It’s now March 2016, and already the United States has broken weather records in nearly every state. States like California are already experiencing drought conditions before winter is even over, and the east coast hasn’t even had a real blizzard. And yet there are still those that deny climate change. In case you’re reading this, and you’re thinking, “Heat waves don’t mean climate change isn’t real!” here is a little science to help you understand.
The main concern with climate change is pollution. But why? Well, when we pollute the air too much, it actually burns through our ozone layer, which protects us from UV rays and generally keeps our air breathable. Kind of necessary, right? But the other thing with pollution is that it releases greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases get trapped in our ozone, and continually bounce from the ozone, back to earth, back to the ozone. This trapped gas actually raises the temperature of the air, which sounds nice until you consider that we actually need cooler air to keep things in balance. So what’s happening now that our trapped greenhouse gases keep rising, especially in the United States?
Effects of Trapped Heat
Polar ice caps and glaciers aren’t just pretty – they’re necessary to the environments where they are located. Polar bears are now dying because the ice keeps melting and they can’t hunt. Penguin habitats are disappearing. And you know what else? As more polar ice caps melt, more gases are released into the environment, creating an even worse greenhouse gas effect. What’s more: the ice is melting, causing water levels to rise. Consider how many people live along the coasts in the United States. Millions and millions of people. What happens when, over the next decade, water levels continue to rise? People will be forced to move, there may be natural disasters, etc.
The Next Ice Age
Many skeptics say that if “global warming” were real, then why does it still get cold? Climate change scientists worry that, much like the dinosaurs, we’re forcing ourselves and our planet into an ice age. Historically speaking, over millions of years ago, there was a major event that released more carbon dioxide into the environment than ever before (the asteroid believed to have killed the dinosaurs). Before that, the earth had billions of years to get used to an increase in carbon dioxide, but not after that large event. After the asteroid, the earth was plummeted into an ice age because the core of the earth could not maintain its heat. Scientists worry that the huge increase in CO2 today is going to cause a similar effect. Without reversal and remediation of the current levels, the humans could be going the way of the dinosaur.
Keep in mind that just because this article is put in “layman terms” doesn’t mean that it’s not based on sound science. Do your own research if you must, but learn the facts. Skepticism is better than ignorance.