Personally, I do think it’s getting worse primarily because our current economy is not structured to support environmental initiatives. We will take a step forward in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and then we will take two steps back in an attempt to support the economy. According to the U.S Dept. of Energy, the global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped last year by the biggest amount on record (Winnepeg Free Press, 2011)! Global leaders have got to have constructive discussions regarding how we can move forward and implement the necessary changes to support our environment. If this is not done, in my opinion, the situation is only going to get worse and worse. I believe that we only have a small window of opportunity left before it’s too late.
The “Warming” part of Global Warming will definitely get worse. Even if we stop emitting carbon entirely right now, global temperatures will still continue to rise slightly due to radiative forcing. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated several scenarios with varying degrees of emissions reductions. Essentially, global temperatures will continue to rise no matter what we do. However, we can control how much they will rise if we all work together.
I think it is very clear that climate change is getting worse. 2011 broke the most climate records ever worldwide. There were also droughts across the Midwest and into Texas. These droughts caused widespread wildfires across Texas. The droughts are persisting into Mexico. The effects of climate change are already being observed across the arctic. For example, never before seen methane gas is bubbling up in arctic lakes. This is from the decomposition of the lake beds which was previously prevented by freezing. Methane is itself a greenhouse gas so this problem alone has the capability of spiraling out of control.
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