Leyna Bidic ’23
Throughout the world, the global climate crisis has continued to arise as an incredibly problematic conflict, and without a resolution in the near future, the world will remain in its constant state of gravely dangerous conditions.
According to NASA, the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Celsius since the 19th century, which in reality is an extremely drastic change. In addition to sea level rise, decreased snow cover, glacial retreat, warming oceans, and many more climate-provoked concerns, most issues are due to carbon emissions, caused primarily by modern industrial societies. New and improved technological innovations typically generate high amounts of gases that result in the atmosphere trapping heat emanating from the Earth, also known as the “greenhouse effect.” The most ample greenhouse gas, water vapor, acts as more of a response to higher temperatures, for when the Earth warms, more vapor is produced, increasing the amount of precipitation and clouds within the atmosphere. The amount of precipitation recorded throughout the past sixty-eight years has risen by ninety percent in just the United States alone, while other regions of the world are drier than ever. Along with methane, chlorofluorocarbons, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide, the greenhouse effect is only becoming worse, and the world simply continues to move slowly towards making efforts of change.
Long term effects have already been established, and even with known facts of fatal situations and how to resolve them, the outcomes are expected to last for centuries due to human error. The knowledge of humanity’s influence on the crisis became prominently established during the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its Fifth Assessment Report. Under the United Nations, 1,300 scientists from around the world met to discuss the reality that over the past fifty years, humans have caused ninety-five percent of overproduced greenhouse gasses. During the Paris Accord in 2016, numerous countries joined together to settle an agreement in the attempt to avoid long term effects. The settlement reached declared a very much attainable limit: the temperature of the atmosphere in this century will not rise over two degrees Celcius. The original limit, 1.5 degrees, has already been passed, thus demonstrating the amount of change that must develop in order to carry out the current target. The truly positive side of the agreement lies in the unity of countries (excluding the U.S., who withdrew from the agreement on June 1, 2017 due to the belief that the economy would be positioned at a long-term disadvantage point), and the understanding that short-term concerns for the economy, technology, and finance will resolve over time. In 2023, the countries plan to converse again in a “global stockade” that they hope will continue every five years.
Evidence proves that the global climate crisis is no longer a far off problem, and if truly effective action does not arise soon, long-term issues will continue to develop. The United Nations constantly works towards a brighter and healthier future for both the world and its inhabitants, and more awareness of the crisis spreads by the day. Activists such as Greta Thumberg and Vanessa Nakate use their powerful voices to share their thoughts and knowledge about the situation, and they demonstrate the change that could transpire. Everyday lifestyles can be altered as well to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases used, such as buying reusable goods, recycling, driving a hybrid car, and even eating organic. On the basis of the global climate crisis, change is in progress, and society as a whole must work together to maintain a safe and beautiful planet Earth for many more years to come.