Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate. Even though it is an ongoing debate, it is proved by the scientists that the planet is warming. Scientific evidence indicates that since 1950, the world’s climate has been warming, primarily as a result of emissions from non -stop burning of fossil fuels and the razing of tropical forests. Since the industrial revolution till this day, there is a constant emission of the carbon into the atmosphere, everything we do we leave carbon footprints. It is a man made cause of the global warming.  A number of other indicators of global warming have also been observed. For example, heat waves are becoming more frequent, cold snaps are now shorter and milder, snow and ice cover are decreasing in the Northern Hemisphere, glaciers and ice caps around the world are melting, and many plant and animal species are moving to cooler latitudes or higher altitudes because it is too warm to stay where they are.

Hot, dry weather led to a record-setting 2006 wild land fire season with close to 100,000 fires reported and nearly 10 million acres burned, 125 percent above the decade’s average. In July 2006, severe heat waves in North America contributed to the deaths of at least 225 people. Scientists report that some polar bears are drowning because they have to swim longer distances to reach ice floes. Unless we take effective action now, the polar bear will likely become extinct in Alaska by 2050. At the current rate of retreat, all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2070.

Climate change is changing our economy, health and communities in diverse ways. Scientists warn that if we do not aggressively curb climate change now, the results will likely be disastrous. Human-induced climate change may lead to irreversible impacts on physical, biological, and social systems. In biological systems, the extinction of species would be an irreversible impact.  In social systems, unique cultures may be lost due to climate change.

By: Ammara Siddique