poll as on December 2022- January 2023 on Linkedin

The global temperature on Earth has risen exponentially over the past decade due to human activity. Warming temperatures caused by emissions have been changing the planet’s climate, consistent with trends seen since the 19th century. The climate system is being pushed to unimaginable levels; unless emissions are drastically reduced soon, we could see further changes to our climate. This rise in global temperatures is of great concern, as it can be linked directly to human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation.

The consequences of global warming are already being felt around the world. Climate change has been occurring in the world’s climate system for centuries, but over the past decade, the global temperature has risen faster than ever before. The same is due to a combination of natural climate cycles and human-caused (see image below) factors such as increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Ocean circulation and wind patterns are essential in determining temperatures in specific regions. For example, periodic Pacific water warmings have caused temperatures to increase on average by 0.5°C over recent decades.

These ocean warmings have also helped fuel other phenomena like El Niño and La Niña events which disrupt standard weather patterns and cause extreme weather events like droughts or floods that can cause devastating damage to lives and property all over the world. The fact that temperatures are rising across much of Earth’s surface is evidence enough that something is wrong with our planet’s climate system. We must address it now if we want future generations to inherit a healthy environment with stable global climates.

Temperature changes on Earth have been linked to natural factors like sunspots, sun intensity variations, and volcanic eruptions. However, in recent decades, most of the warming has been attributed to human activities such as burning fossil fuels and releasing high concentrations of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat that would otherwise escape into space leading to an increase in average world temperature. In 2019 alone, we saw record-breaking temperatures across much of the planet, with some areas experiencing temperatures almost five- degrees celsius above the preindustrial levels.

The Earth’s global surface temperature has been rising over the past decade. The increase in global average surface temperature is due to global warming, caused by increased emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The average combined surface air and sea surface temperatures have been rising at an alarming rate this year, with current temperatures being 0.8°C above preindustrial levels and 1.2°C above average temperatures from 1951-1980. The recent ice age has also been drastically declining in the past ten years, with Arctic sea ice coverage decreasing by 13% per decade since 1979 compared to the annual mean between 1981-2010.

The last decade has been the warmest on record, with eleven of the twelve warmest years since records began occurring in this timeframe. The same is particularly significant compared to the slight cooling trend from the 1950s through to the 1970s. Recent analyses and satellite observations suggest a warming trend of global temperatures over this decade.

Furthermore, weather balloons have recorded an average increase in temperature across the Earth’s surface of 0.07 Celsius per decade since 1958, while the latest data calibrations have recorded an even higher average surface temperature rate of 0.17 Celsius per decade over the same period.

The findings suggest that Earth’s climate has been undergoing a gradual warming phase since at least the beginning of the 20th century, with recent decades seeing some of its warmest years on record despite slight cooling trends earlier in the century.

To substantiate the above findings and facts, we conducted a poll on LinkedIn, which was shared among fifteen groups and was run for eight days. The results were noticeable, still startling, where 93.2% of the 681 respondents accepted that climate change is due to human-caused activities, and just 4.6% of the climate crisis is due to natural reasons. However, it was shocking that there are still 0.6% of the respondents who believe that no climate change is happening.

Concluding, the climate is changing rapidly, and the extensive use of fossil fuels is damaging the planet to an unprecedented level, from where there is no looking back. Let us act before it is too late since there is no Planet B!

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