More than 97 percent of environmental scientists agree that the environment has been altered in some significant way by human activity. However with leading government officials debating whether climate change is real or not, many people are understandably confused. The reality is that an overwhelming amount of data has been collected over the years that indicates how real and how severe climate change is. By learning more about it, you may be able to make small changes in your own life that could have a major impact on the world environment over the years. This is what you should know:

Climate Change: Is It Real & How Can You Know If You Are Influencing It?

Rising Sea Levels

Studies have shown that sea levels have risen worldwide by approximately eight inches over the last 20 years. This is an astounding amount that may be caused by polar ice melting on the northern and southern arctic regions. Remember that carbon dioxide in the air can cause air temperatures to increase, and this may be contributing to sea levels rising. If you are concerned about sea levels in your area or about your carbon dioxide contributions, you may seek consultant services from an individual who has completed at least an environmental masters program.

Global Temperature Increases

While the temperature worldwide has increased approximately two degrees over the last 100 years, the majority of this increase has taken place within the last 35 years. This indicates that the rate of climate change is accelerating rapidly. This may be due in part to the incredible rise in population worldwide within the last few decades and the additional carbon dioxide production that has resulted from this. Any changes you make to limit air pollution and carbon emissions, such as by driving an electric vehicle and planting a few more trees, can have a big impact on the health of the environment.

Melting Ice Sheets

Scientists have also documented that ice sheets in Greenland and in the Arctic regions have decreased in size substantially within the last few decades. In fact, the melting ice sheets have decreased in size by dozens of cubic miles in these locations. This is contributing to the rise in sea levels, and it also is changing the composition of saltwater environments. More than that, some ice, such as in the tundra in Siberia, contains gases that further lead to the acceleration of ozone depletion in the atmosphere.

The Effects on Ocean Environments

The salinity of the oceans and their temperature are changing, and this is having a devastating effect on marine life. The upper portion of ocean waters is also absorbing the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the area, causing the water to be more acidic. While marine life can make adjustments to ecological changes slowly over time, it is important to note that the rate of change currently taking place is stressing many species.

As you can see, the evidence clearly indicates that climate change is real and that the effects of it are damaging in many ways. Protecting the environment is critical and requires worldwide effort. Take time to analyze your own carbon footprint, and strategize ways to reduce it as soon as possible.