Climate Change Through Time and Into the Future

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

When we talk about climate change today, we are responding to scientific evidence that shows the differences in our climate over an extended period of time. We have 650 000 years of scientific evidence showing the advance and retreat of glaciers. Easily disputed questions regarding the origins of these changes draw the focus of the debate surrounding climate change and interfere in the decision-making process on how to proceed. 

Glaciers are retreating and sea levels are rising, while sea temperatures increase; food production is affected as local weather changes. How we as global citizens respond should be the main focus of discussion. What measures need to be taken to limit these effects as much as possible and to prepare for the future and impending changes due to affect the entire world.

The United Nations is looking to the future and preparing for this. It introduced the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and held the 2019 Climate Summit with a Climate Summit scheduled for 2020, it remains to be seen if this summit will occur. The Kyoto Protocol which has been in effect since 2008 is one way 192 global communities are participating in effecting to manage climate change. The Paris Agreement is another measure in place to combat climate change with 186 countries committing to keeping the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees over the next century. 

If action is taken now to limit the increase of global temperature, then life can be sustained in a more equitable fashion in the future. However, in order to accomplish this task, a mammoth restructuring of societal values and economic actions needs to be enacted in the near future. Failure to act will see more drastic consequences across the entire world, because climate change has affected and will affect us all; animals and humans alike. 

The 2020 Sydney University Student Anthology is now open for submissions on the topic of climate change, so send us your artworks, poetry, short fiction and non-fiction. Submit here.