With all the data we have accumulated, no one can deny that global warming is happening around the world. Droughts last longer and are more extreme. Glaciers are melting faster. Sea levels are rising. Water supplies are dwindling in some areas. And many are affected by an increase in wildfires.
It is affecting us and every living thing on the planet.
What is causing global warming?
The direct cause of global warming is greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activity.
1. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
3. Nitrous Oxide
4. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
These gases slow the outgoing heat into space and cause the earth to warm. Water Vapor is another greenhouse gas but it isn't a direct cause of global warming.
Human activity is the cause of the increase in greenhouse gases.
Our increased use of fossil fuels (coal and oil) over the last century combines with oxygen in the air to make CO2. Increased industrial activity, clearing land for agriculture, industry, and other activities have also played a role in increased greenhouse gases.
Encouraging News That We Can Reverse the Damage
Scientists at NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory conduct tests in remote areas of the globe every year, monitoring ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere. In 2022, the overall concentration of ozone-depleting substances had fallen over 50 percent back to levels of the year 1980. 1980 is the benchmark year in which scientists first realized the large hole developing in the ozone layer.
What great news! So some of what we’ve done is working. More efficient vehicles, more electric vehicles, reducing aerosol sprays, planting more trees, wind and solar power, and caring more for the environment are making a difference.
There is still more work to be done. The damage won’t be completely reversed for some time, so let’s remain diligent.
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Ways We Can Stop Global Warming
Switch to CFL or LED bulbs.
Replacing one light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Consider an Electric Car or Be more Efficient.
With the new tax incentives, there’s never been a better time to buy an electric vehicle. The more we can reduce using fossil fuels, the healthier our planet will be. If that isn’t in the cards right now, make sure to check your tires. Properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. And try driving less. Maybe group errands together.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Try to buy reusable products instead of disposable ones. Recycle all your paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum cans. Shoot for recycling half of your household waste. You’ll put out 2,400 pounds less carbon dioxide per year.
Turn Off the Lights.
Be diligent in turning off lights when you leave a room. And turn off your electronics when you’re not using them. You’ll save money and also help save the planet.
Plant A Tree.
Trees and other plants help reduce carbon dioxide caused by automobiles, manufacturing, and other human activities.
Avoid Products That Come in Excess Packaging.
Often those bulky plastic packages can’t even be recycled, so opt for less packaging when you can. Many products come in earth-friendly packaging that will break down and not hang around for fifty years. Choose those when possible.
Watch the Thermostat.
Turn down the thermostat by 2 degrees in the winter and up in the summer. Make sure you have adequate insulation and your weather stripping is in good shape. Caulk around doors and windows. Not only will you reduce your energy bill but you’ll reduce your carbon dioxide footprint by at least 2,000 pounds each year.
Replace Appliances with Energy-Efficient Models.
Look for the Energy Star label when replacing your appliances. And remember to recycle your refrigerator through the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program. They will recover the refrigerants and foam so they don’t make it into the atmosphere.
Food – It’s What’s For Dinner.
First, don’t waste food. It takes a lot of energy to grow food and if it’s wasted, we just helped put out carbon dioxide for nothing. Also, meat and dairy producers are huge emitters of greenhouse gases. Maybe cut down on meat and try growing your own food. (See the article on How To Grow Food Indoors Year-Round.)
There is hope for planet Earth. Some of our actions are working so it’s worth being diligent and thinking of our planet before everything we do. It can be a lifestyle and honestly, it feels pretty good to feel like you’re part of the solution, not the problem.
I appreciate you reading today. If you have any comments, please leave them in the Comments section below. Thank you!