Introduction Climate change is a mysterious and challenging issue that impacts geographic areas throughout the world. Many people are unwilling to accept that climate change is a real concept that is currently taking place throughout the globe; therefore, understanding some of the most critical issues associated with climate change is essential in order to educate persons regarding its impact on all communities. There is significant evidence from a scientific spectrum that climate change is a reality, particularly as greenhouse gases continue to grow and significantly increase the temperature of the Earth (NASA.gov, 2016). This has been determined by historical evidence that supports the gradual changes that have been taking place with the world’s climate over thousands of years, but have shifted rather rapidly in recent history (NASA.gov, 2016). In the 21st Century that these issues have become increasingly relevant and challenging for scientists and other experts (NASA.gov, 2016). The greenhouse effect continues to warm the Earth and increase its overall temperature with the combination of CO2 and other gases in conjunction with sunlight, and when there are significant excess gases, there is an increased risk of temperature increases over time (What’s Your Impact, 2016). This reflects a need to identify climate change as a true problem and a threat to the global environment.
One of the most critical impacts of climate change for those living in the United States represents a number of different responses in the form of shifting weather patterns in different regions. For instance, those living in the Southwest, such as California, are currently experiencing and will continue to experience severe droughts and increasing temperatures in the coming years that will threaten the quality of life for residents in this area, as well as other forms of life (Environmental Protection Agency, 2016). On the other hand, in the Southeastern United States, the most significant response to climate change is an increased risk of hurricane activity, flooding, and storm surges as evidenced by the current devastation in the Carolinas; furthermore, during periods of drought, the growth of crops is dramatically affected and may impact the food supply in many ways (Environmental Protection Agency, 2016). The contrast between drought conditions, heat waves, heavy rain and storms, flooding, hurricanes, and the intensity of snowstorms continue to influence how the United States is able to respond to these events and the type of support that the people who are directly affected by these conditions receive from the state and federal governments (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014). The identification of an increase in extreme weather events is a first step towards understanding the risk factors that are associated with climate change and the overall need to evaluate the conditions under which communities are able to overcome and perhaps reverse some of these effects over time. This is only one of many outcomes associated with climate change and which influence how the surrounding environment is perceived and treated by human activity.
The role of climate change throughout the world cannot be underestimated, as there is significant evidence in place to support that this concept is real and is part of the modern world. Since climate change is largely misunderstood, it requires an effective understanding of the risk factors that impact individuals and communities and how this influences daily living. All human beings must assume responsibility for their behaviors in regards to the surrounding environment and must act and behave in the appropriate manner so that preservation efforts are successful. Although climate change continues to expand in scope and significance, it nonetheless requires continuous attention and focus in order to evaluate how human behavior impacts change and what steps are required to overcome these risks.
- Environmental Protection Agency (2016). Climate change impacts. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/climate-impacts
- NASA.gov (2016). Climate change: how do we know? Retrieved from http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
- U.S. Global Change Research Program (2014). Extreme weather. Retrieved from http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/report-findings/extreme-weather
- What’s Your Impact? (2016). What is the greenhouse effect? Retrieved from http://whatsyourimpact.org/greenhouse-effect