Historic Climate Agreement

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), global climate change is causing our earth to warm at unusual, and increasingly dangerous temperatures. The EPA says: “The evidence is clear. Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate.”

Global Climate Change Effects John Slifko, PhD Civil Sphere Blog

“Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves. The planet’s oceans and glaciers have also experienced some big changes – oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, ice caps are melting, and sea levels are rising. This is extremely important because as these and other changes become more pronounced in the coming decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and our environment.” – Source: EPA Website

Global Warming John Slifko Civil Sphere Blog

In the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization, according to evidence found on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) website here. What’s more, the current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.

But, according to the New York Times, global warming has already had another effect — the large-scale displacement of people — that has been an ominous, politically sensitive undercurrent in the talks and side events. Scientists have said that climate change can indirectly lead to migration by setting off violent conflicts. Scholars have made this connection since at least 2007, when they cited climate change as a reason for the war in Darfur, Sudan.

Global Climate Change Forcing Migrants John Slifko Civil Sphere Blog

Now, some good news… Recently, after more than two weeks of debate, nearly 200 countries have adopted the global agreement to cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution collectively.  In one article, ABC News reports, “There were tears of joy at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris after world leaders agreed on an historic deal to cut emissions.” According to news from the National Post, in the pact, the countries commit to limiting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100. 

Global Climate Change Agreement John Slifko Civil Sphere blog

Speaking from Washington, President Barack Obama said the climate agreement offers “the best chance to save the one planet we have.”

Global Climate Change John Slifko Civil Sphere Blog

Click to View: “A Brief History of Climate Change”