Wednesday, June 29, 2016

7 Reasons We Know Climate Change is Real

Marshall Islands being washed away by rising sea levels
We hear a lot about our carbon footprint...but most people don't know what that means and how it effects our planet. It's so difficult to quantify the effect driving a car, burning coal, or running a factory has on our planet, to the point where we have individuals who still believe climate change isn't induced by anthropogenic factors (news flash, you're far from right). In light of those claims, here's 7 Reasons we KNOW Climate Change is Real (and a few cute animals along the way):

1. Our Islands are Disappearing
According to an article written by Coral Davenport, for the New York Times, The Marshall Islands -- and other, similar island nations -- are disappearing before our eyes. Rising sea levels are sweeping them away.

Panda GIF 'Oh No'

2. Rising Global Temperatures
If that reason isn't already enough (we don't even need all 7 reasons), what do we think about rising global temperatures? While we've seen our average global temperature rise by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, let's just keep in mind that "In the past, a one- to two-degree drop was all it took to plunge the Earth into the Little Ice Age. A five-degree drop was enough to bury a large part of North America under a towering mass of ice 20,000 years ago." Uh oh.

Jennifer Lawrence Uh Oh Gif

3. Rising Ocean Acidity
One of the lesser known ways we're certain climate change is real involves increasing ocean acidity. When carbon dioxide in the atmosphere begins being absorbed by ocean water, pH levels decrease (increasing acidity), and organisms and algae are killed (thus further reducing the number of plants that absorb CO2 through photosynthesis). It's a death cycle!

uh oh climate change puppy gif

4. Melting Ice Sheets
We're half way through, and the news just isn't getting any better :/ This is one of the most publicized and studied reasons we know climate change is prevalent. I'm sure you've seen the polar bear grasping to stay on a piece of ice -- it's on TV, in movies, and in the news -- but what effects does melting ice sheets have on our planet? When ice sheets melt, sea levels rise -- think, when ice in your glass of water melts, the water level in your cup rises too. Perhaps the best link between raising global temperatures, the greenhouse effect, and disappearing islands can be scene with this phenomenon: Carbon in the atmosphere raises surface temperatures, raising temperatures melt ice sheets, melted ice sheets raise sea levels, raised sea levels eat small islands -- and so it continues...  

Polar bear with cubs on ice

5. Stronger and More Intense Natural Disasters
We're starting to get it -- climate change is most certainly real. But, how do we know for sure? Let's just think about the magnitude of natural disaster we've witnessed recently. The hurricanes, tornadoes, earth quakes, droughts, etc...

Severe hurricane blowing trees and rain

6. Changes In Precipitation Patterns
On a similar note as increased magnitude and frequency of natural disasters, let's take a minute to acknowledge the inconsistent and bizarre new precipitation patterns: Locations that never get rain are being dumped on while monsoons and ocean currents are changing direction. Oh, snow in Texas? Yeah that seems okay...

Puppies running in snow

7. Droughts and Heat Waves
These speak for themselves. The hot places are getting hotter and drier.  What more reason do you need?

In Summary
Well you've made it. And maybe you're starting to believe me: Our planet is in the midst of irreversible damage, and we aren't doing nearly enough to slow the process. Climate change is real, it's here, and it's not leaving without drastic changes in the way humans operate. Start now.

For more information on climate change, and ways you can help do your part, visit

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