What Evidence Exists For Global Warming

The evidence of global warming is undeniable—the planet is getting hotter, and it’s having a dramatic effect on our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. As temperatures rise, glaciers are melting and sea levels increasing, resulting in harsher weather patterns, higher levels of drought and flooding, and more extreme weather events like hurricanes, cyclones and heat waves. Human-caused changes to the natural environment, including burning fossil fuels and releasing heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, are the principal factors driving up Earth’s temperature. Scientists agree that if we don’t do something to slow down the emission of those gases, the devastating impacts of global warming will become increasingly unavoidable.

Many people dispute that global warming is a result of human activity. Indeed, history has shown that climate change is an expression of natural cycles, with periods of warming and cooling that have taken place for thousands of years. But over the past few decades, multiple reports from reliable scientific sources have indicated that the record-breaking rise in temperatures is largely attributable to human activities— namely the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, where gas and oil. What’s more, the Earth’s temperature has increased significantly since the industrial revolution, a period when the burning of fossil fuels vastly increased. Climate records indicate that the average global temperature has been on an upward trajectory since this time.

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that human-caused climate change has already caused temperatures to rise by one degree Celsius since pre-industrial levels. This may seem like an insignificant figure, but even such a small increase can wreak havoc on the environment and destabilize ecosystems. For example, a one-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures can dramatically increase the severity of weather events like extreme floods and droughts, which can threaten food supplies in the world’s poorest countries. In addition, a warmer climate means the Arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate, causing sea levels to rise by about 15 centimeters since 1950. This could ultimately lead to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

In line with this, an increasing number of countries have begun to realize the necessity of reducing emissions and ramping up renewable energy resources in order to halt further damage. In 2015, the United Nations hosted the historic Paris Agreement, where 195 countries pledged to reduce emissions to limit the rise in global temperature to two degrees Celsius. The efficacy of this treaty remains to be seen, since many of the signatories have yet to meet their targets, but it has galvanized global action on the issue of global warming and provided the world with a framework for the reduction of emissions.

It’s increasingly evident that global warming is not only happening, but that it has been accelerated by human activity and that it is happening rapidly. But even with the severity of the problem clear, many countries and corporations remain apathetic to the fact that more drastic action is needed to protect our planet and secure a sustainable future. It’s time for world leaders to take the issue seriously and for citizens to educate themselves and make informed decisions about the way they live. The scientific evidence of global warming is in—it’s time to act.

Ernestine Warren is a passionate environmentalist, author, and advocate for the protection of the Earth's precious resources. She has written extensively on the causes and effects of global warming, providing accurate information to help educate people on how to combat this major global problem. With a background in science and biology, Ernestine has the tools to help develop solutions that meet everyone's needs while minimizing environmental damage. Her hope is that each person can do their part for the planet and make a real difference to help reduce climate change.

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