Walking on a Planet of Change; Climate Change & The Human Impact

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I come from a place on the planet where all days are tropical and it is easy to experience the beauty of the Mountains and the greatness of the Sea.  My country El Salvador has 10 volcanoes that reach deep into the earth and soar high into the sky.  You can stand on top and look deep into the earth just as you also look far out over the Pacific.  The changing planet Earth is in a relationship with its changing people.

Some questions; what is the most interesting place you have visited on this planet?  Do you think about the beauty of nature each day or do you just try to get through your day as best you can?  How can we be a part of the soultions to the problems we see in this world?  The Planet Earth has always been changing and humans have always been solving problems as they come.  Do you know we can make a difference?  What small way will you make a difference today?  Where in this world do you want to go tomorrow?  We can make a plan for a different and a better future together even as the world keeps changing around us.

El Salvador, un paraíso para los surfistas
La Playa en El Salvador; Surf City
Among lakes and volcanoes in El Salvador - Prensa Latina
Like a volcano, El Salvador is a nation of danger and beauty and people who continue to be solutions to the problems as they come.

This Planet is full of personalities and the more we share the better it will be.  As we communicate and travel we must also protect what we have.  Here is an example of the power of travel and communication.



Increasing Greenhouse Gasses Are Warming the Planet

Scientists attribute the global warming trend observed since the mid-20th century to the human expansion of the “greenhouse effect”—warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.

Life on Earth depends on energy coming from the Sun. About half the light energy reaching Earth’s atmosphere passes through the air and clouds to the surface, where it is absorbed and radiated in the form of infrared heat. About 90% of this heat is then absorbed by greenhouse gasses and re-radiated, slowing heat loss to space.

Climate change: evidence and causes | Royal Society
The graphic above explains global warming through the greenhouse effect. The effects of pollution through CO2 increase this effect.

What is Global Warming?

This graph illustrates the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures.
This graph illustrates the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures.

Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s surface observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. This term is not interchangeable with the term “climate change.”



Deforestation is a particular concern in tropical rain forests because these forests are home to much of the world’s biodiversity. For example, in the Amazon around 17% of the forest has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly due to forest conversion for cattle ranching. Deforestation in this region is particularly rampant near more populated areas, roads and rivers, but even remote areas have been encroached upon when valuable mahogany, gold, and oil are discovered.  National Geographic

Deforestation | National Geographic Society
This image from National Geographic shows pinewood logging on hillsides for lumber and paper production.


One of the causes of global warming is the intensity of hurricanes, due to the high temperatures on earth, hurricanes are very dangerous, especially those of greater intensity, they destroy everything in their path.

6 Facts About Hurricanes!

  • A hurricane is a tropical storm.
  • The word hurricane comes from the word Huracan.
  • The eye is the center of a hurricane.
  • The eye wall is around the eye.
  • The rain bands are the outer part of the hurricane.
  • Hurricanes can be very dangerous.
Hurricane Katrina | Deaths, Damage, & Facts | Britannica
This satellite image of Hurricane Katrina over the Gulf of Mexico before doing damage to the City of New Orleans reminds everyone of the danger of higher temperatures and rising sea levels.


Melting of Glaciers

The thawing of the glaciers is caused by the high temperatures, deforestation and burning of the forests. One of the effects of the thawing of the glaciers is that the oceans increase their level and that causes flooding in communities or cities. close.

The melting of the glaciers, a phenomenon that intensified in the 20th century, is leaving our planet iceless. Human activity is the main culprit in the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The sea level and global stability depend on how these great masses of recrystallized snow evolve.

Melting of polar ice shifting Earth itself, not just sea levels – Harvard Gazette
In Antarctica the Ice Shelf is melting and breaking off into the sea. This contributes to global sea level rise which threatens low lying islands in the Pacific and coastlines everywhere.


A flood happens when water overflows or soaks land that is normally dry. There are few places on Earth where people don’t need to be concerned about flooding. Generally, floods take hours or even days to develop, giving residents time to prepare or evacuate. Sometimes, floods develop quickly and with little warning.

A flood can develop in many ways. The most common is when rivers or streams overflow their banks. These floods are called riverine floods. Heavy rain, a broken dam or levee, rapid icemelt in the mountains, or even a beaver dam in a vulnerable spot can overwhelm a river and send it spreading over nearby land. The land surrounding a river is called a floodplain.

Coastal flooding, also called estuarine flooding, happens when a large storm or tsunami causes the sea to rush inland.

A flood of information | GeoConnexion
The danger of flooding affects many regions around the world. The poor are most affected but this image reminds us that wealthy suburbs close to home are also affected.


A drought is a period of time when an area or region experiences below-normal precipitation. The lack of adequate precipitation, either rain or snow, can cause reduced soil moisture or groundwater, diminished stream flow, crop damage, and a general water shortage. Droughts are the second-most costly weather events after hurricanes.

Unlike sudden weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms, it is often difficult to pinpoint when a drought has started or when it has ended. The initial effects of a drought may be difficult to identify right away, so it may take weeks or months to determine that a drought has started. The end of a drought is hard to identify for the same reason. A drought may last for weeks, months, or even years. Sometimes, drought conditions can exist for a decade or more in a region. The longer a drought lasts, the greater the harmful effects it has on people.

Megadrought could become the new normal in the southwestern US | New Scientist
Megadrought could become the new normal in the southwestern US | New Scientist There has been a 20 year drought in the US Southwest that is threatening the water supply to 7 states including California that get drinking and farm water from the Colorado River and the two big lakes created by hydro electric dams. This is a crisis moment that has no real solution yet.


Climate change impacts | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration