Responsible Earth

Climate

   
Climate change seems to be a touchy subject these days. There is an                         extensive list of myths against climate change, including the notion that "global             warming" is just a government hoax, or solar cycles are what cause warming.             Regardless, the following chart illustrates the increase in atmospheric CO2 since         data collection began in 1958.

          Atmospheric CO2 has increased by 79% in the last 57 years.
                                                                                                 http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/              

So...what's the issue?

   
CO2 is a common constituent of our atmosphere. Without it (and other "greenhouse     gases"), life on this planet would not exist as we know it. However, more CO2 in         the atmosphere means less of the sun's energy is being radiated back into space.

 More CO2 = more trapped energy = increased global temperatures

   
Evidence for these increased temperatures include:
  • Sea level rise
  • Global temperature rise (2014 was the warmest year on record)
  • Warming oceans
  • Shrinking ice sheets (Antarctica lost 36 cubic miles in three years)
  • Declining Arctic sea ice
  • Glacial retreat
  • Extreme weather events
  • Ocean acidification (acidity has increased ~30%)
  • Decreased snow cover (we Utahns are feeling that one!)
  • Changes in migration patterns and population distribution
  • Delays in bird nesting
  • Population decline
   
Here in Utah, we rely on heavy winter snows to provide water throughout the dry         summers. As you can see from the image below, most of Utah is suffering from         moderate drought conditions. February 2015 proved to be the warmest February     on record (for Utah), and with temperature taken into consideration, was also the         driest.


   
Obviously, our desert state is hot and dry and will--if trends continue--only get             hotter and drier.This means more drought stressed forests, which will lead to             more trees weakened by the lack of water and therefore susceptible to bark beetle     attacks. Hot and dry conditions are also perfect for wildfires.

What is your responsibility?