In 2016, record high levels of carbon dioxide were recorded in the atmosphere. The use of non-renewable resources is comparable to a ticking time bomb, sooner or later, we will run out of fossil fuels, but not before completely dissipating our earth. One of the most effective ways at reducing carbon emission would be switching to electric cars. It is estimated that if every gasoline powered car in the United States switched to electric, we would be reduce annual carbon output by 417 million tonnes. However, one such problem with this switch would be the 29% increase in energy demand. Unfortunately, this increase in energy consumption would be counterproductive toward reducing carbon discharge as 81% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. This means that in order to significantly diminish the amount of carbon in our atmosphere, we need to expedite the installation of alternative energy methods while simultaneously outsourcing traditional means of energy production. Currently, the price of electric cars is what prevents most people from making the switch. Fortunately, as more and more companies begin producing electric cars, parts will become more accessible, meaning that electric cars will affordable to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. It is much easier to prevent than to repair, and as we slide further down the hole of environmental decimation, preventative methods, even if as small as switching to an electric car, need to be taken in order to preserve our beautiful earth for subsequent generations.
(adapted from Haiku)
While the drought has gotten somwhat better, it is still extremely severe. The lack of snow pack made it hard to tell what season we were in without a calendar, even in January and February. Scientists have been studying the tree rings of blue oaks throughout the Sierra Nevada and California's Central Valley to find the precipitation levels and winter temperatures dating back to around 1500. Using this data and known correlations to snow pack levels, the scientists could say that the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada this winter is the lowest in 500 years. Knowing that this snow pack is extremely low, shows just how severe the drought is and further exemplifies the massive recent change in global climate. Sadly enough this finding is not too shocking. It does however, continue to paint the picture of man-made climate change and the terrible consequences it can have all around the globe. More water conservation methods need to be made in order to preserve the water we do get, but lets just hope that all the praying people have been doing really works.
Climate change continues worsen our earth, not only with the melting of glaciers, but with the increase in mehane released into the enviroment. A study conducted by the University of Washington found that warming ocean temperatures off of the coast of Washington have been releasing bubble plumes of methane that was once in an "ice" form a third of a mile below the surface. Luckily, the bubbles are at such a level before and after they release that they do not reach then surface very often. Unfortunately, this poses another problem. Marine microbes have been converting this methane into carbon dioxide, lowering the area's oxygen content and increasing acidity.
This finding correlates with many environmental scientists worries and hypotheses of the effects of a warming ocean. The components of these plumes are currently being tested in order to determine if they are in face from the ice-like methane. If so, this once again shows the dangers of climate change, and how quickly we must band together globally in order to slow or better stop its impacts.
Rising climate temperatures continue to have adverse effects on our environment. One example is rapid melting of our ice caps. East Antarctica is experiencing some of its worst melting in the last 5 years. The average ice sheet melts dramatically during the summer than reforms during the winter, however, the East Antarctica is supposed to be different. It is supposed to remain close to the same temperature (very cold) all year long. Unfortunately, scientists noticed giant craters in the ice and initially speculated it was because of meteors, however upon further investigation it was discovered that these were instead lakes, formed by the warming temperatures. This is particularly alarming because the East Antarctica is not supposed to really melt. Even more frightening, it was discovered in early December that we have lost, "3.76 million square kilometres of the stuff - more than the total area of India" as a result of temperatures rising close to 20 degrees *Celsius above average. It is impossible to deny the reality of climate change as more and more evidence surfaces, all a result of human exploitation.
Each year. climate change becomes worse and worse. With Co2 ppm on the rise and global tempatures on the rise, it is evident that something must be done. Thankfully China, the US, and many European countries have begun to take steps towards recovery. States like California have begun implimenting taxs on carbon, something European countries have been doing for half a decade, and China has also been making attempts to drop its carbon output. While this is tremedous news for the Enviroment and Earths inhabitants, we are still struggling to progress. It was reported yesterday that the US, China, and the EU failed to come to an agreement on lowering the tariff on "enviromental goods" such as solar panels and LED lightbulbs. Lower the tariff is important for it will facilitate green growth. When things cost less, people are more inclined to buy them. This is on of the reasons that electric cars are still low in ownership (yet rising). By making green goods cheaper, we incentivise helping the enviroment. Right before the meeting, China changed its list of items, that had not been properly reviewed. This could be China attempting to "slip one by us", which is why the US and EU declined. In order to foster societal progression in terms protecting the Enviroment, we must first decrease the price of enviromentally friendly goods while incentivsing their purchase and usage.