It’s no big surprise to anyone nowadays when they are told that the lands are succumbing to the depths of water. The world’s average sea level is rising, risking lives in close-to-sea-level countries, especially countries that are closer to the poles. The Arctic is facing temperature rise of close to 2-3 degree Celsius every decade. Alarming, is it not? It might not seem like a lot at this point of time but we would be the one facing the consequences of rising sea levels due to melting ice. The melting of ice and rising sea levels is inevitable anyway, but what can we do to slow this process down?
Melting ice in the Arctic
According to the acting executive director of UN, Joyce Msuya, “ What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic”. Our temperatures are rising, causing the ice in the Arctic to melt drastically. According to Nasa, Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.2% per decade, leaving more open water and higher temperatures.
Some scientists fear Arctic heating could trigger a climate “tipping point” as melting permafrost releases a powerful greenhouse gas, methane into the atmosphere, which in turn could create a runaway warming effect. A tipping point in the climate system is a threshold that, when exceeded, can lead to large changes in the state of the system. Others speak of a hypothesis known as “warm Arctic, cold continents” as the polar vortex becomes less stable – sucking in more warm air and expelling more cold fronts, such as those currently being experienced in the UK and northern Europe. Although this theory remains controversial and is not evident in all climate models, this year’s temperature patterns have been consistent with that forecast. If we do not take any steps to reduce global warming, we will experience both higher seas AND crazy climate.
So what CAN we do to reduce global warming?
What we can do
As commoners, we obviously wouldn’t be able to create change that is revolutionary. However, we can do something small, with the comfort of our houses. Switch off the lights, increase your air-conditioner’s temperature from 16 or 18 to 22, follow the 3Rs, reduce, reuse and recycle, plant a tree, anything. Anything that you think will be efficient to reduce global warming.
Personally, I do some steps that I feel would help the world. I plant plants along my corridor with my neighbors. Plants help to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in our environment. Carbon dioxide also contributes to global warming! I use metal straws instead of plastic straws or just refrain from using straws. Plastic straws are only used once and are thrown away. Since plastic is not biodegradable, it takes a very very long time to decompose. They contribute to pollution, which will ultimately affect their surroundings. I also take public transport and try my best not to hire taxis as public transport is more eco-friendly than cars. Why sit in a car and contribute to global warming when you can get the same service in public transport for a more eco-friendly way?
The world really needs our help to reduce global warming. Let us all step in and help in our own ways! Through this essay, I hope to have provided you information about global warming, and ways you can help the environment!
Sources: The Guardian
Cover Image Source: Paul Souders—GETTY Images