It’s time for Americans to wake up and face the facts! Global warming is very real. The Earth is getting hotter, and as time passes, this trend will continue if humans don’t become more aware of the crisis we are facing.
However, being aware isn’t enough. We must make changes in our daily lives if we want to create a more sustainable environment for future generations.
With an increasing population, corporate greed, and no real solution for how to deal with waste, the Earth may not sustain human life for the next century. The variables mentioned as well as several other factors (i.e. the creation/use of fossil fuels, emission of greenhouse gases, etc.) that contribute to the increase in the Earth’s global average temperature.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the annual global temperature record has been broken multiple times. Five to be exact. In fact, nine out of ten of the Earth’s warmest years have occurred since 2005.* With a trend like this, 2019 could quite possibly end up on this list as well.
According to Time.com, June & July of 2019 were the hottest months on record to date (for their respective months). The record set by July heatwaves and high temperatures were experienced globally during this time, making July 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average of 56.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The record setting June had an average temperature of 0.71 degrees Fahrenheit above that month’s average.
The scorching temperatures of the summer wasn’t the only thing noticeable about the changing climate. During August, attention was brought to the severe forest fires happening in the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon rainforest covers much of northwestern Brazil and is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It is also called the ‘Lungs of the Planet’ because it is responsible for producing more than 20% of the world’s oxygen.
Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) collected satellite data that showed that the Amazon wasn’t just experiencing the fires in August. Since January, there have been 131,600 fires burning across the country.*
The fact that Amazon is burning so rapidly is shocking. What would we do if the 20% of the Earth’s oxygen no longer existed? For one thing, breathing would probably become a lot more difficult. Not to mention that the Amazon wasn’t the only forest experiencing fires.
Back in September, videos on social media went viral showing the skies over Jambi, an Indonesian province, flooded in red. The red skies were a “toxic haze” caused by the extensive forest fires that burned about 800,000 acres of land. Residents around the areas affected by the smog were forced to leave their homes in order to avoid the hazardous air quality.
Forest fires are common in nature and benefit the land by breaking down nutrients and minerals in the burning vegetation and redistributing them to the soil allowing plants to spring forth once more. However, when these fires are started manually, there is little chance of this happening.
The fires that took place in the Amazon and Indonesia were mostly due to large corporations starting fires so that they could clear land for their businesses. These unnatural forest fires are bound to be detrimental to the climate down the line.
If human activity continues to drive our climate to the extreme, we can expect the Earth to look much differently in the next 30 years. Forest fires will be more common and much more devastating, ravaging the land. The air quality and the amount of oxygen produced will both have deteriorated significantly. Animals and many different species will go extinct, unable to survive without their habitat. Rising sea levels will push people from their homes as icebergs are reduced to nothing.
As a collective, people need to come together and change the way that we are living, otherwise the days that people walk the Earth will be numbered.
Facts were found on the following sites: