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Some scientists argue that climate change is irreversible

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5CLIMATE CHANGE IS IRREVERSIBLE

Climate Change is Irreversible

Climate Change is Irreversible

Scientists say that the warming of the climate is irreversible due to changes that have been taking place since the 1950s (Wigley, 2001). The atmosphere has warmed, the sea levels have risen and polar ice has melted. Carbon dioxide gas emission has increased which has been attributed to economic and population growth. The effects of carbon dioxide have been detected in the climate system which has been a huge cause of global warming (Warrick and Mooney, 2014). Climate change has brought about significant effects on natural and human system across the world. Climate change has been observed for many years now and is characterised by decrease in cold temperature, increase in incidence of heavy precipitation and increase in the sea levels (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013). In order to prevent further damage to the environment and the human species, there are several efforts that have been made to prevent further climate change and global warming. This essay will highlight the validity of the point that scientists say that climate change is irreversible.

The planet is faced with a future characterized by extreme whether changes, melting of polar ice as well as rising of sea levels due to the emission of dangerous gases like carbon dioxide (Warrick and Mooney, 2014). Scientists report that continued emission of these gases will intensify the warming of all elements of the climate system. This will lead to severe and irreversible impacts for the environment, ecosystem and people in general. In order to prevent this, there is need for a sustained reduction in the emission of these gases which can reduce climate change risks (Wirrick and Mooney, 2014). It is reported that surface temperature will rise and heat waves will occur more in the years to come if no effort is done to minimize greenhouse gases in the environment. Climate change will intensify and will bring about new risks for both ecosystem and people (Stern, 2014).

Studies have showed that in the 21st century, there is a threat of irreversible damage to the climate change (Solomon et al., 2009). There is an assumption that is reported that threats of climate change can be minimized as choices can be made to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases which will reverse the harm within few decades (Solomon et al., 2009). However, due to the already existing ocean warming and the longevity of the emission of carbon dioxide, it will be impossible to reverse the harm. Irreversible climate change has already happened as a result of carbon dioxide emission (Solomon et al., 2009). Continuous emission of this gas will bring about further irreversible effects in the ecosystem.

According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change will continue through the centuries to come (Warrick and Mooney, 2014). Temperatures are rising and will continue to do so in the next century. Since global warming is considered human-induced, temperature rise will not be uniform across different countries. Risks associated with temperature rise and generally climate changes will mostly affect disadvantaged communities especially in developing countries (National Academy of sciences and Royal Society, n.d). Even when the emission of carbon dioxide, impacts of climate change will continue for many years.

The assumption that climate change can be fixed may be the biggest obstacle to managing and slowing global warming and avoiding its potential impacts on the ecosystem (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013). If people were to stop carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere immediately, the oceans would absorb some of the gas fast but will then release the gases back into the air and the thus the level of the gas would not diminish back to pre-industrial levels (National Academy of sciences and Royal Society, n.d). The climate change cannot be eliminated due to its irreversibility nature but can be managed for the better. There are a number of measures that can be used to manage the impacts of climate change (Stern, 2001).

Scientists have reported that the window for opportunity to act fast and in an effective way is closing at an alarming rate (Wigley, 2001). According to a report from the IPCC, the main cause of global warming is the alarming emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane (Warrick and Mooney, 2014). Although carbon dioxide is abundant in the atmosphere and is significant to plants, it has accumulated in a soaring rate as a derivative of burning of fossil fuel (Wigley, 2001). The concentration of the heat trapping gas has increased in the last decades and the excess heat produced has been absorbed in the atmosphere and oceans.

The impacts of climate change range from atmospheric warming to precipitation changes and rise in sea level. This has led to an effort to shift to renewable energy (National Academy of sciences and Royal Society, n.d). This will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the environment. However, implementing such an action may pose technological, economic and social problems that can increase delay. IPCC argue that, climate change can be reduced by operational governance, innovation and investment in environmentally friendly infrastructures and behavioural and lifestyle choices (Warrick and Mooney, 2014).

To sum up, it has been reported that climate change is irreversible due to the longevity of carbon dioxide in the environment that has brought about adverse effects on the ecosystem and people. Climate change has brought about ride in temperatures, rise in sea levels and precipitation changes. In order to prevent this, there is need for a sustained reduction in the emission of these gases which can reduce climate change risks. However, scientists report that it might be late to prevent climate change impact due to irreversibility of climate change. What can only be done is the management of these impacts. There are a number of measures that can be used to manage the impacts of climate change. Climate change can be reduced by the investment in environmentally friendly infrastructures and behavioural and lifestyle choices.

References

Warrick, J and Mooney, C 2014, Effects of Climate Change “irreversible”, U.N Panel Warns in Report. Health and Science, Retrieved 22nd July 2016 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/effects-of-climate-change-irreversible-un-panel-warns-in-report/2014/11/01/2d49aeec-6142-11e4-8b9e-2ccdac31a031_story.html

National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society (n.d), Climate change: Evidence and causes.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013, Climate change 2013: The physical science basis —Frequently asked questions.

Wigley 2001, The Science of Climate change, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Stern 2001, The Economics of Climate change: The Stern review, Retrieved 22nd July 2016 from http://www.wwf.se/source.php/1169157/Stern%20Report_Exec%20Summary.pdf

Solomon, et al. 2009, Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions, Retrieved 22nd July 2016 from www.pmas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0812721106