The Earth is currently in the middle of what is known as the ‘hockey stick’ century, where we are experiencing an unparalleled rise in temperatures. According to the latest scientific data, 20th century temperatures were higher than any other century in the history of the planet. The last 100 years are now being referred to as the ‘Anthropocene’ – the epoch of human influence on the earth.
Human activity has led to the rapid climate change, with studies suggesting that we’ve seen a rise in temperatures of up to 2°C over the past century due to our growing reliance on non-renewable energy sources. The recent UN report ‘Global Warming of 1.5°C’ found that temperatures could rise by up to 1.5°C by 2050 if measures aren’t taken to prevent further climate change. Moreover, if global carbon emissions continue to increase at the current rate, the planet could be faced with a climate disaster within the next few decades.
As temperatures continue to rise across the planet, melting ice caps and rising sea levels pose an imminent threat to our coastal cities. The most recent IPCC report (2018) found that, if climate change is not checked, by the end of the century there’s a good chance that we’ll be witnessing ‘full-blown’ climate disaster with increasing floods, droughts, and storms.
The Importance of Using Sustainably-sourced Energy
It is well-established that the planet is in the middle of a rapid climate change, and that human activity is largely responsible for this. Up until the 1800s, our planet was bathed in the glowing rays of the sun, leading to sustained periods of warmth and growth – what we now know as the ‘golden’ age of the greenhouse effect. However, humanity has since then deliberately extinguished the solar energy hitting the planet, relying instead on fossil fuels and electricity generated by nuclear power plants for our daily needs.
The importance of using sustainable energy sources cannot be stressed enough, as the planet cannot afford to continue heating up due to our unsustainable energy reliance. Most experts agree that the biggest threat to humanity at this point in time is climate change, and that the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power is largely responsible for this. As temperatures continue to rise, it is imperative to reduce our energy footprint and switch to renewable sources of energy such as solar, hydro, and wind power.
The Rise in Temperatures Over the Past Century
In the 20th century, our dependency on fossil fuels soared, with industrialization leading to a huge upswing in the use of coal, oil, and gas as a source of energy. Global temperatures started to climb in the 20th century, with the planet experiencing its warmest years in recorded history – with some areas such as northern Canada and Scandinavia reaching temperatures up to 4°C above pre-industrial levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that “even a 1°C increase in average global temperature would seriously affect humanity’s survival”. This is because temperature affects almost every aspect of our planet, from air quality to sea levels.
This is why it is essential to combat climate change, and the only way to do this is by reducing our energy footprint and switching to sustainable energy sources such as solar, hydro, and wind power. The last few years have seen a rise in global temperatures of up to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and if current trends continue, the planet could be faced with a climate disaster within the next few decades. As a result, many experts are now calling for drastic measures to be taken to reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change.
Protecting Our Planet From Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on climate change and life on Earth (2018) states that, if current trends continue, the planet could be faced with a climate disaster within the next few decades. Moreover, the report also found that even the 2°C rise in temperatures experienced over the past century could be “the warmest 20th century in history”, setting a new benchmark for future centuries.
This is why it is so important to use sustainable energy sources to generate electricity, heat, and water as much as possible – our continued reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power is unsustainable and will inevitably lead to climate disaster. Sustainability in all aspects of our lives is crucial if we are to have any chance of protecting our planet.
Why Using Solar Energy Can Save the Icecaps
Although the IPCC report (2018) focuses primarily on global temperatures and climate change, it is obvious that rising sea levels threaten our coastal cities with periodic inundation and the potential destruction of entire civilizations. Melting ice caps lead to rising sea levels as the planet experiences extreme flooding and water shortages, with devastating effects on coastal areas. This is why it is essential to use sustainable energy sources for our daily lives.
It should come as no surprise that using solar energy can help save the icecaps, as these are the most obvious and straightforward applications of renewable energy. The most recent UN report on climate change acknowledges that “in the absence of significant mitigation, the impacts of climate change would likely lead to the loss of all the natural ice” from the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps. Once these ice caps have melted, there is no going back. Sea levels would continue to rise regardless of whether we take further action to combat climate change, with the recent report from the UN Security Council making a strong case for all nations to take steps to combat global warming. This is why it is so important to switch to renewable energy sources as soon as possible.
The use of solar energy generates no pollutant by-products, reduces our dependency on foreign petroleum, and reduces the risk of energy supply disruption. As a result, many experts are now suggesting that, in addition to reducing our energy footprint, we should also focus on switching to solar energy as soon as possible. The Earth is in the middle of a golden transition, with many aspects of our planet experiencing unprecedented growth due to the widespread availability of cheap, abundant energy from renewable resources such as the sun. However, this growth comes with a price, and that is in the form of environmental damage and the threat of global warming. The planet is changing before our eyes, and its most precious resource – its oceans – are losing their frozen grip on our southern continents. If we want a future for humanity, we need to act now, by switching to sustainable energy sources and using sustainable water consumption.