The day known as Earth Day, April 22, was branded as such in 1970. The function of the day is to bring awareness and education to people regarding ways we can treat our planet better. It’s easy to think of our little blue marble as invincible, especially when we feel so small as individual humans. The facts are stacking up, though, and they are letting us know that our home is a lot more fragile than we like to think. Now these facts are a little scary and I don’t want to bring this blog down too much, but I feel like Earth Day is the day to inform people. Information can be a little scary sometimes:
1. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are at a record high: greater than 400 ppm
Sources: NOAA (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/tre… Mashable (http://mashable.com/2014/04/08/carbon… 350.org (http://400.350.org/)
2. We dump 19.4 billion pounds of plastic into the ocean every year
Sources: Science Mag study (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347… Mashable (http://mashable.com/2015/02/19/plasti…)
3. An estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year
Source: FAO (http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/am859e/… Live Science (http://www.livescience.com/27692-defo…)
4. Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030
Sources: UNESCO (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-… FAO (http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/…)
5. Climate change-related extreme events, plus population growth, could increase hunger by up to 20% by 2050
Source: WFP (http://www.wfp.org/climate-change)
6. September Arctic sea ice extent is declining at a rate of 13.3% per decade
Sources: NASA (http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/a… AND http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/septem… NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/)
7. Earth is off to its warmest start on record
Sources: NOAA (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/); Mashable (http://mashable.com/2015/04/17/earth-…)
Thanks to Mashable for those facts!
I don’t want to just leave you all feeling depressed on Earth Day. Earth Day is also about celebrating our lovely planet and thinking of ways we can improve our actions and make it a healthier place! For that reason, I did some research and found some good resources for you all!
There are also some great websites you can go to to see videos and literature related to Earth Day.
Earth Day Network
Earth Day Lessons
Check those links out and let me know what you learn! What are you already doing to help out our planet? Give me some tips in the comments!