Climate Change: The Upcoming Point of Irreversibility, Is It Too Late?

- Research for this article has been done by Akosua Nyarkomah Aidoo -

Over the past 30 years, there have been increasing concerns on climate issues, however, not much change and effort has been made to fix this ever growing problem. Nowadays, climate change has been a hot topic that dominates the internet.

What is Climate Change? When you search up the phrase ‘climate change’, is it normally defined as a change of the climate attributed directly or indirectly by human activities that reforms the composition of the global temperature. That is to summarize it in a nutshell by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

There are many different causes to climate change, and the main contribution would be global warming, which means an increase in combined surface area and sea surface temperature over a 30 year time period. From a scientist's perspective, it is believed that human activities are large contributors to global warming with frequent burnings of fossil fuels and 1.5 billion carbon emissions produced as a result of deforestation. This could be understood as a global issue regarding how 9.5 billion metric tons of carbon are released into the atmosphere, and the significance of our activity producing 5 billion of that total amount.

Alarming consequences of climate change have arisen along with the earth’s temperature. Due to the escalation of the environment’s temperature, there are increases in droughts and sea levels. Melting of glaciers and the warming of the ocean not only affects us humans, it also does damage to our wildlife, risking many animals into extinction. The impact is predicted to intensify in the upcoming decades. As per research, climate change is expected to end approximately 250,000 lives per year between the years 2030 and 2050.

A current assessment report issued by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) highlights the concerns of irreversibility of some effects caused by climate change. The research shows that many changes were due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions which are irreversible, especially the alterations in the ocean, ice sheets, and global sea level.

Fortunately, the report also shows that if immediate and large-scale actions are put in place to reduce the emission of carbons, extreme changes in this ongoing climate change may be halted. Some solutions include: investing in renewable energy, reducing carbon footprint, preventing overconsumption, and ultimately reducing the use of plastic. Paris took the first step and aims to limit global warming to 1.5 - 2 degrees. If alleviations and mitigations set by individual countries are achieved, it might not be too late to save our planet from suffering impairable damage. Although we might not have optimal time, we should take advantage of the few years left and put it to use before it really is too late.

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