Climate Change! It’s really Scary

 Climate Change refers to the periodic modification of Earth’s climate. The changes may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. Human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas.

What is Climate?

Climate is the average weather in a given area over a long period. It includes average temperature in different seasons, rainfall, and sunshine. A climate system has five major components; atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, land surface, and biosphere.

The changes in the hydrosphere which include variations in temperature-salinity occur at a much slower rate than changes to atmosphere.

Causes of Climate Change

Burning fossil fuels, cutting down trees, and farming livestock are increasingly influencing the climate and eath’s temperature. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming.

Greenhouse Gases

The main driver of climate change is the greenhouse effect. Some gases on the Earth’s surface act a bit like the glass in a greenhouse, trapping the sun’s heat and stopping it from leaking back into space and causing global warming.

Many of these gases occur naturally, but human activities are increasing the concentrations of some of them in the atmosphere, in particular
  • Carbon Dioxide CO2
  • Methane CH4
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Fluorinated gases

CO2 produced by human activities is the largest contributor to global warming (48%). Other gases emitted are in smaller quantities.
Methane is more powerful than CO2 but has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere.

Fossil Fuels 

Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.
Examples of greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change include carbon dioxide and methane. These come from using gasoline for driving a car or coal for heating a building.

GHG concentrations are now at the top in the last 2 million years.

The the emissions are continuing to increase. In the end, earth is around 1.1degC more warm as it was during the 1800s. The past 10 years (2011-2020) has been the warmest ever recorded.

A lot of people believe that climate change is primarily a sign of warming temperatures. However, temperature increases are only the beginning. Since it is true that the Earth is a system which is interconnected Changes in one place could influence changes in other areas.

The impacts of climate changes are now as well, severe droughts, water shortages, intense fires, increasing levels of seas, flooding, melting polar ice, devastating storms, and decreasing biodiversity.

People are observing the effects of climate change in a variety of ways

The effects of climate change could affect our health, capacity to produce food, our housing security, and even work. Certain of us are more vulnerable to climate-related impacts like those living in tiny island nations or other countries in the developing world. Sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion are getting to the point that entire communities have been forced to relocate and prolonged droughts put the population at risk of starvation. In the coming years the amount of “climate refugees” is expected to increase.

Each increase in global warming has an impact.

Through a string of UN reports that included thousands of researchers and government officials agreed that limiting the rise in global temperatures to not more than 1.5degC will help us keep from the worst impacts on climate and ensure a sustainable climate. Based on the current national climate plans the global temperature is expected to rise to 3.2degC by the end of the century.

The carbon dioxide emissions that trigger climate change are generated by everywhere in the world and affect everyone. However, certain countries emit more than other countries. The 100 countries with the lowest emissions generate 3 percent of all emissions. Ten countries that have the highest emissions are responsible for 68 per cent. Everyone should take action to combat climate change however, the countries and individuals who are the biggest contributors to the issue have the greater responsibility to take action first.

We face a massive issue, yet we have several solutions

Numerous climate change solutions are able to bring economic benefits while improving our lives and safeguarding the environment. Additionally, we also are able to use global guidelines and agreements that guide our progress, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. Three main categories of action are: reducing emissions as well as adapting to climate-related impacts and financing the necessary adjustments.

The switch towards fossil-fuel renewable sources like wind or solar will help reduce the emission that causes climate change. But we need to begin immediately. A growing number of nations is committed towards emission-free nets in 2050, around half of reductions in emissions have to be implemented by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5degC. Fossil fuel production will have to fall approximately 6 percent each year between 2020 and 2030.

The adaptation to climate impacts protects homeowners, homes, businesses and livelihoods, as well as infrastructure and ecosystems natural. It addresses current effects as well as those that are likely to occur in the near future. The need for adaptation will be all over the world, but it must be prioritized for those who are most vulnerable and have the smallest resources to deal with the climate risks. The return on investment could be very extremely high. Early warning systems for natural disasters can, for example, protect lives and property and may result in benefits that are that can be 10 times more than the cost of initial investment.

We can pay for the debt today, or pay a high price in the near future.

Climate action is a major financial investment by both businesses and governments. However, inaction on climate is much more costly. The most important thing is for industrialized nations to fulfill their commitment to offer $100 billion annually to developing nations so that they can adjust and shift towards more sustainable economies.

Author: Engr. Husnain SultanEnvironmental Engineer. Passionate to spread awareness regarding current and future environmental crisis.An international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation.

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