July 4, 2013

What Can We Do to Stop Global Warming? ~ Erin Emanuel

What is Global Warming?

Global Warming occurs when greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide (CO2) are released into the earth’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, they become trapped around the earth like a blanket, therefore warming the planet and causing the climate and ocean temperatures to rise. Over the past 50 years, temperatures have risen at the highest rate in history.

What are the effects of Global Warming?

Global warming has caused numerous effects on the earth’s climate. It not only endangers the environments, but it also poses a threat to species.

Here is a list of some of Global Warming’s effects:

  1. Rising of sea levels: A rise in temperature cause polar ice caps and glaciers to melt, which can cause a rise in sea levels and warmer waters.
  2. Spreading of diseases: Diseases like malaria, cholera and dengue fever are climate sensitive. Therefore, a rise in temperature can increase the chances of infections and transmissions of these diseases.
  3. Droughts: Global warming will cause a further rise in temperature of already warm climates, consequently resulting in droughts.
  4. Destruction of ecosystems: As earth’s temperature rises, animals living in the colder parts of the world will begin to experience warmer weather. This will likely cause the animal life to shrink as they struggle to migrate or adapt. Either way, the ecosystem will change.

How can we prevent Global Warming?

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reduce garbage by choosing reusable products. If it’s something that can’t be reused, try to purchase products with minimum packaging. Recycle paper, plastic, glass, newspaper and aluminum.
  2. Drive smart: Save gas, as well as the release of emissions, by walking more. Remember, by saving a gallon of gas you can help keep 20 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
  3. Plant a tree: Plants absorb CO2 and produce oxygen. Planting a tree can help balance the increases of CO2.
  4. Eat green: How much of the food in your grocery store is imported from across the world? Transportation is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. Eat locally grown food to reduce transportation emissions.
  5. Use less heat and air conditioning: Use less air conditioning and heat; even keeping your house 2 degrees lower in winter or 2 degrees higher in summer can make a big difference.
  6. Save electricity: Turn off the lights, television, computer and any other electrical device when not in use. Turn off the water when you are not using it, (like while brushing your teeth.)
  7. Use less hot water: Simple social fixes like setting your water heater at 120 degrees, using low flow shower heads, washing your clothes in cold water or using the energy saving setting on your dishwasher can go a long way.
  8. Inform others: Inform family, friends and coworkers about how they can reduce their carbon footprint by following the tips above.

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Assistant Editor: Jade Belzberg/Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Phil Plait}

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