 million sq km. There is estimated to be a 12.8% decrease of sea ice every ten years. Ice sheets have been melting at a rate of 413 gigatons per year. As they continue to decrease in abundance, sea levels have correspondingly rose 3.3 millimeters per year.

Climate change has been and continues to be a potential threat that can ultimately impact our own future. Lauren Reiser, a Wayne Hills junior, states that “there should definitely be action because it’s important to support and preserve our planet. We don’t have another one and if we continue at this rate, we will destroy numerous ecosystems.”