Who’s to Blame: Tracking the Problem of Increasing Global Temperatures

There’s no doubt about it… the global temperatures have risen. As a result of it there have been an increase in the number of natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis. Its relatively simple to track the cause of these natural disasters but maybe not as simple to track down the causes of increasing temperatures. According to the academic scholar, James Hansen, average global temperatures are increasing due to the emission of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs are molecules made up of varying ratios of chloride, fluoride and carbon which are commonly found in household refrigerants. When CFCs are released into the atmosphere, they deteriorate the ozone layer which helps protect the ground-level environment and also increase the global temperature.

Hansen conducted experiments that tested how the release of different greenhouse gases would effect the global temperature. He furthered his study by setting up stations which would track the change in temperature but instead of collecting individual pieces of data he took averages over several years of collected data so that fluctuations in data wouldn’t largely skew the overall results. As a result of his study, Hansen found that there was an increase in the global temperature as seen in the graph above. Hansen’s study also determined the relative increase in temperature in different parts of the world.

With all that being said, we still ask the question- so what? Why is this important to me? The so what, should ultimately lead to the question of so what should we do now? The reason why this should be important is because it effects everything on earth- from the health of multi-cellular beings such as people to single-celled plankton. And the even greater reason for it being brought to your attention is that you have the ability to combat it.

We don’t need to make drastic changes and I doubt that any significant change can be made overnight but small changes toward a cleaner environment will have a lasting impact on the overall well-being of the planet. We can reduce the amount of air pollutants being released by opting for greener energy sources such as switching from fossil fuel energy to solar or wind energy. But as I said before, small changes can also have a lasting effect. Some of the more practical options include biking or walking to destinations that are nearby instead of driving or choosing reusable water-bottles or bags.

Articles Referenced: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GISSTemperature/giss_temperature2.php

One thought on “Who’s to Blame: Tracking the Problem of Increasing Global Temperatures

  1. Some things to think about: The linked article describes the discovery that CFCs are greenhouse gases, but also states that together emissions CFCs, N2O, methane, and ozone have caused a similar amount of warming as emissions of CO2. So, it is inaccurate to summarize it by saying that the Earth’s rising temperatures are caused by CFCs.
    Also, if you say “we don’t need to make drastic changes,” how will we drastically reduce CO2 emissions over the next 30 years to keep the global temperature increase below 2 C?

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