Climate ChangeKristen LowmanProfessor YuJanuary 22, 2018There are many examples that show the global climate is changing. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing since the pre-industrial era and are now higher than ever (IPCC, 2014). Anthropogenic is defined as resulting from the influence of human beings on nature (Merriam Webster, 2018). This is because of economic and population growth (IPCC, 2014). Scientists have proven that the global temperature has risen a little less than 2 degrees since the 19th century, the oceans are warming, the sea level is rising, and many other factors contribute to climate change. One major piece of evidence includes major events, such as flooding, hurricanes, and many other natural disasters. Also, the glaciers are retreating. Considering the warming trend in the temperature, which is about a 95% probability that it is caused by humans (IPCC, 2014), it is no wonder the glaciers are retreating in areas such as Greenland, Antarctica, and other tropical mountain glaciers. Humans are at least partly responsible for this change because of carbon dioxide we are putting in the atmosphere. The largest piece of evidence that these scientists have to prove it is at least partly humans fault is greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC report says “it is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1950 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together” (IPCC, 2014). Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide. Around 40% of these emissions have stayed in the atmosphere; the rest has been removed and stored on land and in the ocean (IPCC, 2014). The ocean absorbed around 30% of the carbon dioxide. This is causing ocean acidification (IPCC, 2014). This has various impacts on the ocean species. The entire food web may be at risk (PMEL, 2014). In my opinion, the major problem seems to be overpopulation. The increase in greenhouse gas has risen significantly due to economic and population growth (IPCC, 2014). On the other side of the argument, there are some scientists who say all of the predictions are failed. H. Sterling Bernett of the Heartland Institute says that for nearly a decade, the amount of hurricanes has decreased dramatically, and the hurricanes we have experienced have been no stronger than hurricanes in the past (Bernett, 2017). He also talks about how even though the sea levels have risen 400 feet since the end of the last interglacial period, the rate of sea level rise since 1961, about one-eighth of an inch per year, it hasn’t been as significant as it has been in the past (Bernett, 2017). He goes on to talk about the flooding problem, and how many people are building on areas that are more prone to flooding than others. Climate models stated that many plants and animals would be extinct due to ecosystem changes, however, there is no proof to date of any species reaching extinction due to climate change (Bernett, 2017). When it comes to the debate of whether or not humans are causing climate change, it can get extremely confusing. I really do believe both sides have incredible arguments, research, and evidence. I like to think that we should assume the worst in this case, instead of living in the dark. We should be replacing as many of our greenhouse emissions as we can. For example, electric cars and solar panels. We should start taking a stand for our precious earth by stopping pollution, reducing waste, recycling, etc. The location I was assigned is Alaska. Alaska is the largest state, covering about 20% of the United States. Around this time of year (January) Alaska experiences an average temperature of 9.3° low and a 22.2° high. A fact that I didn’t know about Alaska is that the do experience summer. Ft. Yukon holds the states high-temperature record at 100° in June 1915 (Travel Alaska, 2001-2018). According to EPA, over the past 60 years, most of the state has warmed three degrees on average and six degrees in winter (EPA, 2016). Sea ice covers most of the Arctic Ocean in winter, and, until lately, ice covered most of this ocean during summer as well. However, because the earth is warming, the area covered by ice at the end of summer 2012 was almost 50% smaller than the average. They are expecting the ice to fully melt most summers within the next few decades (EPA, 2016). Rising temperatures could provide benefits such as longer growing seasons, increased tourism, and access to natural resources they cannot access currently due to ice cover. However, climate change has more adverse effects on many of its ecosystems and many hardships for Alaskans (EPA, 2016). Another rising issue is how climate change is affecting permafrost. Permafrost is frozen ground that is a few feet below the soil surface in very cold areas, eighty percent of Alaska’s surface is located above permafrost. Permafrost stays frozen all year, however, as temperatures continue to rise, permafrost has started thawing in many different locations (EPA, 2016). As this continues to happen, the soil will begin to sink, causing ground subsidence, damaged roads, homes and other structures (EPA, 2016). This could mean serious trouble for Native Alaskans. Another major defect of permafrost thawing is transportation infrastructure. As permafrost continues to melt, and soils continue to sink, this will add large costs to fix highways, railroads, airstrips, and much more. Many of Alaska’s highways are built over permafrost (EPA, 2016). I was happy to discover that many villages in Alaska have already created relocation plans. In September 2007, former governor Palin formed the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet. They are in charge of preparing and putting in place an Alaska Climate Change Strategy. This will deal with state policies that deal with climate change (State of Alaska, 2017). This website states at the top “This page is under construction and in the process of being updated” as of November, 2017. I really hope this means they have created more plans to put in place to protect the Native Alaskans.I really want to answer this question with a yes. I really want to say that the counties that contribute the most should have to pay for the effects of their damages to those who can’t do anything about it. However, there is no way to enforce this. I can’t think of a single way that doesn’t end in violence to force the nations who cause the damage to pay. The best way I can think to help this problem is to raise awareness, promote energy efficiency, and promote taking care of the earth. Humans have a responsibility to take care of their home, earth. However, you can’t force people to pay for other nations, you have to encourage them to want to help them. Helping them would include donations, charities, and fundraisers, physically visiting the country and helping them, and raising awareness about global population. We could also raise awareness that what we do here in our own country does, in fact, hurt them, and there is nothing they can do or say about it. I would bet a lot of people aren’t informed that our dirty laundry affects the poorest of countries who have a very little effect on their own.References”Anthropogenic.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anthropogenic.”Climate Change 101: The Evidence Humans Aren’t Destroying the Climate.” The Freedom Pub, blog.heartland.org/2017/01/climate-change-101-the-evidence-humans-arent-destroying-the-climate/.State of Alaska – Climate Change in Alaska, climatechange.alaska.gov/cc-ak.htm.”Climate Impacts in Alaska.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 13 Jan. 2017, 19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/climate-impacts/”Climate Change Causes: A Blanket around the Earth.” NASA, NASA, 10 Aug. 2017, climate.nasa.gov/causes/.”Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” NASA, NASA, 10 Aug. 2017, climate.nasa.gov/evidence/.Fifth Assessment Report – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/.