We are already encountering climate crisis on our earth. In the last few decades, there have been many reports about earth changes, such as the melting of ice in polar, the rising of global sea level and the severe damage of Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The increase of Greenhouse Gas emissions in the atmosphere is considered to be the cause of increasing rate of climate change.
Our climate problem is now getting more severe. Earth surface temperature is getting warmer day by day. The amounts of CO2 emission in the atmosphere is increasing annually by human activities such as the use of fossil fuel for power generation, transportation and industrial activity that produce huge amounts of antrophogenic-CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and also deforestation activity.
According to International Energy Agency (2019) on their publication "Global Energy & CO2 Status Report , global energy consumption grew by 2.3% in 2018. The increase of global energy consumption in that year increased at nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, caused by a robust global economy and higher heating & cooling needs in some regions of the world. As a result of higher energy consumption, energy-related CO2 emission has risen by 1.7% from preceding year reached 33.1 Gt CO2. That was a record-breaking production of energy-related CO2 emission in a year. 33.1 Gigatonnes is not a small value. Giga means there are 9 zero behind! The power sector accounted nearly two-thirds of emission growth since all emission from fossil fuels increased. Coal-fired power generation and other coal use is accounted for 10.1 Gt CO2 and 4.5 Gt CO2 respectively. The other fossil fuels (oil and natural gas) contributed for 18.6 Gt CO2.
The increasing of CO2 emission give a huge impact for our earth climate. It was predicted by scientist that if the emission continues to grow (Boden and Blasing, 2011), the temperature of earth surface might rise about 3-4C by 2100. Now, the average temperature of earth surface has risen just below 1C compared to the 200 years ago (prior to industrial revolution). So, how could the increase of small value in temperature greatly affect extreme weather? According to Flannery (2015) on his book "The Atmosphere of Hope", there 2 main reason:
As the increase of earth surface temperature, the volume of ice and permafrost melting is rising (Flannery, 2015). According to National Geographic, also arctic sea ice has been thinning significantly and its extent has declined by 10% in the last 3 decades. The famed snows of Kilimanjaro mountain have melted over 80% since 1912. Glaciers in Garhwal Himalaya are retreating so fast that some researchers predict that most central and eastern Himalaya glaciers could disappear in 2035. What is the effect of the melting ice and permafrost? As the temperature rise and more ice melts, the water will flow into the sea, and it would rise the global sea level. Besides, the significantly increase of ocean surface temperature caused by greenhouse gas would give a huge impact in the expansion of ocean water. These melting of ice and expansion of ocean water are playing a role to the increasing of global sea level (Flannery, 2015). Now the rate of global sea level rise is more rapidly from the rate of the past two or three thousand years. Not only become warmer, the scientists have predicted if we continue to emitting of CO2 at the same rate, by 2100 ocean acidity would increase by about 150%. It would be an unprecedented rate of ocean acidity increase that has not been experienced for at least 400,000 years (Flannery, 2015). The significant increase of ocean acidity could give big impact for the marine life. It was predicted by scientists that the profound degradation of Great Barrier Reef Australia caused by the increase ocean temperature and acidity level.
The effect of our climate problem is gargantuan. It would give a huge impact for our health and environment. If this problem is neglected, the earth might be uninhabitable for the next generation. So, what would you do to safeguard our earth?
1. Boden, T., and Blasing, T.J., 2011, Record High 2010 Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion and Cement Manufacture, http:/cdiac.ornl.gov.
2. Flannery, T., 2015, Atmosphere of Hope : Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis, Canada; Harper Collins Publisher Ltd.
3. Hughes, L and Steffen, W., 2014, Be Prepared : Climate Change and the Australian Bushfire Threat, Australian Climate Council, https://climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/a56c563caa5bb 336050ed88c 60dba7e4.pdf
4. International Energy Agency, 2019, Global Energy and CO2 Status Report 2018 : The latest trends in energy and emissions in 2018, https://webstore.iea.org/global-energy-co2-status-report-2018.