A Complex Issue
Climate change is one of the most complex issues science is examining today. As a global issue we all face, it must involve so many different components starting with science but also including economics and politics as well as questions of societal equity. There are so many moving parts.
In 2013 we surpassed 400 parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere for the first time in human history. The last time levels were that high was about three to five million years ago, during the Pliocene era. So what does that mean?
Adaptation vs. Mitigation
With that level of carbon dioxide present in our atmosphere, science tells us that some level of climate change will not just occur in the future but is already occurring right now. Scientists agree that responding to climate change should involve a two-pronged approach:
1. Reducing emissions of and stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or “mitigation.”
2. Adapting to the climate change already in the pipeline “adaptation.”
Without both mitigation and adaptation, humans cannot hope to have our existence on this planet continue unhindered. Dealing with climate change in all its forms is a global issue but the effects are most often felt locally.
Finding the Data
The most comprehensive and accurate data possible needs to be used when making choices about our response to climate change. NASA is committed to providing that data for use by all.
You can learn more about the carbon in our atmosphere and the effect it’s having by checking out their Eyes on Earth program. It monitors the vital signs of our planet.
The first step in climate adaptation is education.
Meredith, a former professional in the software industry, has come to the Mrs. Green’s World team through an unlikely journey that took her through the world of non-profit management and on to becoming a part of MGW. Helping people understand climate change and what we can do about it – is very near and dear to her heart. She lives in Tucson with her family and too many pets.