A sobering fact: The World Health Organization blames 150,000 global deaths per year on the effects of global warming. This includes extreme weather, drought, heat waves, decreased food production, and spread of diseases like malaria brought about by climate shifts. The challenge seems to be how to forge ahead with technology, industry and social growth. . . but take responsibility and make sure we still have a world to do this stuff in!
Last week I posted a quiz on global warming. How did you fare? Answers are below.
- True or False? Global warming is due to only natural factors.
ANSWER: False. Some changes are due to natural causes, but scientists now believe that most of the planet's warming in the last few decades has been due to our emissions of greenhouse gasses (like carbon dioxide).
- Which country currently emits the most greenhouse gasses?
A. India B. China C. The U.K. D. The U.S.
ANSWER: B. China. It was the United States, but was surpassed by China in 2007. As a booming industrial country, China has also produced massive carbon emissions in the past few years.
- True or False? Global warming is sped up by the melting of the ice glaciers.
ANSWER: True. Ice covered surfaces reflect more solar energy than other surfaces, and therefore have a cooling effect. As the glaciers melt, global warming will accelerate because more heat will be absorbed. (It makes me think the recent heat waves and wildfires could be related to this. What do you guys think?)
- As climate change continues, the intensity of what type of storm that hits coastlines is predicted to increase?
ANSWER: Hurricanes. Warm water vapor from oceans drives tropical storms. So as the water gets warmer, evaporation increases and provides more fuel for storms. In the past 40 years, sea temperatures have risen 1 degree.
- Which is something YOU can do to help in the fight against global warming?
A. Walk short distances instead of asking your parents for a ride in the car
B. Cut down a tree
C. Always use lots of plastic water bottles
ANSWER: A. Walk short distances instead of asking your parents for a ride in the car. This will reduce carbon emissions your car lets into the atmosphere.
What do you guys think? Drop a line in the Comments below, and post your thoughts on the Save the Planet Message Board. It doesn't seem like it's a problem we will solve any time soon, so let's keep the dialogue going! Until next time.
—Ratha, Stacks Writer