Climate change refers to the massive catastrophic changes that are taking place in the Earth’s climate. The process of climate change is no longer a theory or some far off problem; it is happening here, it’s happening now. We can see significant changes in temperatures, rainfall wind and other climatic features. The average global temperature on Earth has increased by a little more than 1° Celsius (2° Fahrenheit) since 1880. This has led to numerous problems and if ignored it will make this planet uninhabitable for anyone for million of years to come. Here we are with a complete analysis of the process of climate change to equip you with the right knowledge to fight with the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.
HOW DID CLIMATE CHANGE HAPPEN?
To effectively understand the process of climate change, it is important to understand the term climate.
Weather refers to atmospheric conditions such as temperature and rainfall over a short period of time (a few hours or a few days). Weather is what you experience day to day.
Climate is the average pattern of weather for a place over a long period of time, usually at least 30 years.
There are many natural factors on which the climate depends on. It includes rainfall, sunlight, wind cycles, volcanic eruptions etc. But along with these natural factors there are certain human added products that are intensify causing climate change.
EFFECTS ON PLANET
- Due to increased greenhouse gases, the overall global temperature is rapidly increasing. The data shows terrible increase after the industrial revolution. The temperatures are still exponentially increasing. This can potentially make this planet too hot for the life to exist.
Increase in Sea levels
- According to the latest studies , the sea level will increase by 1 meter by 2100. This massive increase is due to melting of glaciers and polar ice. Increasing sea level is a direct and immediate threat to island countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan will be badly affected. By 2100 4 million people would need to evacuate because their houses, and property would be under ocean.
Storms and Hurricanes
- Due to change in temperature, there would be more stronger storms and hurricanes. The world is already witnessing an increase in intensity of storms.
Heatwaves and droughts
- The hot places will continue to get hotter. Changes in wind system will significantly decrease their annual rain, thus leading to more droughts. Heatwaves are becoming more common in tropical countries. And as a matter of fact, the last decade holds the record for most global droughts.
Changes in ecosystem
- This climate change is going to spear no one. All the animals and birds will be highly and adversely affected. Already rising temperatures at the equator have pushed such staple crops as rice north into once cooler areas, many fish species have migrated long distances to stay in waters that are the proper temperature for them. Birds and insects are also moving to escape from deadly temperature. Intolerable living conditions have pushed many species to near extinction.
- Without surprise, the changing climate will be deadly for our crops. The productivity of rice, the staple food of more than one third of the world’s population, declines 10% with every 1⁰ C increase in temperature. It also affect other crops. We need more food to feed the ever-increasing population, but climate change is going to make it difficult for millions to get basic food once a day.
These are just some of the potential harms coming our way due to climate change. But the list never ends, every field of human life, every place, and every single living object on the face of the planet is at great threat due to unprecedented wrongdoings of human race.
HOW THE CLIMATE CHANGE STARTED?
We human have been taking a lot from the nature from the very start of the time. We have been cutting and burning trees, producing waste and contaminating resources. But the process was slow and thus the nature was able to repair itself. But with the industrial revolution of the 18 th century the damaging process hit the acceleration pad. Since then the destruction has been exponentially increasing.
We were not able to realize our mistakes that soon. It had taken a century of accumulating science, and a big shift in perceptions, for that to happen. Svante Arrhenius, the pioneering Swedish scientist who in 1896 first estimated the scope of warming from widespread coal burning, mainly foresaw this as a boon, both in agricultural bounty and better climates in colder regions of the world.
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT AND GLOBAL WARMING
The gases we emit causes greenhouse effect which is biggest source of climate change . The heat trapping gases, called greenhouse gases have significantly increased.
- CO2 or Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas, it is produced by every vehicle and factory burning petroleum, coal, or any other fuel.
- Methane is another greenhouse gas which is produced in combustion processes and anaerobic decomposition.
- Nitrous oxide is another. It is produced in fertilizer production.
- Fluorinated gases and Sulphur hexafluoride, which are used in many industries are also greenhouse gasses.
All these gases act as a blanket , which let the heat in but prevent it from escaping into the space .This trapping leads to heating of the atmosphere called global warming .This ultimately has lead to 1 degree increase in global temperature since 1900.
THE ROLE OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES
Following are the major activities contributing to global warming:
- Cutting of forests and trees. This increases amount of Carbon dioxide in atmosphere leading to greenhouse effect.
- Burning fossil fuels. This also emits huge amount of toxic and greenhouse gases.
- Over population. This leads to overuse of natural resources.
- Industrial use of hazardous chemicals.
- Transportation and construction and waste produced by them.
On the nutshell, global warming is a real, immediate and the greatest threat to humans. We need to change our attitude towards nature. If every single person will demonstrate love and care for this planet by saying NO to all activities and products that we enjoy on the expense of nature’s death, then we as a race can surely heal the planet. If we as a race can dream and plan of transforming Mars, then we surely have the power to protect and liberate our home and turn it back into the paradise it has been for centuries. It is not a choice for us anymore, either we protect this planet or perish with it.