Fact: The planet we live on is a magical, wondrous place, designed to play host to a wide array of species. Talking about the environment and climate need not be all gloom and doom, here are some mind-boggling facts about the climate and the environment that will take your breath away.
1. The amount of water vapour
At any given moment, the earth’s atmosphere contains 37.5 million-billion gallons of water vapour which, if condensed, could cover the entire surface of the planet with 1 inch of rain. This amount is more than all the rivers combined on the planet!
2. Recycling paper
Recycling 1 ton of paper can save 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil, 4100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space and 60 pounds of air pollution. Recycling a can of aluminium can save enough electricity to power a television set for 3 hours, so think twice before you throw yours in the trash.
3. The amount of potable water
From the total amount of water available on the planet, only 3% is drinkable. The remaining 97% is saltwater. Nearly half of the earth’s freshwater is frozen in glaciers and the rest is underground.
4. The amount of water on earth
The water you use today may have once passed through a dinosaur. This is because the total amount of water on earth remains constant as it is constantly recycled. The rates of evaporation and precipitation balance each other out.
5. Cows and climate change
Cars aren’t the only catalysts of greenhouse gas emissions! When herbivorous animals, such as cows, consume fodder, methane builds up in their digestive system and is released into the atmosphere in the form of a burp. There are a whopping 1.5 billion cows on the planet, so one can take a guess at the amount of greenhouse gas circulating in the atmosphere.
6. Healing of the ozone layer
The ozone hole measuring 29 million square kilometers is finally showing signs of healing and is likely to fill up completely by the year 2060. This has become possible due to the worldwide ban on chlorofluorocarbon and hydrofluorocarbon.
7. Coral reefs
If you were to look down upon the earth from outer space, you would be able to feast your eyes on the beauty of coral reefs as these underwater treasures are visible from outer space! Coral reefs are underwater ecosystems that take upto 10,000 years to form whereas barrier reefs can take anything from 100,000 to 30,000,000 years to form fully.
8. Fertilisation of Amazon basin
Giant plumes of dust from the Sahara Desert travel thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean and are deposited in the Amazon basin making it the most biodiverse place on earth. The tiny dust particles form a dust cloud are large enough to be visible from outer space.
9. Taiga forest: The largest biome
The taiga is the largest land biome or a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the habitat they exist in. It accounts for 30%of the world’s forest cover with massive stretches in Scotland, Russia and Canada.
10. Climate change and hybrid species
The melting of ice and adapting of newer geographical locations has prompted the mating of dissimilar species. Polar bears and grizzlies have started producing hybrid offspring called ‘grolars’ or ‘pizzlies’ as a result of this union.
These facts only go on to emphasize the awe-inspiring might of nature and the unique planet that we inhabit. It is time to re-engage in the dialogue of conservation of our planet and find out how we can work on preserving its wonders for generations to come.