For decades, scientists have claimed that the Earth’s climate is just going to get worse if we do not do something about our carbon dioxide emission. The greenhouse effect is getting worse and that the equilibrium climate sensitivity could go off balance. And that could mean the start of the extinction of all living creature. But recently, a new study says catastrophic global warming is less likely to happen. What happened to the former findings and decades of research about climate change?
What is Climate Change?
The climate change is the shifting of climate patterns that are occurring globally or regionally. Climate change has started to show signs of irregularities at the start of the mid-20th century onwards. This is due to mostly human activities that resulted in the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
According to scientists, there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat in the last 650,000 years. The last ice age abruptly ended about 7,000 years ago and signaled the beginning of the modern climate era.
Unfortunately, since humankind started using fossil fuel the amount of carbon dioxide has increased dramatically. It all started in the 19th century when industrialization took off. It has since then found that a great amount of CO2 in the atmosphere causes the Earth’s surface to increase its temperature. These gases are called greenhouse.
The carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has started from 280 parts per million and increased up to 407 parts per million. That statistic alone can bring some chills down your spine considering how thick and concentrated the CO2 above us right now. And we are experiencing those effects right now. Climates have shown different types of weather in places where it is not possible. Like raining hailstone in the desert or unexplained drought in areas where rain should have been abundant.
The Greenhouse Effect
Earth has its own natural greenhouse effect that is critical to support life hence Earth is the only planet in the solar system that has living organisms in it. But with the intervention of man with its inventions, the greenhouse effect has been altered dramatically over time.
The carbon dioxide in the air traps the heat from the sun that comes through the atmosphere. This has resulted in warmer or even hotter climate over the passing years. The greenhouse effect has also caused some continents all over the world to suffer abnormal weather such as longer winter, longer drought, and falling hailstones.
The recent controversial findings…
United Nations have predicted that the Earth’s surface will become so hot by the year 2100 due to the abnormal greenhouse effect. And since then, humankind has created means to lessen the dependency of industrial giants to fossil fuels and everything that produces harmful gases such as carbon dioxide. Some have devised some ways to use fossil fuel products more efficiently and intelligently.
But all of that is now at the question whether we have been deliberately fooled to go out of our way or the scientists just basically had it all wrong in the first place. According to a report on a journal Nature, the Earth is not going to warm up in a catastrophic way in the near future.
The report is according to Peter Cox’s team stating a revised calculation of how greenhouse gases affect the climate. The report also implied that the possibilities of a worldwide end-of-century outcome will most likely not going to happen. So that means that majority of the scientists involved in the study of the greenhouse effect, including the United Nations have had everything wrong. How come?
Well, it is not exactly to say that they had it wrong. Perhaps, humankind’s effort in slashing methane and carbon dioxide emission has just come to a more evident result. Not to mention the improved and more efficient way to use energy and the technologies that were made to remove carbon dioxide from the air has probably been effective over the years.
Peter Cox and his group of scientists indicated that the calculation relating to equilibrium climate sensitivity has been a bit off the scale. And these current studies have made it clear that while greenhouse effect can cause some dramatic changes on the temperature of the planet, the idea of the surface getting overheated is not about likely to happen in the next century or so.
With the positive actions that our industries have been taking part of to preserve and help the environment while still earning billions of dollars, climatic catastrophe is quite unlikely. As Cox and his colleagues’ new methodology to calculate a more realistic result when carbon dioxide doubles in the atmosphere stated, the numbers are quite low. That is if it is compared with the UN’s finding a decade ago or so.
So are we safe from greenhouse effect or not?
That answer to that question is a big “NO”. As you can see, these changes regarding climate change have improved because leaders, brilliant minds, and ordinary people (not all) have contributed to it. But if all humankind will unite and make a sincere effort to save the Earth from these bad climate change, these reports should have happened earlier.
The report simply indicated that we are on the right path for now. And that gives a better reason for us to never stop finding ways to contribute to helping the environment. This is not a report that supposedly takes the pressure off of our shoulder. The burden of saving the Earth is still there. Significant changes in temperature are still going to happen and that abnormal climate changes will still occur.
Piers Forster, director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds said that we will still see some significant rise in temperature in certain parts of the world. There will still be evident impacts of greenhouse effects in this century if we do not increase our ambition to decrease the carbon dioxide emissions.
Cox and colleagues added that with these findings, they are responsible for more in-depth and updated reports to the public. This will also ensure that such findings are not just a coincidence or a fluke of some sort. They plan to monitor and study all data relating to the annual fluctuations in global temperature.
Another factor that Cox and team should also consider monitoring is the rapid shift of climate change that is caused by Earth itself. That is because the great ice age meltdown was not caused by the humans after all. It was a shift from Earth typical abrupt changes. And that might be the one factor that could determine whether humans and the Earth’s fate are not up to any modern technology today. Some years from now, we might witness the sudden thawing of carbon-rich permafrost, the melting of giant icebergs on both poles, and the collapse of the Gulf Stream.
The findings that Cox and his colleagues are just another proof that we still have not really fully understood our very own planet yet. That even despite the brilliant minds that worked for hand in hand to predict the possible outcome of this planet, there is still no assurance that we have it all figured out. Hopefully, this time the technology is on the right track.
Amber Charles is the author for PreparedBee.com. She has been working with writing for over three years. She spends most of her off-work time reading books, practicing dance, and catching up with the new TV shows she’s been missing. You can reach her at amber (at) preparedbee (dot) com