Climate Change Paper

Summary of Articles:

The Harrabin article asserts first that the past decade or so has been extremely hot and ever increasing in its temperature. He then explains one of the possible consequences of these changes in global warming: an increase in deadly typhoons and floods. He goes on to mention the astronomically high greenhouse gas levels in the past several years, which appear to be connected with the increasing temperature. Harrabin next references the fact that many individual countries have seen their hottest years, as well as an overall high average temperature globally. Finally, he says that though the issue has become a lot bigger politically, there is still little being done about it. The McGrath article is related but focuses more on the rising gas levels, specifically CO2 and how it affects the oceans. He begins with statistics on how CO2 levels have been rising as well as a direct correlation with ocean acidification. He cites many potentially harmful effects, including loss of biodiversity and economic damage, and then explains how most of the attempts to stop ocean acidification are futile and that ultimately, “only significant cuts in emissions will slow the progress of acidification.”

Position on Global Climate Change:

Climate change is no doubt a problem now and for the future. Some may say they don't like the cold and would rather take the heat. Undoubtedly though, increased heat and ocean acidification have the potential to cause some serious harm. They could very easily wipe out crops and organisms and deprive the world of essential nutrients. Scarily, heat could not only make this happen from droughts, but from the opposite end by changing the climate so much: floods that could destroy crops. These floods could come from frequently occurring tropical storms, which we already see happening, as well as rapidly rising sea levels around the globe (Harrabin, 2013). Ocean acidification is also a huge problem because it could destroy organisms that are imperative to many humans, both nutritionally and economically. For example, "the global cost of the decline in molluscs could be $130bn by 2100 if emissions of CO2 continue on their current pathway” (McGrath, 2013).

The first response I think is necessary for this problem is to research more in order to deepen understanding. There is still so much we don't know. For example, even the IPCC isn't exactly sure about the exact cause behind increased tropical storms (Harrabin, 2013). Of course, the most surefire way to get rid of this problem for the most part would be to reduce emissions. Unfortunately, that is not such an easy prospect. Consequently, it is imperative to find other ways that might help. To do that though, requires cooperation among the people of the earth, a prospect that in politics is not easy to accomplish. This means that even the solutions are hindered by the creators of the problem (Harrabin, 2013). It is extremely important then for people to know the possible repercussions of climate change. That can only be accomplished by the final and perhaps most important basic response: an increase in education.

References

  • Harrabin, R. (November, 2013). 2013 'one of warmest'on record. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24925580
  • McGrath, M. (November, 2013). Emissions of CO2 driving rapid oceans 'acid trip.’Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24904143