Climate change is the primary concern of today!

According to scientists, climate change is defined as a significant variation of average weather conditions. For example, conditions becoming warmer, wetter, or drier over several decades or more. Deadly heat, record flood, and raging storms. Climate change manifests itself in many ways and is experienced by every living being, although not equally. Worldwide, people of color and economically disadvantaged will be badly affected, who contribute minimally to the factors causing climate change.

A general weather condition of a place is referred to as climate change as measured over many years. In the US, South Florida’s tropical climate all year through while Maine’s climate is snowy and cold in winter. Present-day weather and climate are measured by Earth-orbiting satellites, ocean buoys, and remote meteorological stations. But it is paleoclimatology data from natural sources like ice cores, tree rings, corals, and ocean and lake sediments. And all these have enabled scientists to extend the Earth’s climatic records back millions of years.

These records provide a comprehensive look at the long-term changes in the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land surfaces, and cryosphere. These data are fed by scientists into sophisticated climate models and help predict future climate change with accuracy. Global warming is only one aspect of climate change which is referred to as a rise in average global temperature.

The mechanics of Earth’s climate system are simple. As per scientists, the planet cools when energy from the sun is reflected off the Earth and back into space or when energy is released by Earth’s atmosphere. The planet warms when the sun’s energy is being absorbed by Earth or when atmospheric gases prevent heat released by the Earth from radiating into space. Earth’s climate system can be influenced by many factors, both human and natural.

Causes of climate change –

Long before humans were found, the Earth had gone through warming and cooling phases in the past. The sun’s intensity, volcanic eruptions, and changes in naturally occurring greenhouse gas concentrations contribute to climate change. Records indicate that since the mid-20th century, the climate has been changing faster than ever before. According to NASA, climate change is still affected by these natural causes, but their effect is too small, or they occur too slowly to explain the rapid warming that has been seen in recent decades.

Greenhouse gas emission, released by human activities is one of the lead causes of climate change today. Greenhouse gases keep the planets warm enough to inhabit. The amount of these gases in the atmosphere has increased in recent times. According to leading environmentalists, the atmosphere’s share of carbon dioxide has risen by 46 percent since preindustrial times. One of the main contributors to climate change is carbon dioxide.

The primary source of human-generated emissions is fossil fuels. It includes coal, oil, and gas for electricity, heat, and transportation. The 2nd primary source is deforestation which releases carbon into the atmosphere. It is estimated that any form of deforestation releases an average of 8.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Other factors for climate change include livestock production, fertilizer usage, and specific industrial process.

Ocean and forests absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by photosynthesis and other processes; with rising emissions, these natural carbon sinks can’t keep up. This greenhouse buildup is heating the planet at a faster rate. During the 20th century, it is estimated that the Earth’s average temperature rose by about 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Effect of global climate change –

  • As the planet’s atmosphere heats up, it collects, retains, and drops more water, changing weather patterns and making wet areas wetter and dry areas drier. Many kinds of disasters are brought about by higher temperatures like droughts, heatwaves, floods, and storms.
  • When the air temperature rises, the air gets dirtier and also becomes filled with more allergenic pollutants.
  • According to WHO, climate change will cause lots of health issues and deaths. As the temperature rises, cardiovascular and kidney disease increases along with diseases from heat stress, heatstroke also increases. The more the air is polluted, the more respiratory diseases also increase.
  • The Arctic ice is melting very fast, and the melted ice falls in the seas and ocean, which causes the level to rise.
  • The oceans are becoming more acidic due to climate change as it absorbing more fossil fuel emissions. The underwater life is badly affected by this acidification.

A recent analysis by IPCC on climate change –

  • At least in the last 2000 years, human influence has warmed the climate at an unprecedented rate.
  • Emissions from human activities cause observed warming. The greenhouse gas warming is partly covered by aerosol cooling.
  • Across the globe, all the regions are being affected, which are inhabited areas. Human influences are causing many notable changes in climate and weather extremes.
  • Future emissions cause additional warming. Total warming includes past and future carbon dioxide emissions.
  • With every increment of global warming, more significant changes can be seen in precipitation, soil moisture, and regional mean temperature.
  • With every additional increment of global warming, projected changes in extremes are more critical in intensity and frequency.
  • With higher cumulative CO₂ emissions, the proportion of carbon dioxide emissions taken up by the ocean and land carbon sinks is smaller in scenarios.
  • Human activities affect all the major climate system components, with some responding over decades and others over centuries.
  • In all regions of the world, multiple climatic impact drivers are projected to change.
  • Every tonne of carbon dioxide emissions adds to global warming.

Conclusion –

The warming of the climate system is unambiguous, says IPCC. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has reduced, and the sea levels have risen. The last decade was hotter than any other decade in at least the past 1300 years. The 1st year of the new decade was the hottest individual year ever recorded. More intended and frequent weather disasters can be seen with the increased heat. The 1st half of 2021 was marked by wildfires, heat, droughts, floods.

According to leading scientists, if immediate actions are not taken, records will be broken every year. Human activities are many responsible for the climate change seen today. Global climate change can be mitigated by people and help stem its detrimental impacts. In order to do this, the root cause that has to be tackled is pollution from burning fossil fuels.

 

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