The National Aquarium sits at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay—the country’s largest estuary. As residents of a coastal state, our staff, volunteers and members are experiencing the effects of climate change first-hand. As a core part of our mission, the National Aquarium remains committed to sparking open dialogues with our community around climate science and the simple actions we can all take to make a difference.
In honor of #DayofFacts, we’re sharing some truths about climate change, along with actions you can take to help make a positive difference. Read part one of this series here.
Beginning with the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 18th century, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by 30 percent. This increase is a direct result of more carbon dioxide being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere by burning coal, oil, gas and other fossil fuels.
Ocean acidification has been shown to negatively impact the health of some calcifying species like shellfish and corals.
Switching up your commuting style can help! Even if it’s just on occasion, committing to public transportation, carpooling, biking or telecommuting to work/school can save major energy and reduce carbon emissions.
Many cities, including our hometown of Baltimore, have bike share programs. If you live downtown or are visiting a city, be on the look out for bike share stations!
2016 was the warmest year on record for planet Earth. In fact, most of the warmest years on record have occurred after 2001.
The planet is getting warmer. NASA reports a 1.7 degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperature since 1880. The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, which is stressing aquatic habitat and the animals that depend on them.
There are significant steps individuals can take to reverse some of these patterns including investing in green power!
Energy suppliers offer green options for residents in urban and suburban areas across the United States.
For every 2 degrees Fahrenheit the Earth warms, scientists estimate a 15 percent decrease in Arctic sea ice and a 25 percent decrease in area covered this ice. Melting Arctic ice is a main contributing factor to the global rise in sea level.
This loss matters because Arctic sea ice keeps the polar regions cool and helps moderate global climate. NASA satellites are also showing a loss in land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland.
Electricity production from non-renewable sources generates the largest share of carbon emissions in the United States. Investing in Energy Star products for your home and simply turning off electronics and power cords when they’re not in use can lessen our individual carbon loads.
You may also want to consider switching to LED bulbs, which use about one-sixth of the energy of a typical light bulb. Every little bit helps!
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