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Effects of Abrupt Climate Change Essay

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Increasing sea levels, irregular temperatures, melting glaciers, extinction of species, and warmer oceans are only a few signs that worldwide climate is changing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explain that "climate is the 'average weather' over a period ranging from months to thousands or millions of years." NOAA goes on to define Abrupt Climate Change as "a change in the climate (for example, in temperature or precipitation) that takes place over a few decades or less, persists for at least a few decades, and causes substantial disruptions in human and natural systems" (NOAA 1). Excess greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are leading to rapid climate change in the form of global warming and are irreparably harming plants, animals, and people. Some consequences of global warming - such as severe heat waves and stronger hurricanes - can be life-threatening. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and the warmest for numerous millennia, according to a number of climate experts who say the worst effects of global warming are still to come. For example, the IPCC report forecast that within the next 50 to 100 years, there will be widespread deaths from heat stress, severe water shortages, and devastation from weather catastrophes (Issues and Controversies). This research paper will observe the human activities that cause and accelerate global climate shifts; the consequences of these shifts for life on Earth; and solutions for dealing with and avoiding such changes in the future, focusing largely on the United States.
The human causes of global climate change have become well-established over the past decade (NOAA 1). Data shows that human activities have intensely contam...


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... carbon dioxide emissions for at least the next 200 years. An enormous part of the debate about the possible solutions to climate change revolves around the misapprehension that economic progress cannot occur without carbon emissions. To the contrary, we have an opportunity – to transform an economy running on unsustainable and poorly dispersed fossil fuels into a long-lasting and secure system powered by abundant renewable energy. As with other serious problems, the solutions to human-forced climate change require collaboration, flexibility, and creativity. The choices we make daily will determine the future of our planet and societies for centuries (Sawin). Education, eco-friendly legislation, and the thoughtful actions of individuals can end the most debated environmental issue in the world today and start us on the path to a sustainable and abundant future.



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