A New Reason for Using Products That are Safe for the Environment
Science has established that global temperatures are on the rise because our activities (Electricity, Transportation, Industry) release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. CO2 acts like the glass panes of a greenhouse in that it lets the sun’s heat in, but doesn’t allow heat to escape back into space. This trapped heat warms up the earth.
Many of us are familiar with the predictions of how global warming will affect us. Some of these are straightforward such as the fact that warmer temperatures will melt the snow and ice near the earth’s poles and cause sea levels to rise. This effect is already being seen and measured. Studies also predict weather extremes such as droughts and many more violent hurricanes.
The Connection Between Global Warming and the Earth’s Oxygen
Rising sea levels and weather extremes are certainly bad news but this isn’t the worst that could happen. Until recently, little research has focused on how a warming earth will affect its oxygen levels. The earth has oxygen in its atmosphere because of the photosynthesis of plant life. The biggest contributor is the phytoplankton that live in the oceans which produce 70% of our oxygen.
What happens to phytoplankton when the ocean gets warmer? According to recent studies, phytoplankton will cope with a warming ocean up to a point. However, when ocean temperatures rise by 11 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius), the phytoplankton will stop producing oxygen. Without this production, the oxygen at sea level will be the same as the top of Mount Everest is today, and humans can’t breathe on top of Mount Everest without oxygen masks. In short, there won’t be enough oxygen to support animal life.
An 11 degree F rise in ocean temperatures is beyond the predictions of many climate models. However, some scientists say it could happen as early as 2100. This should be treated as a worst case scenario if CO2 emissions continue ramping up. Should this be considered as fact? No. But it is a cause for real concern about continuing on our current path.
Most people don’t consider themselves as having enough influence to reduce global emissions on their own. However, as a group, consumers decide which companies flourish and which don’t. They decide which products are produced and which aren’t. When consumers speak through their product choices, the rest of the world listens because that’s how capitalism works. It’s time that we, the consumers, decide to only purchase safe for the environment products.
Do your research and choose products that are safe for the environment. Choose products that have a low CO2 footprint in their manufacture and in their use. Every little thing can help. Of course, there are many other ways that the environment is altered or damaged besides CO2 emissions, and your choices should take these into consideration as well.
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