If, like many people, you are unsure how much of an effect global warming has on our planet, or even on the area where you live, here are some facts that you may not even be aware of. There is significant evidence of global warming all around us, and the signs that you can recognize will help you to make informed decisions about how you and your family can conserve the earth’s energy resources.
One of the most obvious effects of global warming is the extreme weather changes people all over the world have been experiencing. There have been heat waves in various parts of the world, and these phases of extreme heat have lasted well into the traditional winter months in some cases. 1998 was the warmest year on earth since the 1880s, and temperatures are continuing to increase, as we are well into the 21st century. Not only does this mean that the overall weather will be warmer for longer periods of time, but the likelihood of floods and droughts is much higher.
Floods can occur if large bodies of ice, or glaciers, are melted due to the extreme heat—these melted glaciers will then begin to overflow into the bodies of water that already exist and the earth will not be able to hold all of the excess water efficiently. Droughts will and have occurred in parts of the world due to global warming as well, since the warm weather gives too much sunlight to plants and animals. Without water, humans, plants and animals suffer from dehydration.
More evidence of global warming is in the large presence of greenhouse gases. Natural greenhouse gases include methane and carbon dioxide, and these gases are harmful to humans if ingested in large amounts. Carbon dioxide is necessary for plants to survive and plants are able to convert this gas into oxygen, which is vital for human life. However, plants need the right climate to grow in, along with adequate water, which is why trying to fight global warming is so important. Fossil fuel production is the main cause of the methane increase, so in order to reduce the amount of methane in the atmosphere, alternate forms of energy should be used.
The spread of tropical diseases is more evidence of global warming. Extreme heat makes it easy for bacteria to spread and for viruses to last longer in the air and in humans. Diseases such as dengue fever, which is common in the South Pacific islands, is a direct result of global warming, as is the spread of yellow fever. These diseases can be fatal, especially if not treated properly and immediately.
Learning more about how to put an end to the effects of global warming is extremely important, and there is so much you can do to help. For more information on how you can conserve energy and do your part to reduce the evidence of global warming, LiveGreen and EcoBridge offer practical tips on how to use less electricity and preserve the components of the ozone layer.