Climate change – is it dying out?
Climate change is not becoming a thing of the past. Recently, there has been a rise in strikes for environmental change throughout the world.
These protests are occurring as a result of society becoming more aware of the irreversible damages our lifestyles are posing for the future of the earth.
Since 2005, carbon dioxide levels have been on the rise, with the highest concentration being recorded this year at 650,000 parts per million.
This greenhouse gas traps heat in the atmosphere. This gas is released from human activities which include deforestation, the burning of fossil fuels, respiration, etc. As a result of this gas being trapped in the atmosphere, temperatures around the globe have drastically risen in the past 19 years, with 2016 being recorded as the hottest years ever.
A domino effect is occurring, as the rise in temperatures causes the Arctic ice caps to melt and as a consequence, the sea levels around the world are rising.
The United Kingdom is also beginning to face the effects of climate change. The Environment Agency has asked that urgent measures be taken to protect the country from coastal and river flooding.
When this average temperature rise of 4C occurs, many persons may be forced to leave their homes and businesses. Despite this, because of the increase in population, by 2050, the number of homes built on floodplains may be doubled.
Other severe effects of climate change include drought, high sea levels, stronger hurricanes and an increase in precipitation to name a few.
With society seeing the changes occurring throughout the world as a result of global warming, more and more people are speaking out about the human activities that are damaging the atmosphere.
With this awareness, groups and campaigns are being formed in an attempt to save the planet. With the rise in campaigns, came the term “climate justice”, where global warming is a consequence of ethical and political issues, rather than being purely environmental or physical in nature.
Young children and adults are realising that their futures are in jeopardy and have begun speaking out against the governments, to ensure they put legislation in place to protect the Earth.
In the United Kingdom, Student Climate Network, is an organisation led by teenagers in the fight for climate justice. On 15th February, 2019, one of the largest climate strikes occurred, with over 10,000 students, skipping classes and taking to the streets to protest.
Throughout the world, more young people are being influenced by the young activist Greta Thunberg, who started it all. Through these strikes, governments have begun to take climate change and global warming more seriously.
A recent initiative by scientists in Cambridge has begun to find ways to repair the Earth’s climate. A research centre is being set-up to investigate revolutionary approaches as the current ways being implemented, on their own, will not stop the irrevocable damage already done.
Some of these methods include refreezing the poles, recycling carbon dioxide and ocean greening.
I spoke to Stefan Adams, who for his final project, was showing the effects of climate change. “I think people are becoming more aware of [climate change] it.” He says this awareness is thanks to the media and the different strikes occurring.
“Getting away from using fossil fuels..governments imposing sanctions on air flight, food and shopping, so everybody uses a lot less. It’s quite totalitarian…you might have to start going on holiday only once a year or the world collapses.”
We as humans may have to give up on our lavish lifestyles in hopes that we have sustainable futures, but it’s up to governments to ensure they do their parts.
But what’s clear from all of this is that the fight against climate change is definitely not dying out – it seems like it has only just begun.
Below are the methods that the Cambridge scientists hope to help tackle the climate change crisis.