Climate Change Causes and Effects
A few years back climate change was regarded as a “myth” but the phenomenon as real as it’s evidence can be seen on the planet. Here, we will discuss in detail Climate Change Causes and Effects, & its Solutions.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular, a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century. Moreover, It is attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
Climate Change Causes
There are different Climate Change Causes and Effects, some of them will be discussed below.
The Greenhouse Effect
Different gases are present in the atmosphere, these gases block heat from escaping. These gases cause a greenhouse effect that leads to climate change. Some of the greenhouse gases are;
It is the most abundant greenhouse gas. Water vapor not only increases the temperature of the earth but also increases the possibility of clouds and precipitation.
It is another important gas that causes the greenhouse effect. It is released in the atmosphere by the natural process of volcanic eruptions and respiration and through the unnatural process of human activities, CO2 is the most important long-lived force of climate change.
It is produced through natural as well as the unnatural process. Methane is a far more active force of climate change than carbon dioxide. However, it is less abundant in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
The soil cultivation process produces powerful greenhouse gas. It’s level increases because of the combustion of fossil fuels, biomass burning, and the commercial use of fertilizers.
These compounds are produced by industries and they are also a component of the greenhouse effect.
All of the above-mentioned gases are important in the greenhouse effect that causes climate change. Here we will explain to you the phenomenon of the greenhouse effect and how it plays its role in climate change. The sun’s energy reaches the earth. The earth absorbs Some energy and Some energy reflects back to the atmosphere.
The greenhouse gases make a cloud over the earth in the atmosphere and they absorb 90% of the energy that reflects back from the earth and hence the greenhouse effect causes climate change.
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The Role of Human Activities
The Intergovernmental Panel on climate change concludes that there is a 95% probability that human activities have played a role in climate change over the past 50 years. The industrial activities raise the ratio of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Moreover, the growing population, commercial fertilization, and combustion are some of the additional factors that have played their role in climate change.
Evidence of Climate Change
The climate of the earth has been changed over a period of time. However, many people regarded it as a “myth”, but, the phenomenon of climate change is real and its evidence can be seen in our surroundings. Some of the evidence includes;
- The global temperature has risen about 1.62 Fahrenheit since the late 19th century.
- The oceans have absorbed heat and they are 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 1969.
- The ice-sheets have decreased and between 1993to 2016, Greenland lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year. While Antarctica lost 127 billion tons of ice during the same time period.
- Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world.
- Satellite images revealed that the amount of spring snow cover has decreased in the Northern Hemisphere.
- The global sea-level has risen about 8 inches.
- The acidity of the surface ocean has increased by about 30%.
Impacts of Climate Change
We can see the impacts of climate change in our world but currently, they are not severe. However, if the changes would have been continued the world would face severe impacts of climate change. Some of these include;
- The temperature will continue to rise.
- Frost-free season and growing season will lengthen.
- Changes will occur in the precipitation pattern.
- More droughts and heatwaves will occur.
- Frequent droughts would cause wild-fires and it would destroy crops.
- Hurricanes will become stronger and more intense.
- Sea level will rise 1-4feet by 2100.
- The sea-level increase will erode the coasts.
- The Arctic is likely to become ice-free.
- Forests and biodiversity will face the real threat of extinction.
- Freshwater ecosystems are already under pressure, climate change will further exacerbate the problem and will make it worse.
Climate Change Accords
Paris Climate Agreement
The Paris agreement was adopted in 2015 and it was signed by nearly every state to address climate change. The aim of the accord is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and to limit the increase of the global temperature to 2 degrees Celcius above the preindustrial level. The agreement includes the commitment from all the major powers to reduce their carbon emissions.
The 32-page document establishes a framework for global climate action, including the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, support for developing nations, and the transparent reporting and strengthening of climate goals.
United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change
This was signed in 1992 and the treaty was aimed to prevent the dangerous human interference with the earth’s climate system over a long period of time. However, it put no limitations over the emissions of the greenhouse gases rather it established a framework to sign such agreements in the future that put limitations on the carbon emissions.
The protocol was adopted in 1997 however, it did not go into effect till 2005. The protocol puts limitations on carbon emissions only for developing countries. The United States signed the agreement, but never ratified it. However, its effectiveness proved to be limited because it touched the limited audience.
Climate Change Solutions
- Eliminate or reduce the burning of fossil fuels.
- Use public transport because it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Consume less and it will ultimately reduce the greenhouse gas emission.
- Stop cutting down trees.
- Unplug the devices when you turned them off.
- Use environment-friendly LED lights.
- Control population.
- Promote renewable energy sources.
- Build Sustainable infrastructure.
- Promote responsible consumption and recycling.