Misused words

During my university time, when I was taking classes about climate change, on of the first thing our lecturer said, that it was basically the worst thing for the expression “global warming” to spread to the public.

Why is that? Is it not real?

It is real. Like it or not, it is real, it is a fact.

But the real problem is, people tend not to “believe in it”, because they don’t understand it.

And let’s take a look at it from a layman’s point of view.
Global warming = the world is getting warmer = the weather should be warmer all the time. So why do we still have snow? Why do we have cold?

This is where a bit of scientific knowledge comes handy. Or at least minimal interest.

The “global warming” does NOT refer to the everyday weather. It refers to the fact that the average temperature of the atmosphere is warmer than before.

But the atmosphere being warmer does not mean, that the everyday weather is going to be warmer. It means that we are having more extremities, the weather shifts, we get a lot of droughts and then a lot of rain at once. None of these is beneficial.

Okay, the weather is more extreme, and changes. But I am sure it happened before. Why is it so bad?

Well…. scientifically speaking, for the planet, it is not bad. The planet is mostly going to be fine, it doesn’t really cares about humans or anything else living on it, really.
It is bad for us. Here comes the butterfly effect. Small changes causing big problems.
And I won’t talk about the melting ice caps now or the rising sea levels, which you probably heart tons of times. Let’s take a look at something else.

Let’s talk about why the atmospheric temperature is rising. – Because the atmosphere has more greenhouse gases in it. Greenhouse gases are acting sort of like a glass above us. I am sure you have been in a greenhouse/glasshouse before, you immediately notice, the temperature is higher, it is warmer inside.
The same thing with the greenhouse gases. These gases are not letting the extra heat leave the atmosphere, the heat is trapped inside.

The amazing thing is, that nature works with its own ways to fix things. The concentration of chemicals are automatically causing reactions to happen. Let’s get an example. There is a lot of carbon dioxide in the air, more than usual. Oceans absorbs carbon dioxide and it dissolves in the water. The more carbon dioxide you have, the more the oceans are going to absorb. The carbon dioxide absorbed in the ocean goes through chemical reactions and eventually carbonate is formed. For carbonate, you need carbonate ion (CO3 (2-)). So, now you see, that more carbon dioxide means, more absorption and more carbonate ion is going to be used to make carbonate.

BUT why is that a problem?

The reason why, because carbonate ion is needed for something else as well. There are many organism what needs carbonate to live. Starting with the corals, they need calcium carbonate to build their hard skeleton. Seashells also needs carbonate ion to build their shells.

If there is not enough carbonate ion, the corals will dissolve, eventually die. The recently dying coral reef around Australia makes a home for many animal species, which hides and lives there. With no coral reef, they have no place to go. If there will be no small fish, the bigger fish will starve, and you, my fish-eating friend, will also be lack of food.

I could tell you dozens of examples, how the warming of the atmosphere is affecting our very existence, we could stay here all day long. All year long.

So my advice is, yes it is hard to realize that the climate is changing and we are eventually the cause for it, like it or not. But accepting it is the first step in doing something to fix it.

USGRCP_models-observed-human-natural-large

Also, since we are already here, if you are interested, you can take a look at this website, how big is your carbon footprint > here <
The carbon footprint is basically calculates, how many greenhouse gas is release due to your existence per year. You can also take a look, where you are in global average and in your country, and also it can give you advice and tips, how to reduce it. 🙂

carbon-footprint

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