Climate change is defined as the change in global climate patterns in the last hundred years that is often blamed on the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that come from the consumption of fossil fuels. Frequently, the climate change is referred to as “global warming.”
Politicians across the world have been confronted with the topic and made it a big part in elections across the world, especially green parties, that campaign for decreasing pollution.
“What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event, it’s a slow moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see,” said President Obama in an interview with the New York Times. The White House’s website even has an action plan that describes how the United States will address the threat of climate change. The plan draws out a map to reduce carbon emissions, make renewable energy affordable, and create thousands of jobs around sustainable energy sources. Also, on Dec. 12, 2015, President Obama and other world leaders secured a global agreement to combat climate change, as mentioned on the White House’s website.
This plan and global agreement is a big step forward for the United States, who have been far behind in terms of supporting clean energy and lowering carbon emissions. Some politicians deny that climate change is happening, whereas others agree that there is an issue. In fact, under his presidency, Obama attempted to work through a divided parliament and start taking action, as evident on the White House’s website.
However, the signs and shifts of climate throughout the last decades were not always interpreted the same way. Only around forty years ago people were scared of the next ice age, and within this historically short period of time there was a massive shift towards global warming. This trend is often caused by the media that wants to make headlines out of the smallest changes in climate.
Time magazine has been one of the forerunners in terms of influencing the people’s opinions about this sensitive topic. In the 1970’s, the magazine frequently publicized that the new ice age is coming with headlines like “The Big Freeze” in 1973, “How To Survive The Coming Ice Age” in 1977, and “The Cooling Of America” in 1979, which raised concerns among the population.
One argument that many people have to support the theory of global warming is the melting of the North Pole. This statement is proven to be true according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the ice melts at a record-high rate of almost nine percent per decade.
Also while the ice cap on the North Pole is melting, the ice cap on the South Pole is growing. Currently, NASA stated that the ice in the Antarctic is at a record high since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970’s. However, the ice in
the Antarctic is only growing at a rate of one-third of the level the sea ice in the Arctic is decreasing.
These changes in climate can be explained by the shift of poles. The planet earth has a geographic North and South Pole and a magnetic pole that marks the axis of rotation of the earth. Through its iron core, the earth basically functions similar to a large magnet.
“The magnetic poles don’t line up with the geographic ones, and the difference between them is an angle called declination. As if this wasn’t enough of a nuisance for navigators, the Earth’s magnetic field drifts, causing the angle of declination to change over time,” said Wynne Parry in an article on the Live Science website.
This declination does not only cause a shift in the climate between the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere, but it also affects the aviation control. In about five years, the magnetic pole drifts off by one degree from the geographic pole. In long distance aviation, the difference of one degree can mean arriving in the wrong city. It also affects the landing on the runway because the runway is marked through points on the compass.
“Recently, the drift has caused our runways’ orientations to be closer to the next increment on the magnetic compass,” Tampa International Airport spokeswoman Brenda Geoghagan told Live Science.
Also, the so-called “hype” about global warming has caused many movements geared towards protecting and conserving the planet earth. Governments around the world and people became aware of the fatal causes that occur through the burning of fossil fuels and the pollution of nature. Organizations that fight to protect the environment, such as Greenpeace or National Geographic, have fund tremendous support by people that are directly affected by the outcomes of pollution. Also, famous celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, or Brad Pitt help promote the issues about pollution and climate change.
“Making ‘The Revenant’ was about man’s relationship to the natural world, the world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in reported history — our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating,” said DiCaprio after winning his first Oscar earlier this year.
Unfortunately, many developing countries like India, China or Brazil are only making small progress because the overall goal is economic growth. This situation caused many develop countries to slow down their progress towards clean energy because they were afraid to have a competitive disadvantage in the global competition.
“We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the
politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted,” DiCaprio continued.
Since almost two decades, scientists are working hand in hand with geologists and engineers to provide better solutions for a sustainable lifestyle, especially in industrialized and developing countries. According to Nature.com, the detailed research about the storage of CO2, has been helpful to develop new farming methods that are more efficient and better for the soil and emissions. There are also many new ways to generate clean energy through wind, sun, or water energy or the use of natural gas. With these technologies, mankind will be able to live fully off sustainable energy.
These movements are the solution for this issue that the world is facing that everyone is or will be affected from one day. Protecting the environment is a global challenge, and collectively the countries of this planet can solve this issue.