climate change concerns
While recently there has been a lot of focus on Climate Change activism, for a long time now scientists have been concerned about the increasing warming of the Earth’s climate. The current, and rapid warming of the global average temperature has been described as the biggest environmental challenge humans have ever faced, and yet all species will be severely affected by climate change.
Rapid, human-induced climate change (global warming), is causing effects not only on land, but also in our oceans. If this warming was to continue to rise to a total of 2 degrees Celsius, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that this would result in irreversible losses.
climate change and the ocean
Being the carbon sinks of the world, the oceans are responsible for absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide, and in turn produce oxygen for all living things to survive. However, as humans produce more carbon into the atmosphere, the oceans are absorbing higher carbon dioxide concentration levels then perviously documented. This combined with rising water temperatures, are making the oceans more acidic, impacting all life that is found there.
Globally oceans have already seen a rise in ocean temperatures, causing large-scale changes such as increases frequency of severe weather events, rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification, and rising sea levels. Tropical sea surface temperatures in particular have risen by 0.4 - 0.5 degree Celsius since the 19th century, causing coral reefs bleach. If world temperatures continue to rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius a further 70-90% of coral reefs will be impacted, and if temperatures reach a total warming of 2 degrees Celsius the majority of coral reefs will be lost.
reducing your carbon footprint
One of the most effective ways you as an individual can help this blue planet is buy making changes in your everyday life to reduce your own carbon footprint, which will in turn reduce the amount of carbon concentration in the atmosphere.
Here are some things you can do:
Buy less stuff! Only buy what you need a lot of energy goes into creating items like clothing and food, so it is important to only buy the things you need.
Turn off lights and electrical appliances when finished using them to reduce the amount of energy you use.
Avoid consuming meat and animal byproducts. With livestock and their byproducts being responsible for 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, consuming these types of foods (animal agriculture) leads to species extinction, water pollution, habitat destructions, ocean dead zones, and causes the earth to warm (global warming).