Why Should I Be Concerned About Climate Change?

Climate change affects us all. We only have one planet, one home, that sustains the lives of all of the living things on it. Climate change itself is not bad and is a normal part of our Earth's history. The difference with the climate change we are experiencing now is that it is said to be human-caused and happening at a faster rate than previously predicted by scientists. Climate change is expected to mean the melting of ice, flooding of coastlines, increased health risks, and more extreme weather conditions and events in our lifetime and the future.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Earth's surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. Since the Industrial Revolution, more and more greenhouse gasses have been added to our atmosphere as a result of automobiles, factories and power plants. Because there are uncertainties surrounding climate change (e.g., how much warming, how fast, how devastating), it is a difficult topic for some to grasp. What is know with certainty is that human activities are adding greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, and that these gases have been shown to warm the Earth. The risks that climate change poses are real. Because the exact nature of the outcomes is still an unknown, and may not be known for decades, we must use our best judgment guided by what we do know from science to help with our response.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a comprehensive Web site with additional information about the impacts of climate change. You will find more information there about the impacts of climate change on: