Monday, June 6, 2016

Heat (#3)

In this post I'll be talking about Climate Change, and what we've done for our heat menu.

The goal/purpose to this project was to 'show your understanding of heat in the environment and how it affects humans.'

And like I mentioned in the first post about this topic, we had an Appetizer, Drink, Main Course, and Dessert.

I'll explain it all later.

But right now, I want to get to a pretty important topic-especially when it comes to heat-

Climate Change. 

We've all heard about this term before, but do we care about it?

No, not really. 

Do we know what exactly it is?

No, not really. 

Do we know how it affects us?

No, not really. 

What I'm trying to prove here is that we're always talking about how our cars are causing climate change, how the icebergs are melting, about the rise in sea levels... greenhouse gases... etc, but what exactly are we going on about?

Do we even know what we're talking about? 

We, as humans, think that Climate Change is some foreign, unimportant topic, and that as long as our lives right now are fine, we're going to be okay.

That we aren't going to be affected.

We just don't care enough about it.

Sure, we know about it.

Sure, meteorologists are talking about how we're breaking records for the hottest temperatures all around the world, but we aren't seeing anything.

The proof.

Of course, there's pictures. And we see those pictures, and go, 'Oh they must be feeling so hot right now! I feel so bad.... I feel hot just looking at them!'  

And then we go ahead, turn our backs, go back to living our own lives, and forget all about it.

But it's because we don't feel anything. We live in this place where we are privileged enough to have rain, to have freshwater, to have a decent amount of sun, and to actually have seasons.

Some of us around the world... don't.

But the thing is, we haven't experienced it. We don't know how it feels to faint of dehydration, to want water when there is none left, to be left on the blistering hot sand, with no shoes, no hat, no shade-nothing to protect us from the sweltering heat of the sun.

We think nothing has changed from the last 100 years, so we ignore it.

But as Philip Watts once said,

'Ignorance is not bliss-it is oblivion.'

And it's true.

By ignoring these problems, we are causing even bigger, global problems, which is going to affect us all.

But all this talk isn't going to describe what Climate Change is, and what's happening to the Earth.

When the sun's rays reach the Earth's surfaces, some are absorbed and remitted as heat. Greenhouse gases, such as water vapor, and carbon dioxide, absorb and re-radiate as as heat. In creased amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere means more heat is trapped in the atmosphere, which warms the Earth.

Human activity, such as the burning of Fossil Fuels, are increasing, as the human population also increases. Over the last century, (mainly since the 1900's) amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide have increased over 40%.

Global average surface temperature has been raised by about 0.8 Celsius, over that time.

Ocean heat, the ocean sea level, have all increased and much of the snow and ice in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased a lot as well. The melting of sea ice in Arctic has, and will cause lots and lots of problems, including the rise of sea levels, especially places by the sea, like P.E.I., and Florida, and small islands, like Hawaii, the Philippines, etc.

If this continues to happen, then by the end of the century, the Earth's average surface temperature will have been raised by about 2.6 degrees Celsius, to 4.8 degrees Celsius, but even 2.6 degrees will have serious implications, and cause many changes.

But Climate change doesn't affect just humans. It's not just a global problem. In fact, it can affect even the smallest things, like snowshoe hares.

These hares molt during the spring and fall, which means that they're brown during the summer months, and white during the winter months. Snowshoe hares always molt around the same time. Of course, it sometimes changes, especially because they respond to light, when the days get longer or shorter. But that means that the weather has to cooperate as well.

But it's not always that the snow comes around the same time. (as the days start to get shorter) So if the snow comes later than usual, you've got a white hare against the muddy, brown-grey background.

If the snow melts, due to climate change, (even if the days aren't getting longer) that means we'll have a white hare against the darker background.

But these aren't things that happen once in a blue moon-they happen every.

Single.

Year.

Of course, these hares can hide, but the problem is, they themselves think that they blend in. We, as humans don't understand how that happens. Humans immediately know when we don't fit in, or when we don't blend in with the crowd. These poor animals don't know that they don't blend in.

So animals like the Canadian lynx, foxes, raptors, and even red squirrels, will take the chance to eat, and will hunt them.

They become prey.

Obviously, it's not that  big of a deal... right?

I mean, it's just one animal.

Wrong.

If  by any chance these animals die off and become extinct, that's one less animal in the food chain, one less animal to feed off of... it affects everything. If it was just this one animal, that may not be that much of a big deal.

But animals are dying all over the world, just because of what WE are doing. We are the ones cutting down rainforests, sending every animal, insect and arachnid, fleeing into other places, disrupting another food chain,

We are the ones killing bees with pesticide,

We are the ones killing polar bears, turtles, whales...

The list goes on, naming many different animals, like penguins, and cod.

All these animals are so, so very important to this Earth, but what are we doing?

We're destroying what we were given, throwing their lives away, as if they are of no importance to us.

But they are.

And soon, we're going to meet the same fate.

I advise you to start to actually CARE about this Earth, or we will all go down into oblivion-which I don't think anyone would want, considering how far we've come.


-Thanks for reading-considering how long this is!

Esther



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