"Climate-heating greenhouse gases at record levels, says UN"

Today I read an article, “Climate-heating greenhouse gases at record levels, says UN,“ which was about climate change that The Guardian published on Thanksgiving. I’d love to hear how you are trying to reduce your negative footprint on our planet after you read the article that The Guardian published.

The UN published an article over Thanksgiving regarding the detrimental effects climate change is having on this planet that we live one. The negative effects of climate change due to the increase of greenhouse gases, more specifically carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are far above pre-industrial levels and indicating that the impacts of this upward trend will be so destructive that the impact on our plant will be irreversible. According to Petteri Taalas the WMO secretary general who was featured in The Guardian article, “’ The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5m years ago, when the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now.’” Our window to reduce the negative impacts on climate change is almost to the point where there is nothing we can do to mitigate the crisis. In 2017 our CO2 global average rose to 405.5 part per million which is 50% higher than before the industrial revolution (1760-1840) about 170-250 years ago. Methane, whose main emissions come from cattle, rice patties and leaks from oil and gas wells are responsible for 17% of global warming. This is 2.5 times higher than what we experience during the pre-industrial times. There has also been a 20% increase in nitrous oxide where about 40% of this comes from human activities like soil degradation, fertilizer use and industrialization. Nitrous oxide is the gas know to not only warm our planet, but also destroy our ozone layer. A layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Even though there are efforts to try and reduce climate change, the efforts to reduce the negative impact climate is causing on the earth could be better.

This is very disheartening for me to read. It’s very said to read about articles like these because science is telling us everything we need to do, but people turn a blind eye. We have all the power to make positive changes, yet there is only a fraction of the world’s population trying to make changes to reduce their negative impact. I think there should be laws and regulations in place that people need to follow for us to preserve the planet we live on. I believe making a conscious effort to make everyone accountable can help us reduce the negative effects of climate change and also ensure that everyone is aware of the urgency of the matter. Yes, it’s true our climate is constantly changing, but when the changes start to drastically impact how we live and our environment it becomes a serious problem. Most of the climate change is caused by human activities like our means of transportation, electricity, animal agriculture, our landfills, other gases we use/produce and fertilizer a just a few examples of how our human activities accommodating the negative impacts of climate change. National Geographic’s published an article along with a video evaluating the causes of global warming and how the temperature of the earth is rising almost twice the rate it was 50 years ago. This article also suggests ways we can help reduce our negative footprint to help remedy this issue.

With the exponentially increasing effects of greenhouse gases we need to make more of a conscious effort to be more mindful about the things we consume and use in our everyday decisions and tasks. Patricia Espinos, head of the UN Framwork convention for climate change says, “’On one hand, greenhouse gas emissions have yet to peak and countries struggle to maintain the concentrated attention and effort needed for a successful response to climate change. On the other hand, climate action is occurring, it is increasing and there is a will to do more. I highlight this because falling into despair and hopelessness is a danger equal to complacency, none of which we can afford.’”Although we are making changes towards mitigating the negative, we need to make more drastic changes before it is too late because we still have time to salvage the earth we live on.