Can We Prevent Future Global Warming Damage? 

A 2020  Aerial (drone) view of Arctic Icebergs breaking up in warming ocean temperatures.
A 2020 Aerial (drone) view of Arctic Icebergs breaking up in warming ocean temperatures.
Photo Credit/ Annie Spratt

Although scientists have pondered for years exactly when global warming began, they all seem to agree  that it started not long after the Industrial Revolution when new inventions and ideas sprung up, which began the release of greenhouse gas emissions. Over the years, plans and attempts to decrease these harmful emissions have been made such as the 2030 Sustainable Development  Goals (SDG), one of seventeen goals created by the United Nations in 2015 that all UN countries adapted. As the world inches closer to the 2030 deadline, is the goal and all of its effort actually working in decreasing anything related to global warming? 

NASA claims that we are at the point where the damage we have done has become irreversible, but that we can prevent further damage from happening in the first place.  An article by NASA says “While the effects of human activities on Earth’s climate to date are irreversible on the timescale of humans alive today, every little bit of avoided future temperature increases results in less warming that would otherwise persist for essentially forever.” So yes while what humans have done to Earth can never be 100% fixed, still any way of stopping greenhouse gas emissions will make a difference. In the same article, NASA explained that even if today all emissions stopped immediately it would still take years for the temperature to decrease, and in a few decades the global temperature would drop and remain consistent. But sadly the chances of that are none due to how much we rely on these fossil fuels to power our everyday lives. 

Greenhouse gasses are created when oil, coal, and natural gas are burned to create heat to power machines, these are also known as fossil fuels. The gasses rise to the earth’s atmosphere because heat rises, and then harms the earth’s atmosphere. But when these gasses are at the top of the earth’s atmosphere they absorb/reflect heat from the sun and then bounce back raising the temperature of the earth. Fossil fuels are used for so many things in our everyday lives that to suddenly stop using them altogether seems impossible. We wouldn’t have heating in our homes, electricity to power lights or screens, gas to fuel our cars, and much more. It is estimated by the National Academies of Science Engineering and Math that 81% of our energy comes from fossil fuels.  

But temperatures are not the only thing being affected, so are our ocean levels. With the increased global temperature, glaciers are melting. This is not only harming the organisms that live there, but also our water levels.

TIME wrote an article about Arctic glacier loss and said “about 10% of Antarctica’s total land ice volume. That’s enough ice to raise global sea level by more than 15 ft.”

This would cause land all over the world to collapse. Famous places like Washington DC could potentially become a swamp. 

In conclusion, yes it is possible for global emissions to fall and for the Earth’s atmosphere to return to normal, but, unfortunately, it would take many more years than we have. 

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About the Contributor
Casey Joyce, Staff Reporter
I am a sophomore at Regina Dominican. This is my first year as a reporter for The Crown. I am also involved with the Ambassadors Club, Alliance Club, and Sophomore Leadership Board. In my free time, I like to go out with friends and play the electric bass guitar. In college, I plan to study  Biomedical Engineering.  A fun fact about me is that I love honey buns.

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