Global warming in 2020: the drastic impacts of climate change continue to rise

By Shivani Bhattacharjya and Nihitha Palacherla 

Staff Writers

Global Warming has been impacting our planet for many years. But in recent studies of the year 2020, many sources say that we are on track for this to be the warmest year on record since the mid-1800s. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Wikipedia Commons

According to the website, World Economic Forum, the writers warn readers of record global heat temperatures and the effects of global warming throughout the world. In their article, they say, “The first nine months of 2020 were remarkably warm. Carbon Brief has analysed records from six different research groups that report global surface temperature records: NASA; NOAA; Met Office Hadley Centre/UEA; Berkeley Earth; Cowtan and Way; and Copernicus/ECMWF.” This explains that the beginning months of the year showed an extreme growth in high temperature levels. This also leads to many other problems for the environments on Earth, such as major forest fires, rising sea temperatures and causing millions of losses in both animals and humans. 

One of the major impacts of Global Warming is the impact that it has on forests. National Geographic said, “Hot air, if it’s not at 100 percent humidity, is like a thirsty sponge: It soaks up water from whatever it touches—plants (living or dead) and soil, lakes and rivers. The hotter and drier the air, the more it sucks up, and the amount of water it can hold increases exponentially as the temperature rises; small increases in the air’s heat can mean big increases in the intensity with which it pulls out water….When there’s no moisture left to evaporate, the soil or vegetation, dead and alive, absorbs that heat instead—feeding back into the drying-out process that increases fire risk.” 

The forest fires also increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere because the trees storing carbon in themselves release the carbon dioxide when they get burned down. According to the Washington Post, “Two scientists estimate separately for The Energy 202 that the fires in California this year through mid-September burned enough forest to put about 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.”

Out of all the impacts caused by Global warming, one of the biggest is the one that it makes on our oceans. According to ICUN, “The ocean absorbs vast quantities of heat as a result of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly from fossil fuel consumption. The Fifth Assessment Report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013 revealed that the ocean had absorbed more than 93% of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions since the 1970s. This is causing ocean temperatures to rise.” 

This impacts the animals in the ocean because, in order to live, the ocean must be a certain temperature and should not exceed past that otherwise, the ecosystems can not thrive. According to ICUN, “Marine fishes, seabirds and marine mammals all face very high risks from increasing temperatures, including high levels of mortalities, loss of breeding grounds and mass movements as species search for favourable environmental conditions. Coral reefs are also affected by increasing temperatures which cause coral bleaching and increase their risk of mortality.” 

Many humans depend on fish and other animals in the sea. According to ICUN, “A 2012 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that marine and freshwater capture fisheries and aquaculture provide 4.3 billion people with about 15% of their animal protein.” If the population of fish and marine life decreased a lot of humans would suffer as well because they depend on the fish for their food.

But what factors on our planet are causing these major impacts on our climate? Well, in the source the World Economic Forum, they write, “The first nine months of the year saw record concentrations of major greenhouse gases – CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide – in the atmosphere. Arctic sea ice extent was at record low levels for much of the summer and the summer minimum clocked in as the second lowest on record after 2012.” This piece informs us that the first nine months of the year not only had record temperatures of heat, but also had a record of high gas concentrations in our air. That means the high levels of gas in the atmosphere is what causes the record levels of heat, which in turn causes disasters like overheated oceans, rising sea levels, forest fires, losses in animals which we rely on and many more. 

The best way for humans to help reduce the problem of global warming is to reduce the amount of carbon that we leave in the air. We can do this by switching to public transportation or carpooling with others. According to Greenvehicles, “A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. A lot of carbon dioxide is being released by our cars so, if we reduce the use of our cars, we can reduce the amount of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.” 

Another way we could help is by possible biking instead of driving, conserving water, planting more trees since they absorb carbon dioxide, eating locally, using clean and sustainable energy, recycling, reusing, and many other things. We could also help by donating to companies that spend their efforts in trying to volunteer for environmental cleanups, picking up litter, and only investing in companies that are environment friendly. There is no ultimate answer or solution to solving Global Warming or Climate Change, but there are many little things that we can do, including educating others on these problems, to start towards a better future for both the planet and ourselves. 

 

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