Did you know Greenland and Russia had fires, and millions of people could be displaced due to droughts? And, many children in Central Africa are literally starving to death due to food loss, yet many Americans waste tons of food each year.
So, what is climate change?
An article from the United Nations states, “Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle.” Hence the name, climate change: climate temperatures change due to many factors. Since the 1800s, global temperatures have risen more than 33 degrees, creating many problems and disasters throughout the world.
How does the world get hotter?
Ever since the Industrial Revolution, many countries have used fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil for power. However, when we burn these fuels, gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are harmful to us and the environment. Think of the gases as a microwave, and our planet as something in that microwave. This is known as global warming. As the Earth heats up, these gases keep in that heat, which warms up the world and creates massive floods, droughts, and fires.
What are the consequences?
There are many consequences due to climate change and global warming. From 2002-2010, Mexico and parts of Northern South America and Chile have seen the worst flooding in decades. An article in The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies talks about the situation in Peru after the flood. It shows that more than 1 million animals were affected, and more than 300,000 hectares of crops were affected or destroyed. There are more instances of this, as South East Asia and England have also experienced the worst flooding in years. Severe droughts have also occurred. Even in Russia, there were significant droughts throughout the region, which is something normally unexpected in a cold area. China and Australia had severe droughts from 2000-2010. These droughts could lead to water scarcity, meaning failure to grow crops and livestock, which in turn could cause famine and disease.
So, why should we care?
Right now, you might not feel the effects of climate change. But, if global temperatures were to rise 2 degrees celsius, developing countries with high poverty rates would see increased famine and droughts, leading to national disasters. If global temperatures were to rise 3 degrees celsius, everyone would feel the heat, literally. Places like Paris, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Moscow, and maybe where you are, would start to go under extreme heat waves. Other places that are near sea level would flood and go underwater. Many farmers would not be able to produce as many crops. One farmer in Guatemala named Israel Riviera stated that the biggest crop he has grown since the drought was only 6 inches tall (15.2 centimeters). This is why we should care. Many cities would go underwater or bake in the heat, maybe even in your city. This is the only place we know that could inhabit humans, so we should not let our future generations live in a place that is filled with droughts, famine, and more.