Based on the Earth’s history, the planet underwent 7 ice age events; the last occurred 11, 700 years ago, which later spurred the start of human civilization. Studies of scientific evidence that show human activities had led to global warming is undeniable.
Mankind exploited natural resources and made advances in technology without regard on how machineries and chemical compounds would affect land, bodies of water and the atmosphere. Moreover, only a few harkened to the warnings of how man’s unsustainable practice will result to widespread changes that in time, will adversely affect the Earth’s natural climate system.
How Do Scientists Gather Information about Significant Changes Affecting the Planet’s Climate
Since the middle of the 19th century, scientists have been making direct observations by way of the Earth-orbiting satellites and advanced monitoring instruments that allow observers to view a bigger picture of the Earth’s surface. In doing so for many years and up to the present, researchers have been collecting different types of data on a global scale. The body of information collected revealed how human activities had driven changes in the planet’s natural climate system.
Technologies that have the ability to demonstrate heat-trapping occurrence by way of infrared energy transfers showed how greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) resulted in the global warming phenomenon.
Moreover, ice cores drawn from mountain glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland and other Arctic regions revealed that the planet’s climate has been reacting to the high levels of greenhouse gases enveloping the Earth’s atmosphere.
Climate researchers also analyzed ancient evidence collected from tree rings, coral reefs, ocean sediments, and layers of sedimentary rocks. Comparisons were made between ancient and current evidences, to which the results indicated that the planet has been warming at a pace that is 10 times faster than the intervals of paleo ice age events. In addition, historical evidences show that since the start of widespread human activities, CO2 increases occurred at a rate of 250 times much faster than those emitted by natural sources.
These scientific methods clearly explain why initiatives for developing sustainable goals must take into consideration everything; from sources of raw materials to manufacturing processes up to delivery of the finished products.
Why Carbon-Trade Offs are Not a Sustainable Approach for Addressing Climate Change
Many recommend carbon trade-offs as an alternative to shifting to the use of sustainable materials and practises. Yet it’s frowned upon by experts because, the approach denotes the sustainability of the product or service remains an option and an afterthought.
Developers of sustainability programs make thorough assessments of sustainability by calculating the impact of the entire process on the environment, including achieving zero wastes through reuse, recycling or repurposing. In the construction industry, sustainable practices include covering bare earth or grass soil with a protective mat to prevent soil compaction or contamination or other similar forms of land degradation.