The climate of our planet has been changing for millions of years. During the current Quaternary period, there were 8 glaciations on Polish land, which covered the whole country with a thick layer of ice. They were 2 km at their thickest!
The last ice sheet retreated from Poland around 11 thousand years ago, marking the beginning of Holocene – a period of warmth in which we are currently living – that is strictly connected with the history of civilization. Climate changes in the Quaternary period were mainly caused by the so-called ‘cosmic factors’. The most significant were changes in the Earth’s orbit, influencing the amount of solar energy that reaches our planet.
Unfortunately, the current climate changes (climate warming in particular) are caused by human activity. Co2 emissions and greenhouse gasses play a very regrettable role in that. The changes observed since the 50’s of the 20th century have been progressing at a pace unseen for millions of years. It is human economic activity that has caused our climate to warm. Climate warming isn’t only about the increasing temperature of the air, but also the oceans and lands. The rising temperatures harm the biosphere and our quality of life.
Scientists do not doubt that the scale of production of Co2, coming mainly from the burning of fossil fuels and the release of other gasses like methane, into the atmosphere, is responsible for global warming. Paleoclimatic scientific studies conducted in different parts of the globe show clearly that the Earth’s climate reacts to changes in greenhouse gasses. Climate insights coming from, among other sources, lake and ocean sediment cores, Greenland ice cores, mountain glaciers located in the tropical zone, the observation of the coral reefs, and tree rings growth point to rapid climate changes occurring in the last 100 years. These studies provide undeniable proof that the pace of current warming is 10 times faster than the average pace of climate warming after the end of the last ice age: the level of co2, being the result of human economic activity, increases 250 times faster than it did in the Quaternary period.
The most critical changes caused by anthropogenic climate warming include:
– An increase in temperature of air, land, seas, and oceans
– Rising sea levels
– Melting of ice caps and the permafrost
– Unpredictable weather events (hurricanes, droughts, heavy rainfalls)
– Changes in the seasons
All the above phenomena come as the direct result of the human way of life – both at the level of societies and everyday, personal choices. The faith of our planet depends on our small and big decisions. As the Warsaw Montessori School community, we care about our common home, the Earth- that is why we accept the most significant challenge our world is facing today: to act in order to protect the environment in which we live and which future generations will inherit. We believe that even the smallest of gestures multiplied by millions become a remarkable achievement. And we want to act!