What is climate change?

Introduction

Climate change affects the weather, temperature, and most of all, life. Scientists have found that fossil fuels we puff into the atmosphere have affected our Earth’s atmosphere. 

What’s Happening

The greenhouse effect, which involves gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur hexafluoride and ozone, characterizes global warming and climate change by warming the earth.

The greenhouse effect can only happen in our atmosphere or an atmosphere like it.

According to NASA and the EPA, the sun hits the greenhouse-gas-filled atmosphere trapping infrared or thermal energy from the sun. Too much greenhouse gas and it heats the earth too much (1, 2).

NASA has stated that since 1880, the atmosphere’s temperature has increased by .8℃ (3). 

As claimed by ECO Coalition and National Geographic, factories puff gas into the atmosphere such as the nitrogen oxides (NOx ) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) that mixes with the water vapor to create nitric acid and sulfuric acid (4, 5).

Acid rain is bad for life. Most plants can’t stand a pH other than 7 or a 6, which is neutral. As confirmed by this journal article by D. Stoyanova, plants have a cuticle or an epidermal layer covering protecting them from harm. Low pH can damage this cuticle increasing the rate of infection and dehydration in both plants and fungi.

In this journal article (1989) by B. Holma, animals, including us, when breathing in acid rain, create mucus in the lungs. For aquatic animals, this journal article (2003) by Ledy K and associates, details how acid rain is worst because they can’t away from it.

Speaking of aquatic life, acid rain can damage coral reefs. As shown on the WWF Global website, coral reefs are the exoskeleton of cnidaria and are the habitat to 25% of the ocean wildlife (6).

Coral reefs are vital to the ocean’s ecosystem harboring most of the diversity.

According to the EPA, climate change causes ocean acidification and increases ocean temperature, which decimate coral reefs (7). Coral reefs have a relationship with a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae. Rising sea levels, overfishing, bleaching, explosive fishing, dragging, and dropping cyanide causes coral reef and zooxanthellae damage.

Ocean acidification just doesn’t affect coral reefs, but as shown by Nature.com, damages to mollusks and crustaceans too (8, 9).


It’s Not About You

Climate change, acid rain, and coral reef decimation isn’t caused by you alone but by the system we adopt. We can prevent the polar ice caps from melting, extreme weather patterns, and other major impacts of climate change. We can prevent harmful fishing and coral decimation. It’s about creating a system that involves caring about life.

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