Our Earth is rapidly becoming less habitable and more fragile. Our air and water are polluted, killing off many species and enabling disease transfer from animals to humans. Our weather is more erratic, with storms becoming much more frequent and severe. The lack of precipitation in the West has led to destructive wildfires and loss of trees to insects and disease. Scientists have foretold these disasters in efforts to stop the destruction of our planet. Unfortunately, science deniers in our government have reversed progress made under climate accords and more environmentally friendly leaders. The climate is warming, putting our earth at risk of losing polar ice caps, land mass, species, and increasing famines, storms/flooding and wildfires. Voters need to consider the environmental record of Trump vs. Biden before voting. This piece begins by discussing global warming and rising sea levels.
Global warming is the phenomenon of increasing average air temperatures near the surface of Earth over the past one to two centuries.
A special report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018 noted that human beings and human activities have been responsible for a worldwide average temperature increase of between 0.8 and 1.2 degrees Celsius (1.4 and 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming since preindustrial times, and most of the warming observed over the second half of the 20th century could be attributed to human activities. It is predicted the global mean surface temperature would increase between 3 and 4 degrees Celsius (5.4 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 relative to the 1986-2005 average should carbon emissions continue at the current rate.
Rising Sea Levels
The two major causes of global sea level rise are thermal expansion caused by warming of the ocean (since water expands as it warms) and increased melting of land-based ice, such as glaciers and ice sheets. The oceans are absorbing more than 90 percent of the increased atmospheric heat associated with emissions from human activity.
Global sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch per year.
Higher sea levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges push farther inland than they once did, which also means more frequent nuisance flooding. Disruptive and expensive, nuisance flooding is estimated to be from 300 percent to 900 percent more frequent within U.S. coastal communities than it was just 50 years ago.
With continued ocean and atmospheric warming, sea levels will likely rise for many centuries at rates higher than that of the current century. In the United States, almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high-population-density coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms. Globally, eight of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast, according to the U.N. Atlas of the Ocean. https://www.oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html
|This article lists 5 impacts of rising seas levels: https://www.businessinsider.com/5-terrifying-impacts-of-rising-sea-levels-2015-2 |
This article lists things we can do to combat global warming: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/10-solutions-for-climate-change/
| The Voter Values Project at Prescott Indivisible |
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