Modern Day Climate Change

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Climate Change in Modern Society In recent years, climate change has become a very relevant topic in both the science community and the political field.
Climate change is a relevant topic in today’s society that has important effects in the political field and in future generations. The Earth’s climate changes in natural cycles. In the last 650,000 years, there have been 7 cycles of glacial advance and retreat (“Global”). The current warming trend is significant because most of it is very likely human induced, and it is occurring at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 (“Global”). Events around the globe show evidence of a warming climate, such as: rising sea levels, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, extreme
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(“Current”) The Earth’s average temperature has increased by 1 degree during the 20th century. This increase may not sound very significant, but climate indicators on Earth such as tree rings, ice cores, and coral reefs, show that Earth’s temperature is very stable for long periods of time. Small changes in temperature correspond to massive changes in the environment. For example, in the last Ice Age, when North America was under 3,000 feet of ice, the Earth’s average temperature was only 5-9 degrees cooler than it is now. (“Current”) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the US and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5-10 degrees over the next century. (“Current”) The US Global Change Research Program released their predictions on how global warming could affect different regions of the US. In the Northeast, heat waves and heavy downpours will become common, and agriculture, fisheries, and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised. (“Current”) In the Northwest, a change in the timing of streamflow would reduce water supplies, and increasing wildfires, insect outbreaks, and tree diseases would cause a major tree die-off. (“Current”) In the Southeast, extreme heat would affect health, energy, and agriculture, and decreased water availability would have both economic and environmental impacts. (“Current”) In the Midwest, extreme heat, heavy downpours, and flooding would affect many aspects of life, and could also pose a threat to the Great Lakes. In the Southwest, increased heat, drought, and insect outbreaks would increase wildfires, and declining water supplies would be an additional concern.

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