Have you noticed how the average maximum temperature has increased drastically? Well, this is what environmental change is! The sea-level is on the rise, and the ice-caps and glaciers are melting. In addition to that, the frequency of natural disasters is also increasing.
Microplastics, which are a potential threat to marine animals, are currently littering the ocean. These contribute to the growth of the Pacific garbage patch. Furthermore, the country is yet again relying on fossil fuels for the production of energy. All of this, despite the global push, to reduce the greenhouse effect!
Over the last decade, there have been some alarming environmental changes, including the examples mentioned above. Now, if this doesn’t make you question the role you can play, I wonder what will!
In this blog, I shall take you through some of the environmental changes that have occurred in the last four years alone. Besides, I will also share some ways by which you can contribute to preventing such changes in the future.
What happened to the environment in the last 4 years?
With each passing day, humans are pushing planet Earth towards a dead end. Soon enough, there will be a day when we won’t be able to reverse any of it. Therefore, it becomes our duty to be aware of the recent events related to environmental changes. Let’s take a look at them!
Rising sea level
Over the period of the last four years, the sea-level has increased drastically. When you compare these statistics to the ten-year period of 2007-2016, the results are worrisome. The reason for the increasing sea-level includes ice melt from the world glaciers and ice sheets. These phenomena are a contribution to global environmental change.
Since the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the average, it is also putting the wildlife at risk. It includes polar bears, along with the prey it depends on, for example, seals.
Ocean acidity and heat
You must be aware that the heat trapped in the earth’s surface is causing it to get warmer day by day. This is what we most commonly call the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the result of the accumulation of harmful gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. If you ask how humans contribute to the greenhouse effect, the answer is simple – the burning of fossil fuels. Humans are constantly burning coal and oil, which emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
This excess heat due to the change in climate is stored in the oceans. Can you believe that the year 2018 saw the largest ocean heat content value measured around the upper 700 meters? Well, our water bodies absorb around thirty-percent annual emissions of carbon dioxide due to human activities. Therefore, contributing to global warming and environmental change.
In addition to that, carbon dioxide in the water increases the acidity of the ocean. It is noticed that since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the overall acidity has increased to 26%.
As of March 2020, the wildfires in Australia burnt around 18.6 million hectares. In addition to that, more than 5,900 buildings were destroyed, making it one of the costliest natural disasters to date. It also pushed some endangered terrestrial vertebrates to extinction. The fire started somewhere around September 2019 and was finally contained in early May.
Apart from that, in 2019, there were unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic region as well. There were also major forest-fires in Canada in 2018. These fires emitted megatons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and impacted the global carbon budget.
The reason for such wildfires is the drastic environmental change. Wildfires are majorly linked to drought-like conditions and can stretch from months to years. Well, having witnessed some of the largest wildfires in the last four years, I am quite certain that it can get pretty serious from here.
Heatwaves are a period of extremely hot weather. It usually accompanies high humidity. Heatwaves are usually measured by comparing the average temperature of the season. These can last for several days on a stretch and impact society in more than one way. There has been a rise in heat-related deaths over the past few years making it one of the most dangerous natural hazards.
The effect of heat waves can be a potential risk to the people living in the cities. However, it may also affect the livelihood of people living in rural areas. The period of unusually hot weather is later accompanied by droughts, which puts a strain on crops and livestock, leading to a shortage of food. Furthermore, heatwaves burden emergency services and put a strain on water resulting in power shortages.
During the last few years, there was a significant rise in the temperature, which led to extreme heatwaves. It resulted in several new temperature records and has also contributed to the loss of harvest.
Melting of ice sheets and glaciers
Throughout the last four years, the Arctic’s average sea-ice extent was less than what was recorded over 1981-2010. In addition to that, the lowest records for winter also occurred during this period. This makes it clear that the multi-year ice is disappearing drastically.
Since 2016, the Antarctic’s minimum and maximum sea-ice extent have also decreased when compared to the 1979-2018 period. It was the lowest in 2017.
In addition to that, the Greenland ice sheet also witnessed an increase in ice loss since the beginning of the millennium.
Storms and floods
Around ninety-percent of natural disasters are related to weather, with storms and floods being the dominant disasters. These have also led to the highest economic losses over the last four years.
In 2017, the Atlantic hurricane season was the most devastating disaster on record. In addition to that, in 2019, the back-to-back tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean caused a lot of damage to the nearby areas.
What can you do to prevent environmental change?
Scientists from all around the globe world have been warning about the severe consequences of climate change. Even though the damage has been done, people from all around the world are taking measures to make amendments.
Even the smallest steps seem to work when it comes to safeguarding our planet. Therefore, if you want to bring a revolution, there couldn’t be a better time than now!
In this section, I will suggest some tips which can help you contribute to the planet in a better way. Let’s dive in!
Spread awareness of environmental change
Now, if you ask me what the most basic thing that can help the environment is, I’d say spreading awareness! Yes, you heard me. When you talk about things that are important and need immediate attention, the word spreads like wildfire. You can voice your thoughts verbally or even share them on social media. Remember, Greta Thunberg? Well, just like her, you also have the potential to spread awareness.
Make use of renewable energy
Renewable energy is collected from resources that replenish naturally. These include sunlight, wind, rain, waves, and tide. If you shift to these resources, you will ultimately help the environment.
Now, let’s talk about some of the tools that help you utilize renewable energy. It includes solar security cameras, solar outdoor lights, and portable solar chargers. Besides, you can also collect rainwater and use it for cleaning your porch, vehicle, and pathway. A win-win situation for the environment as well as you!
Do not waste food
While some of us are busy dumping our leftover food in the trash, there are people who go to sleep on empty stomachs. The wasted food eventually finds its way into landfills, which contributes to land pollution. Therefore, it is important to establish grounds on which you can prevent the food from getting wasted. Try buying food in small quantities. Besides, when you cook, make sure the portion gets eaten within a day so that your refrigerator isn’t loaded with leftovers.
Another thing that you can do to contribute to the environment is by using eco-friendly products in your kitchen. These steps may look small but collectively make a huge impact.
Switch to a bicycle
Going to the grocery store may seem like a task. So, what do you do? Start your car and drive off even if it is a walkable distance. Now, this may not seem like such a big deal, but the emissions from your car are a major source of air pollution!
Here is how you can help – switch to a bicycle! A bicycle will not only prevent air pollution but will also push you towards a healthy lifestyle.
Earth is the single most planet that bestows us with the gift of life. However, humans have left no stone unturned to take all of this for granted. It has ultimately pushed us into an inescapable abyss. Looking at the statistics from the last four years, it is certain that we have put our planet in severe danger. Besides, the future might not even have access to natural resources, which we exploit at the drop of a hat!
So, what can you do to prevent earth and our future generations from suffering? Well, the right measures and environmental change strategies can surely make a difference. Put the above-mentioned tips to use and walk towards positive change right from today!
Enjoy your eco-friendly lifestyle.