Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or are Donald Trump, than you’ve heard about (and acknowledge) global warming. You seriously need to have been living under a rock for decades since global warming is actually not a new concept. Global warming is the worlds gradual increase in surface temperature. Now I can guess what you’re thinking: “that is super radical, summer all year round!” Or, “no more snow fall in the winter!” No, summer will not get longer and no, you will still see snow (if you’re country is fortunate to ever get some). Instead you will se a melting of polar ice caps and glaciers all around the world, perhaps we will get hotter summer days, but this will also come along with some adjustments from your natural wildlife. Species may be forced to migrate away from their homes, especially those conditioned to colder climates. Additionally, species may die off if forced to leave their original habitat and are confronted by predators in a new habitat. Also keep in mind, like us human, animals everywhere are designed for a certain environment and may start disappearing if they can no longer withstand the challenges of changing environments.
Global warming has been evident since the rise of the industrial revolution. You see, the emergence of countless amounts of factories and manufacturing companies have caused a rapid increase in carbon dioxide within our atmosphere. Factories burn fossil fuels to fuel their machines, and carbon dioxide (pollution) is released. The carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere creates a kind of shield. Typically, solar radiation (heat and the suns rays) travel through the atmosphere and down onto Earth. Through the same, easy-to-do process, solar radiation exits through the atmosphere back out into space. An accumulation of excessive amounts of carbon dioxide creates a shield that allows solar radiation in, but not out. Solar radiation comes in and attempts to go back out but is halted by this shield. Instead, the solar radiation bounces back to Earth. To get an idea, let me throw you some numbers:
In 1880, with the industrial revolution having over a century on its belt, the carbon dioxide levels on Earth were 14.5ppm.
In 2014, the carbon dioxide level on earth increased exponentially to an astounding 20ppm.
In 1880, the average temperature of the Earth (in degrees Celsius) was 13.8
In 2014, the average temperature of the Earth was 14.8.
You may think that a 1oC difference is no big deal. It is in fact, a very big deal. An increase in temperature of 2oC will cause the melting of the polar ice caps. Now, if you were like me (thankfully not that naive anymore), than you’d probably think “sure the icebergs may melt, but the volume of the ocean will remain the same.” While this is very true, and you are very smart for pointing that out, the problem does not lie within the icebergs (although Leonardo DiCaprio may disagree). The real problem lies within the glaciers. 97% of the Earths water is located in the oceans. The remaining 3% is found frozen on land in the form of glaciers. So what will happen when the glaciers melt and the remaining 3% of water is freed from their frozen prison? Mass floods.
This not only poses a problem for us, narcissistic humans who believe the Earth was put here for us, but this is also a problem for the wildlife. Where will land mammals go when they no longer have a steady floor to sleep on? What will happen to the birds when they find that they can fly, but they cannot land? What will happen to us? Why is Earth punishing us for the irreversible damage we have subjected it to? I have a theory for that one.
Anyone who has taken any kind of Intro to Evolution course knows about the wonders of environment and its ability to change and be changed by interactions with animals and vice versa. Cacti have adapted to the endless heatwaves of the desert by thickening their outer cell walls and developing a photosynthesis process that relies on very little water. The Arctic Hare is a species of rabbit that lives in the icy climate of the arctic. It has adapted to survive these climates with the help of its tiny ears, tiny limbs, and fat body containing a very strong coat of fur. Jackrabbits have adapted to the heat of the desert with their large ears. Blood circulates to the ears where they are cooled by the surrounding air, and flow back into the warm body of the jackrabbit.
Evolution makes all of this possible. The ability of animals to adapt to their changing environments allow them to survive and pass their genes to future generations. Those who are not meant to survive, will die off. If evolution can happen on a small scale, like in the case of the kermode bear, why can it not happen at a global scale? What if this global warming isn’t the Earth telling us to help heal it? What if global warming is the Earths way of ridding the virus that has been leading it down the path of death? What if global warming is Earths way of eradicating humans? It is no secret that we have invaded and destroyed many of the Earths natural beauties. Perhaps climate change is just another environmental factor that animals (and humans) will have to adapt to in order to survive. Perhaps climate change is cleansing the world of the human pestilence that has caused so much of its damage. Think about it this way: The common cold is a bacteria that invades the human body and causes nothing but destruction. The first sign of a cold? Fever. You know what a fever is? Bodily climate change. The body is purposely elevating its core body temperature to eradicate the bacteria. What if the Earth is the body, and we’re the bacteria?
Maybe climate change isn’t so bad for Earth after all.