According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, last month was the warmest August on record globally. NASA uses scientists located in about 6,300 stations around the world to determine the average daily temperatures. Scientists gather this data in order to be able to perform a detailed analysis of our environment throughout time and propose practical solutions.
Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide and other pollutants get trapped in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight that have bounced off the surface of the earth. Normal pollutants escape to space; however, these harmful pollutants can actually survive in the atmosphere for years. Through this time, they trap heat causing high temperatures.
In the United States, coal-burning power plants are the biggest polluters. Them only create about two billion tons of carbon dioxide a year. The second-largest source of carbon dioxide is produced by the transportation sector creating about 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year.
Even though global warming consequences may seem far away, we can already see its compelling effects. From accelerating the rate of sea level rise to having intense heat waves, global warming has significant implications for our health and environment. In the midst of such a dreadful situation, is there anything we can do? The answer is yes. There are many steps that could help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and help fight global warming. Here is some ideas:
Be a conscious consumer
When shopping for electrical appliances, check if they have the government’s Energy Star label. These products meet energy efficiency requirements established by the government that do not only protect the environment but help consumers save money.
Use public transportation
Almost all of the transportation we use today depends on petroleum fuels. These fuels are produced with non-renewable sources of energy and release harmful gases. Using more eco-friendly transportation options does not only reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but it can help you save money and create alternative job options.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
Each tree that is not used to create paper reduces global warming by helping hold the carbon dioxide. Recycling also reduces gas emissions from landfills saves energy and helps produce more energy-efficient products.
Eat more veggies
The process of farming, killing, processing, transporting and storing animals produce incredible amounts of greenhouse gases. Also, the billions of animals that are killed each year produce great methane emissions through their digestion process.
Use less energy
Make sure to unplug unused appliances and lights. Some appliances that are plugged into an outlet still use power even if they are not being used. The less demand for energy, the less amount of carbon-fueled electricity has to be produced.
The only way of stopping global warming is by making a collective effort. Global warming is not a problem to be left for activists, politicians or scientists. No action is too small. A positive change begins with you. If you want to learn more about global warming contact the Natural Resource Defense Council or the Union of Concerned Scientists to get involved.