We are experiencing an unusual climate change. The heat waves become more frequent and intense, the cold waves less intense. The Arctic Ocean will remain ice-free in the summer by 2050. Increased water evaporation and droughts are causing freshwater reservoirs to shrink. Thus agricultural productivity decreases, reducing the quality of life, increasing mortality rates for disadvantaged people and causing waves of migration.
Biodiversity has drastically reduced due to the limited adaptability of flora and fauna. Parasites and pathogens are thus taking hold in new regions. Increasingly intense rainfall events create infrastructure problems. Sea level rises at double speed due to the expansion of seawater and the melting of land ice.
Scientists have verified that this is due to the increase in atmospheric temperature. In the past 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the sudden end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago, marking the beginning of the modern climatic age and human civilisation. Most of these climate changes are attributed to small changes in the Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.
The current trend of rising temperatures is proceeding at an unprecedented rate. The average surface temperature of the planet has risen by about 1.14 ° C since 1880. Most of the warming has occurred in the past 40 years. If the temperature will rise by another 0.4 ° C, it will create unacceptable living conditions for a large number of people, starting with the disadvantaged in every country on Earth.
Scientists have shown that this is due to the increased greenhouse effect.
HOW DOES THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT WORK?
The sun’s rays pass through the atmosphere and heat the earth’s surface. The heat from the ground radiates into the atmosphere, where a part (30%) is dispersed into space, while another part (70%) is captured by water vapour and gases, which create a reflective hood and send the heat back. on earth. This natural process is known as the greenhouse effect and causes an increase in the global average temperature of about 33 ° C. It is thanks to the greenhouse effect that the average temperature on Earth is a pleasant +15 ° C and not a torrid -18. ° C.
Two thirds of this effect comes from water vapour, 22% from carbon dioxide (CO₂), 7% from ozone (which together with oxygen is the primary constituent of the atmosphere) and the rest from nitrous oxide (N₂O) and methane (CH₄).
Scientists consider it extremely likely (with more than 95% probability) that the increase in the greenhouse effect is the result of human activity since the mid-1900s. In particular, the increase in CO₂ resulting from human activity is 250 times faster than the increase from natural sources after the last ice age.
The solution is to eliminate CO₂ emissions from human activity as soon as possible. Achieving this goal requires great determination and large investments, married to the consideration for the social implications and economic opportunities of this turning point for all the people of the planet. More and more countries are creating strategies to eliminate CO₂ emissions by 2050.
We are the last generation that can reverse the trend.
Sofia (18 years)
For example, in 2020, the President of the European Commission Ms. Ursula von der Leyen approved the European Green Deal as one of her first political acts: the great pact for the future of the environment and inclusive economic growth. It has the following objectives:
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