Resources: Climate Change

climate change

CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns of a region. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon. The reason for the conversation on climate change and why it has become a pressing issue is due to the fact it has accelerated at an unprecedented rate over recent years due to human activities like the burning of fossil fuels. This page is dedicated to describing the effects of this accelerated on the planet and the South Florida region.

GLOBAL WARMING


Global warming is the long-term heating of the Earth’s climate system. Since the industrial era, the average surface temperature of the Earth has increased because of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. These activities have contributed to an increased concentration of greenhouse gases (i.e. carbon dioxide) in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Hence the greenhouse effect, or the natural process by which the Earth warms itself, has been enhanced significantly.

This enhancement is the cause of global warming and a recent increase in wildfires, severe droughts and hurricanes.

OCEANS

The ocean absorbs over a quarter of the carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere. Since there has been an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, there has also been an increase of ocean acidification occurring, or the ongoing decrease in the pH level of seawater. This decrease contributes to coral bleaching, the killing off of corals, which can be seen by the lack of color of these once colorful organisms. In addition to this, ocean acidification also makes it difficult for corals and shelled marine life to grow skeletons and shells.

The ocean also absorbs the excess heat in the atmosphere, causing polar ice caps to melt and the water to expand, which increases the rate at which sea level rises.

HEALTH

Unprecedented increases in the Earth’s surface temperature means hotter days and higher risks to disease.

Hotter days can be especially dangerous for the vulnerable, such as the elderly, sick, children and impoverished.

Because mosquitoes thrive in warm environments, those that carry disease will be able to roam to more areas in the world due to a warmer planet, leading to a possible increase in diseases.